One of the most fun things to do is visit an aquarium or zoo with your friends or family. All through my life I’ve had an innate love of animals and I love being able to see creatures in person that would otherwise be out of my reach. Not only do you get to see the animals but in most zoos and aquariums you get to learn interesting facts you may not have known. If I have to pick between the two when I am on vacation I almost always pick the aquarium. Here are the top five aquariums I have been to that you should visit if you ever get the chance.
Baltimore Aquarium- Baltimore, Maryland
The National Aquarium, otherwise known as the Baltimore Aquarium, is a large scale attraction that offers animals and fish, special exhibits, conservation and pollution education, and an indoor rainforest right on the Inner Harbor of the Chesapeake Bay. No matter what age you are this great aquarium has something to offer everyone. They are open year round and have some of the best aquatic animal related exhibits on the East Coast. Not only do you get the basic fish and jellyfish exhibits of other aquariums but you will also see sharks, dolphins, and even penguins. This is one of the best aquariums that I never get tired of visiting.
Monterey Bay Aquarium- Monterey California
Monterey Bay is an aquarium on the west coast that has been enjoyed by both kids and adults for many years. I visited this aquarium when visiting relatives and was extremely happy I did. This aquarium offers over 550 different species of animals and over 100 large display tanks to view. What makes this aquarium different and especially fun for kids is the Splash Zone mini-park that is included in your ticket price. The Splash Zone has interactive exhibits, underwater cameras, and child sized microscope projects. A Couple of the most interesting features are the three story kelp exhibit and a million gallon tank that houses large scale tuna and sharks. If you’re ever in the area this aquarium is a must visit attraction.
Georgia Aquarium- Atlanta, Georgia
This aquarium, like the Baltimore Aquarium, is one that I have visited many times and never get tired of the experience. The Georgia Aquarium is a 550,000 square ft. building that has award winning exhibits for the entire family to enjoy. Their unique underwater viewing windows and live animal and human theater performance make this attraction a one of a kind experience. Along with all the great exhibit features, this aquarium offers a 4-D movie featuring underwater life. The 3-D film coupled with other sensory effects will make you feel like you’re on the ocean floor without ever leaving your seat. Another unique display is the whale sharks, which you can only find here in the entire United States. Their Ocean Voyager display has more than 60,000 animals for you to enjoy. All of these reasons make the Georgia Aquarium a one of a kind place to visit.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans, Louisiana
This aquarium is one of the most popular attractions in America and one that is most widely known around the world. Unfortunately, this aquarium sustained major damage and animal loss due to Hurricane Katrina and had to spend time and a lot of money to prepare itself for a relaunch. In 2006, the Audubon Aquarium reopened its’ doors with visually stunning exhibits such as a Caribbean coral reef and a 400,000 gallon shark tank. With the new revamped attraction came the hands on kids exhibits, new shows, and a variety of expanded learning opportunities. One of the more interesting exhibits was the Animal Grossology exhibit that features the more gross sides of wildlife from around the world.
SeaWorld- Orlando, Florida
While this isn’t a traditional aquarium I feel like it deserves a spot on this list as a great aquatic themed place to visit. SeaWorld offers rides, shows, tours, attractions, and of course an aquarium. The Discovery Reef aquarium located here has a large variety of animals that you may not get a chance to see in any other place. The dolphin and killer whale shows are among the best in the world and provide excitement for the entire family. Since this attraction is more of a theme park than anything else it has something to offer both thrill seekers and animal lovers alike. It’s expensive but I feel like the ticket price is well worth the full rounded, immersive experience you get.
Choose to visit any of these for a fun filled day with family and friends. Have fun!
For more great travel or vacation reading and information from this author, check out:
Guide to the Weirdest Museums You’ll Ever Visit
How to Enjoy Your Vacation More by Going Off the Grid
Guide to the Strangest Restaurants You Will Ever Eat At