You can't deny it: Mermaids are making a splash in pop culture right now. They've been a visual fixture on stickers, storybooks, and children's clothes for decades, but check any Sephora or Forever21 to see that mermaid merch is being bought by full-on adults these days.

For years, the popularity of "mermaid academies" has been growing, meeting the growing demand of people who want to live like mermaids underwater. You can now learn to swim like Ariel at more than 20 mermaid training centers in the United States alone! Is it because Disney has been floating the idea of a new, live-action Little Mermaid movie? There's also a remake of Splash on the way, with Channing Tatum in the lead merman role. What has really been making this mermaid renaissance happen?

“Part of the appeal is definitely an element of escapism in grim times but it also goes deeper than that,” explains novelist Kirsty Logan. She believes mermaids (unlike passive princesses) reflect a lot about the women of today. "The appeal of mermaids is that they aren’t just pretty and docile. They’re beautiful, exotic, unusual and powerful."

If you, like us, are into this mythological mermish movement, we've got some exciting ways for you to live out your dreams the next time you travel. It's easy to step into your mermaid fantasy when you dive into the right destinations. They're where you can easily enjoy the best part of mermaid life - interacting with the ocean animals, of course! Find your Flounder at the places below.

22 20. The Mirage, Las Vegas

The Mirage's lobby aquarium is just the beginning of its aquatic offerings. It also has swim-with-dolphins options! Despite the hotel being in the desert climate of Nevada, the Mirage has taken every precaution to make sure these creatures are comfortable and well cared for. The lack of a natural habitat has brought this hotel further from the top of our list, however.

If you want to see a huge variety of sea creatures without leaving mainland North America, this hotel is a great option for you. Especially cool? The hotel offers yoga classes in a room that lets guests see right into the dolphin tank. They call it "Yoga with the Dolphins" and we bet it's a pretty zen time.

21 19. Akaroa Nature Cruises, New Zealand

Akaroa Nature luxury cruises prove that one of the best places to interact with sea wildlife is on the water itself. New Zealand has some of the world's most pristine sea habitats and rarest sea creatures, and the right luxury boat cruise will let you see them all.

These ones have dolphin sighting guarantees, so if you don't see any the first time around they'll let you ride again for free until you do. With seals, sharks, corals, and more for travelers to explore, Akaroa is confident that it won't disappoint creature-loving guests. The spectacular coastal scenery and creatures like tiny Hector dolphins and white flipper penguins make this the place for a per-person to be.

20 18. Siladen Resort & Spa, Indonesia

Indonesia is home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. For your best and closest access to the wonderful water life in this part of the globe, stay at the five-star Siladen Resort & Spa.

You can shack up in one of their exotic wood-and-thatch hut style villas, or opt for a more western suite. Open-air spas and seawater hot tubs are just steps away. Beach access and meals are included (don't brush your hair with any dinglehoppers) and wildlife excursions are available for an added fee. Definitely take the opportunity to snorkel in local waters while you're there, and take plenty of pics for the rest of us to admire!

19 17. Amanpulo Resort, the Philippines

Amanpulo Resort is located on Pamalican Island, which meant "Peaceful Island" in an early Filipino language. As soon as you see this place it becomes very easy to understand how it earned its name. A perfect tropical paradise, Amanpulo Resort offers plenty of opportunities for its guests to get wet.

The island is surrounded by the Sulu Sea. Prevailing winds shift seasonally, so there is always at least one part of the island that is safe for scuba diving (read: not too windy and wavey). Bring your own wetsuit to move seamlessly from the white sand beaches into the fish-filled waters! It's nature at its very best.

18 16. Pikaia Lodge, Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands were so spectacularly biodiverse that they inspired Charles Darwin's theories of evolution. With a big enough bank balance, you can fly to this remote and pristine destination yourself, and even stay at the ultra-luxe Pikaia Lodge resort.

This resort prides itself on being ecologically sustainable. Guests stay in rooms outfitted with authentic Ecuadorian fare, and experience attractions meant to educate as well as entertain. Pikaia Lodge has its own tortoise reserve, perfect for people of all ages to interact with these special creatures. It offers access to some wild fish and sea creatures, but this destination would be higher on our list if it had even more. We can't get enough!

17 15. Alohilani Resort, Honolulu

Ever heard of 'snuba?' It's a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving that lets people like you explore underwater landscapes without having to master complicated breathing techniques! Choosing snuba adventures over scuba dives is one way to save time (and often money) on a trip abroad.

