Sarasota boasts some of the best area attractions in Florida. The MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium located on Sarasota Bay just north of the John Ringling Causeway gives Floridians and visitors alike an inside look at some of the marine life that calls Florida home.

Although the MOTE staff and researchers are dedicated to education and preserving Florida's natural habitat, the facility (rather facilities) is not quite what one expects.  We were a bit disappointed to find out that public areas are spread out in two separate areas. Not bad for a non-typical day in the sunshine state; however, a bit difficult to stomach during a famous Florida lightning storm. After waiting close to an hour for the rain and lightning to let up, we packed it in and called it a day after visiting just the first main building.

TIPS:Check the weather, bring an foldable umbrella, check the weather again before you pay, check the weather again while in the first building to see if you need to speed up your trip across the street.