PLAY HARD FLORIDA has located the perfect SHARK-cations for you and your family! Florida’s waters are home to nearly 50 different shark species – but wait, that’s a good thing! The ocean’s top predator helps balance the ecosystem in waters that you swim, boat, and fish in. Did you know that sharks are simply big fish with razor-sharp teeth and no bones? Those boneless bodies allow them to swim freaky fast to catch prey with rows and rows of chompers! Don’t worry — you have better odds of getting hit by a piece of space junk than becoming shark bait.

Don’t worry — you have better odds of getting hit by a piece of space junk than becoming shark bait.

Sharks live lonely lives and typically only interact with each other during mating season. Make friends with one {no, not that way!} by waving to them through an impenetrable underwater cage. FLORIDA SHARK DIVING, located in Jupiteroffers shark tours in the cage, out of the cage, and for the not so brave – stay on the boat. Even on the boat, you’ll be close enough to the action to get hammerhead splashed. Are you a landlubber and still want a shark experience? Drive just up the road and cross the bridge to beautiful Hutchinson Island. The FLORIDA OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY COASTAL CENTER will teach you all about sharks and give you an opportunity to feel {yes, feel} the skin of a stingray, the shark’s cousin. You are guaranteed to leave with lots of shark trivia in your head and no stingray barbs in your hand!

Remember those rows and rows of teeth? Sharks lose thousands of teeth over their lifetime. Visit Venice Beach, SharkTooth Capital of the World, and take a stroll along the water’s edge to collect some amazing prehistoric teeth. If you are more adventurous, strap on scuba tanks with fossil guide VENICE DIVE CENTER to go just offshore and grab chompers the size of your hand! Wrap up your SHARK-venture with a quick road trip up the coast to learn all about shark research at the MOTE MARINE LABORATORY & AQUARIUM. Step into their Shark Zone to learn from biologists – they’re researching shark conservation and why sharks rarely get cancer! Experience their Shark Encounter where you can help feed {yes, feed} the hungry Blacknose, Nurse, and Sandbar sharks.

Sharks have been patrolling Florida’s reefs for the last 400 million years – even when the entire peninsula was covered by ocean. You don’t have to be on the coast to have a shark experience. Travel to the middle of the state to find fossilized shark teeth millions of years old! FOSSIL VOYAGES is a fossil hunting guide in Gainesville that will take your family kayaking or hiking to a nearby creek or river to find prehistoric teeth and other cool fossils! On your way out of town, stop by the FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY to see shark jaws large enough to chomp your whole family in their Megalodon Shark Exhibit. You can’t imagine how big prehistoric Megalodon Sharks were until you’re standing next to jaws bigger than you!

Sharks travel hundreds to thousands of miles in search of food and breeding sites. No need to travel far when you’re staying in St. Pete/Clearwater. Start your SHARK-cation of a lifetime by booking a room at the Guy Harvey Outpost on St. Pete Beach. Dine at their RUMFISH GRILL while viewing their whopping 33,500 gallon aquarium. Then head just up the beach to the CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUMfor their Shark Encounter where you can bravely feedfeel, and help target train the ocean’s top predator! Their resident Nurse Sharks are creepy cool looking – wait until you see them up close.

Rather submerge with sharks and swim with the fishes?

Rather submerge with sharks and swim with the fishes? Just cross the bay and visit THE FLORIDA AQUARIUM – no matter your age or skill level, there is an aquatic experience for you! Kids as young as six years old can float above a reef teeming with life. For the bravest, sign up for the Shark Swim (no SCUBA certification required), where you make friends with more than 1,600 fish including Sand Tiger Sharks, eels, barracuda, and sea turtles! Experienced divers can go deeper for an even closer encounter with ten foot sharks waiting for you at the bottom.

But wait, the adventure is not over! Back at the hotel, throw on your bathing suit and jump in RumFish Grill’s huge aquarium. Swim with the fishes, including a Nurse Shark and a Moray Eel, while the rest of your family watches as they enjoy drinks and appetizers.

So take the bait and test your bravery (before you get hit by space junk)! We’ve mapped Shark Ecotours and Fossil Hunting guides all across the state.

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