As you might have guessed, the Alohilani Resort has a fantastic snuba experience for its guests. It lets visitors dive up to 20 underwater and interact with the more than 250 species of fish and ocean life below. Keep your eye out for butterfish, eels, and our favorite - the yellow longnose butterflyfish. So cute!

16 9. Occidental Grand Xcaret, Mayan Riviera

If you're into underwater adventures but you haven't got any kind of scuba license, this destination gives you amazing opportunities to dive deep into vibrant biodiverse habitats anyway. The Occidental Grand Xcaret's unique Sea Trek and snuba experiences let you get up close and personal with sea turtles, sharks, and flowering corals without having to master an oxygen tank.

The resort itself is a stunning all-inclusive accommodation that's literally crawling with exotic creatures. You'll spot bright pink flamingos and talkative macaw parrots on your way to your own private lodgings. You can even admire jaguars and pumas in their natural habitats, and explore bat caves and tapir (little hog) watering holes. So cool.

15 8. Kahala Hotel and Resort, Hawaii

On Oahu in Hawaii you'll find an upscale beachfront resort called Kahala. The surrounding water at this resort is filled to the brim with all the colorful sea life that Hawaii's tropical climate has to offer! The resort's main water attraction is its famous Dolphin Quest swimming adventure.

The resort has exclusive access to lagoons where playful, clever dolphins splash away their days. Visitors can slide into the water alongside the dolphins and experience the surprising closeness and understanding that humans and dolphins can share. Guests also have a 99% success rate of finding these dolphins on their own ocean excursions around Oahu! For access to more local wildlife, the Honolulu Zoo is just 4 miles away from Kahala.

14 7. Azor Hotel, Azores Archipelago

The Azores Archipelago is a collection of islands that are only just getting recognized for their spectacular holiday potential. They're ruggedly beautiful with few hotels among them, but the Azor Hotel is all any visitor could need to explore the area's breathtaking scenery and wildlife.

Its rooftop pool doubles as a whale-watching spot (!) and the entire hotel overlook Sao Miguel's main marina, so you know that ocean wildlife is never very far away. In fact, the region has 25% of the world's known sea species in its waters! Best of all, "super pods" of up to 1,000 wild dolphins are known to swim through the Azores regularly. Mind: blown.

13 6. BOB's Underwater Scooter Adventure, Hawaii

This is just as ridiculously awesome as it sounds. BOB stands for Breathing Observation Bubble, a special one-person submarine-type concoction that lets people see almost 360 degrees around themselves while they scoot around underwater. It looks equally hilarious and spectacular, like a very hi-tech pogo stick with water propellers and a big helmet.

For your own Instagram-worthy underwater scooter adventure, head to beautiful Maunalua Bay in Hawaii. Hop into your own BOB and start your descent into the fish-filled waters of this tropical bay. By the end of your journey, you'll be needing a friend to help peel an octopus or two off your observation glass! Those suckers absolutely love BOB.

12 5. Tortuga Lodge, Costa Rica

Tortuga is a Spanish word for turtle, so we bet you know what to expect to find at Tortuga Lodge. This remote destination is accessible only by boat or small plane, both of which give you great views of the area's many cute turtle families as you pass over them. Then you can get up close and personal with these creatures and many others in the water surrounding Tortuga Lodge itself.

The Lodge's property is 146 acres of land within the Tortuguero Conservation Area. This help to conserve not only a pristine Costa Rican landscape but also hundreds of species of animals that live there. Wake up to the sound of howler monkeys in the trees and take a dip with river otters and endangered Atlantic green sea turtles. It's an animal lover's paradise.

11 4. Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Australia

The Thala Beach Nature Reserve markets itself as being on "the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef," and it's true. Did you expect the Great Barrier Reef to show up on this list? How could anyone not! If there's any place in the world that could be classified as 'merm-mazing,' it's this Australian wonder. Luckily it's also home to some fabulous accommodations and activities.

Stay at Thala Beach for an eco-friendly and informative atmosphere and an environment that completely submerges you in local wildlife. The resort hosts nature walks guided by the indigenous Kuku Yalanji people. It also gives you instant access to the entire barrier reef. As long as you bring the right swimming and diving equipment, go wild!

10 3. Hotel H2O, the Philippines

Manila's Hotel H2O needs to be added to any swimfan's bucket list. The wildlife it features aren't actually wild (which did knock it down a few spots on this list) but it's still a top destination for its coolness factor and the diversity of creatures it lets guests interact with.

The hotel itself holds over 27,000 gallons of aquarium water, with observation opportunities absolutely everywhere. We're talking giant aquarium in the lobby, tropical fish swimming behind glass in your room - EVERYWHERE. To actually swim with them you'll need to venture out to Manila's impeccable coral reefs, or to take part in the hotel's "Aquanaut Voyage." It lets you walk around inside of a massive aquarium! Not to be missed.

