You’ve seen it in action in the 360° Swim with the Fishes at RumFish Grill Video, and now you too can take a splash in the 33,500 gallon tank as tarpon, amberjack, grouper and redfish whizz by.
A product of TANKED, Animal Planet’s hit show, the aquarium located in the center of The RumFish Grill at Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort, is your pathway to up-close-and-personal marine learning. As part of the “Swim with the Fishes” program, you can score a look into Florida’s native sea life while snorkeling. You’ll want to bring a towel, swim trunks or shorts (required), an underwater camera to capture the moment, and a sense of adventure!
Sea Life, Snorkels & Swim Trunks
Swimmers ages eight years old and up can take to the tank for a look at more than 30 species of fish. Partnering with Secrets of the Sea, a group of marine science advocates, this experience takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes tour of the facility including a brief educational session on the animals and conservation efforts in the area followed by a swim in the tank.
Tours kick off Tuesday through Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. While walk-up registration is available, pre-registration is advised due to the limited number of spaces per program. After the facility tour, you’ll be strapping on the provided snorkel, goggles and life jacket, and plunging into the temperate water. Keep in mind that all participants are required to wear shorts while swimming and underwater cameras must have a wrist strap to prevent loss.
Explore Outside the Tank: Snorkeling, Diving, and More
Got your sea legs? If you’re eager to explore all of the marine life the St. Pete/Clearwater area has to offer, there are plenty of options from dolphin watching and snorkeling excursions to scuba diving certification courses and sightseeing boat tours. Here are just a few ideas for you to explore the area’s natural offerings outside of the tank.
Hop aboard a 45’ Catamaran for a group snorkeling excursion to Egmont Key Island with Island Boat Adventures, or explore historic Fort Dade on a 4-hour trip filled with snorkeling, swimming and beach time with Adventure Cruises. For prime shelling and snorkeling, it’s all aboard the Shell Key Shuttle for a low-impact eco-tour.
If you want to take your thrills to a new depth, test the waters with a scuba certification. With more than 35 years’ experience, Jim’s Dive Shop specializes in group and individual scuba diving lessons and is a one-stop shop for scuba certification. Already a certified diver? Take a charter with Dive Clearwater for a look at natural reefs and wrecks, or meet up at the Gulfport Dive Center’s dive club, Club Azure, for all of the area’s diving tips from likeminded water lovers.
In Clearwater, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is the home of Winter the dolphin, star of the movies Dolphin Tale and Dolphin Tale 2. Not your typical aquarium, aside from exhibits including Otter Oasis, Turtle Bayou and Shark Pass, the CMA also specializes in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine life. For underwater exhibits in Downtown Tampa, the Florida Aquarium has everything from wetland experiences to coral reef exploration. Hang with the lemurs for a wild Madagascar exhibit or for the extra adventurous aquarium-goer, plunge into the Coral Reef Gallery tank for the “Swim with the Fishes or Dive with the Sharks” experience.