Of all the sights we see and things we experience when we travel, there is nothing that we collectively enjoy more as a family than visiting an aquarium.
Here is my list for the 10 best Aquariums in the US:
- Georgia Aquarium: It’s one of the biggest aquariums in the world, and the only aquarium outside of Asia where you can see whale sharks. Highlights at the GA Aquarium also include- Manta Rays, a Dolphin Show, and Beluga Whales.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: This aquarium features one of the largest single-pane windows in the world and is one of the only places in the world where both bluefin and yellowfin tuna are on display. It also circulates fresh ocean water straight out of the Bay.
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: From Stingray Bay to the Penguin Playhouse, everything at Ripley’s is fun. Also included at the aquarium is a 340-foot tunnel where you can travel through the shark tank.
- National Aquarium: This aquarium sits directly on the Inner Harbor of Baltimore and has won numerous awards for its exhibits. Included here is a coral reef, an open ocean shark tank and a tank with Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins.
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas: Sitting just on the edge of the French Quarter in New Orleans and right on the Mississippi River, this aquarium sustained a lot of damage during Hurricane Katrina. They re-opened better than ever and currently feature over 10,000 animals.
- Shedd Aquarium: Since opening in 1930 the Shedd Aquarium has doubled in size. It sits on the outskirts of Downtown Chicago along Lake Michigan. The aquarium features an Oceanarium that is the largest indoor marine mammal facility in the world.
- Maui Ocean Center: This aquarium is a fabulous way to see Hawaiian underwater life including a variety of sharks, turtles, stingrays and tropical fish. It has a mixture of indoor and outdoor exhibits including a 54-foot walk through tunnel.
- Texas State Aquarium: Although this aquarium features many awesome exhibits from Bottlenose dolphins, to a beautiful coral reef- one of the neatest exhibits is “Islands of Steel.” This exhibit recreates a habitat formed around an oil platform. Animals include: nurse sharks, amberjack, barracuda, sand tiger shark, and many others that would be found in the Gulf of Mexico.
- Downtown Denver Aquarium: Downtown Aquarium is the largest aquarium between Chicago and California. This landlocked aquarium’s theme is the relationship between freshwater ecosystems and the ocean. The Sumatran Tigers certainly help make it a unique and memorable aquarium experience!
- Alaska SeaLife Center: Located in Resurrection Bay, visitors to this aquarium can get an up-close look at puffin, octopus, sea lions and a preserved giant squid. This center is dedicated to the rehabilitation of Alaskan marine life.
In addition to these noteworthy aquariums, there are hundreds of other aquariums around the US. If you are planning to travel, I recommend checking this list to find out if there will be one for you to visit.
Here are several reasons why we make a point to visit aquariums when we travel:
- Not weather contingent
- Enjoyed by all- from babies, to grandparents
- Very educational
- Easy to fit into any available time frame (from a whole day, to just a few hours)
What is your favorite and why?