9 2. Atlantis the Palm's Aquaventure, Dubai

If you're passionate about 5-star travel destinations, you've probably heard of Atlantis the Palm in Dubai. It's got a celebrity-studded guest list, underwater rooms, and some of the most luxurious amenities you can imagine. You might not know that one perk offered to the Palm's guests is a pass for free access to Dubai's Aquaventure park.

Aquaventure is a one of a kind waterpark with real animal habitats among its attractions. It showcases more than 50,000 aquatic animals representing 250 species, from jellyfish and manta rays to piranhas and sharks. You even get deals on the price of swimming with local dolphins! So many reasons to rank the Palm at number two.

8 1. Omni Cancun Hotel and Villas

Omni Cancun is in our number one spot because it hits literally every selling point for a sea creature-friendly destination. Close access to animals? Check. Sea-themed resort decor? Check. All-inclusive? Check. Conservation programs that make sure the animals benefit from the resort as much as the humans do? Check!

The shores of the Omni Cancun Hotel and Villas are a major conservation site because sea turtles lay eggs there from May to September each year. You can sneak peeks of tiny baby sea turtles making their journeys from sand to sea from your own luxury villa! The 5-star spa is also NOT to be missed. You'll feel fin-tastic!

7 14. Sea Crest Hotel & Marina, the Bahamas

The Sea Crest Hotel & Marina is located on the beautiful Bahamian island of Bimini. Bimini is special because of its warm shallow waters and inviting sandy beaches, which both humans and animals have come to love. If you stay at the Sea Crest, you'll get close access to the spotted dolphins that swim and play around its private shores.

The hotel hosts an organization called the Dolphin Communication Project, which fundraises for local dolphin conservation and habitat preservation efforts. This is proof enough for us that the creatures you'll encounter during your stay at the Sea Crest are healthy, protected, and well cared for. Ariel would be proud.

6 13. Half Moon Luxury Resort, Jamaica

The Half Moon in Jamaica is massive. It sprawls across 400 acres of tropical terrain, with a wide variety of sites and sounds to enjoy. Travelers to these accommodations on Jamaica's Montego Bay get close access to water life along with true luxury in their own private suites or villas.

This resort is one of the few accommodations in the Caribbean that has onsite dolphin lagoons, which only guests are invited to experience. They're completely private, unlike some dolphin adventure parks frequented by tourists. At Half Moon, you get one-on-one encounters with friendly bottlenose dolphins local to the region. You can even choose whether you'd like to stay shallow or go into deep lagoon waters with the dolphins you meet!

5 12. Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii

Who wouldn't want to stay at a 5-star Hilton in Hawaii? What makes the Hilton Waikoloa Village special isn't just it's luxe decor and sky-high quality of service, it's the sweet sea-inspired adventure opportunities it offers to its guests.

It's located on Hawaii's 'Big Island,' which features a huge lagoon right in its center. This makes a kind of natural private pool exclusive to the Hilton's guests, who can choose to explore it or do their swimming directly in the ocean. Soft beaches abound, and so does the island's rich biodiversity. Swim with dolphins, pet some manta rays, and learn from the marine mammal experts on staff. What's not to love?

4 11. The Disney Wonder Cruise, Panama Canal

Disney Cruises have lots to offer people who love the open ocean, but their Wonder Cruise is the most aquatic of all. It's got Little Mermaid attractions on board, like Triton's Restaurant and a big bronze statue of Ariel in its main lobby. If your love of the sea was inspired by this Disney classic, this ship is for you.

The Disney Wonder Cruise sails through the entire Panama Canal, making stops along the sandy beaches of the Mexican Riviera, Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, and Puerto Vallarta. The ship's port cities are cool, but their beaches are even cooler. A cruise is a great way to swim with lots of creatures local to different geographic locations all in one trip!

3 10. Robert's Beach Resort, Belize

We don't know who Robert is, but his resort is a total mermaid's paradise. Belize is famous for its lush rainforests, rivers, and reefs, and Robert's Beach Resort showcases the best of them all. If the idea of swimming with tropical fish floats your boat, this is the ideal holiday spot for you.

Snorkeling opportunities abound with close access to Laughing Bird Cave and local underwater Mayan Ruins. If you can maneuver your way through deep waters with flippers on your feet, you can enjoy swirling schools of fish and the truly exotic sea life local to Belize. The country's climate means these fish are around all year, so you don't even have to make your holiday match their schedule.