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    Florida AquariumFlorida Aquarium Tampa, Florida
    The Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida is a large scale, 250,000 square foot aquarium that is home to over 20,000 aquatic plants and animals from the state and all around the world. It is situated in the Channel district of downtown, after opening in 1995. There would be many financial problems during its first decade, with the city having to assume control of the aquarium in 1999. It didn't impress visitors during those early years, since it placed a stronger emphasis on native Florida wildlife and science. Jeff Swanagan would become the CEO in 1998 and begin to turn it around, introducing numerous new features about flora and fauna from other parts of the world that included Dragons down Under, that featured leafy sea dragons that are native to the waters off Australia, an albino alligator and an exhibit that showcased snakes and bats called Frights of the Forest. It wasn't too long before the aquarium was turned around and making some money, and the attendance rose significantly. Jeff left the aquarium in 2002 to become the first president of the Georgia Aquarium, but it would continue to bring in visitors and attracted 675,000 in 2007. Their exhibits are shown so that it can take a drop of water from one of the many fresh water springs out into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico, with displays about wetlands that is located underneath a tall glass atrium, a simulated beach display and a coral reef community that is kept in a half a million gallon tank. Some of the fabulous activities that visitors can enjoy here now include swimming with the fish, penguins, the wild dolphin ecotour, Explore a Shore and an outdoor water fun zone for the kids.

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    Fossils ExpeditionFossils Expedition Tampa, Florida fossils found along Peace River
    A truly unique experience and new adventure awaits visitors to the Tampa, Florida area and it certainly isn't going to any theme park or something of that nature, but it does include nature in all its finest glory, as you wander the region around Tampa looking for fossils, in fact, the tour is called Fossil Expeditions and offers you the best opportunity to go out into the tropical jungles in Florida and discover what secrets lie hidden below the surface of this sandy, swampy peninsula that stays hot and humid more months than any other state in the United States. You are going to be able to search for the bones, teeth and fossils of ancient mammoths, giant armadillos, mastodons, whales, tortoises, camels, sharks, sloth so big that they ate the leaves of the tops of trees, horses, tapirs, jaguars, dolphins, capybaras and saber toothed cats. Currently, they offer three types of trips; with the Trip One: called Fossil Expedition that heads to Peace River or Creek sites where you will search for mammal, reptile and shark fossils that includes easy access to the sites, without strenuous hiking involved; Trip Two is the Megalodon Expedition that occurs at Peace River or Creek sites and searching for the teeth of C. megalodon and other sharks with some interweaving of the first trip involved since you'll be in the same general areas. Trip Three is Outback Kayak Expedition where you will search for mammal, shark and reptile fossils that include the megalodon sharks' teeth, that has you paddling a kayak out along Peace River and other waterways trying to discover more remote sites that offer first time digs for visitors taking this tour. It is an exciting way to learn more about the state and its history, as well as taking home a real authentic souvenir from Florida that wasn't made in China or some other country, but that you were able to pick up or dig out yourself and add to the most memorable experiences of your life.

April 15, 2011