Address: 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy Sarasota Fl
Amount of time to see aquarium: 2 hours
This is another in the unofficial "Paul Tours Aquariums of the U.S." series.
Located in Sarasota Florida, the Mote Marine Laboratory is a medium sized aquarium that is split over multiple buildings. The actual aquarium is just one part of Mote's organization which also includes areas dedicated to research, aquaculture, and conservation. The exhibits in the aquarium area of the complex are focused on Florida's native fish and wildlife with a few exhibits featuring non native animals. The main building houses most of the fish displays along with a few outside displays. Across the street from the main aquarium are the enclosures housing sea turtles, manatees and otters with a bird area between the two buildings.
Out of all the exhibits at Mote the most impressive is the preserved giant squid. This is one of the very few places on the planet to have such a specimen on display. Previously only known from corpses found washed up on beaches across the planet, it wasn't until 2012 that video evidence of a live giant squid was recorded by a joint venture between Japan's National Science Museum, the Japanese public broadcaster NHK and the Discovery Channel.