If you’ve seen “Dolphin Tale,” you’ll recognize this scene. It’s where Sawyer first rides up to the aquarium in search of the dolphin he helped rescue on the beach. He sneaks into a side door — and this is the actual place in the film!
That aside, maybe you’re wondering how to get in and out of this place in real life.
It seems that the aquarium is busting at the seams. This door used to let out into a parking lot, but today a large white tent faces it, where people line up to buy their tickets.
You can imagine that parking is at a premium, but the folks at the aquarium seem to have solved the problem. Look for white signs that indicate where you can park. There are two vacant lots in usage a block or two away, and a nearby restaurant also opens its lot to cars (the Island Grill).
But be careful. Unless you see the white sign with the arrow, giving you permission to park in a certain area, don’t leave your car anywhere.
The first day we arrived, I saw the main lot next to the aquarium and signs that pointed in an opposite direction of where to park. Thinking that a local person was trying to take advantage of tourists, I IGNORED the signs and tried to park in the main lot, which of course was full. Silly me — I finally figured out that the white signs did indeed belong to the aquarium, and no one was trying to siphon more money from me.
By the way, in case you’re wondering, all parking in aquarium-designated lots is FREE.