Sometimes, zoos just aren’t enough. Sometimes, we want to expand our horizons and look beyond land to view something truly special: aquatic species. In those times, there’s absolutely nothing better than visiting the aquarium. With several top-quality aquariums across the United States, there’s ample opportunity to see some of the rarest and coolest fish species in the world!
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to plan your trip to one of America’s best aquariums! Keep reading to find out which aquariums these are and what they can offer you and your family on your next vacation.
1. Georgia Aquarium
At over 550,000 square feet and holding nearly ten million gallons of water, the Georgia Aquarium is possibly the best aquarium in the entire world.It’s certainly the largest.
Visitors to the Georgia Aquarium, located in Atlanta, Georgia, are offered an up-close glance at nearly 120,000 fish and sea creature species. Among these species are whale sharks, making the Georgia Aquarium the only aquarium outside of Asia to house the species. Manta ray and beluga whales are also on display for interested visitors.A trip to the Georgia Aquarium is a must for any family seeking the optimal aquatic experience!
2. National Aquarium
The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland should be near the top of anyone’s list of best aquariums in the United States. What sets the National Aquarium apart are its amazing dolphin sanctuary (perfect for kids of all ages!) and its three-story fish tank that amazes and inspires awe in viewers. The National Aquarium promises a unique aquarium experience for families with kids of all ages. If you are looking for a nationally-renowned aquarium near New England, make this your first stop!
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium
Located in beautiful Monterey, California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-see for anyone looking for quality aquariums on the West Coast.The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a nonprofit conservation and research institute that doesn’t just house a wide array of aquatic species. It also pumps tons of money into finding ways to protect endangered aquatic species and prevent damage to their natural ecosystems.
For anyone looking for an environmentally-friendly, option, the Monterey Bay Aquarium should top your list. What makes it even better are its kid-friendly options. Take your children to see one of the four daily otter feedings and enjoy a fun family trip for all!
4. Mystic Aquarium
The Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut is one of New England’s hottest aquariums. In fact, it is one of only three in the region that house Steller sea lions, and with other options such as tropical fish and beluga whales, it should be at the top of any New Englander’s list of family-friendly and top-notch aquariums.
Like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Mystic Aquarium doubles as a research and conservation center. As such, a trip to the Mystic Aquarium is money well spent. If you are looking to not only spend a quality vacation at the aquarium but also give back to the environment, the Mystic Aquarium is certainly for you!
5. Shedd Aquarium
Located in the heart of the Windy City, the Shedd Aquarium is the perfect aquarium for those looking for aquatic fun in a major metropolitan area. With beluga whales and dolphins, the Shedd Aquarium certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to quality marine life.
But it’s the aquarium’s Polar Play Zone that steals kids’ hearts. This play area allows your kids to dress up as penguins or ride a kid-designed submarine. There’s simply no better aquarium for children, so if you’re in the area and have young kids, make this option the top of your list.
6. Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, nestled in New Orleans, Louisiana, is a top aquarium attraction for people all across the United States. Despite having to rebuild much of their infrastructure following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the aquarium remains one of the top aquariums in the United States.
With sharks, tarpon, and other incredible marine life, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas certainly isn’t lacking in species diversity. To make it even better, the aquarium houses a touch pool for kids, which allows young children to get up close and personal with fish and other marine species. For families with small kids, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas should be one of your first options!
7. New York Aquarium
The New York Aquarium isn’t just the oldest aquarium in the United States, it’s also the only one in New York City. Spanning over fourteen acres and containing 266 species, this aquarium is a must-see in America’s shining city.
With an incredible sea lion demonstration, New York Aquarium is perfect for families and for small children. To make things better, it’s close to many other fun activities in the Big Apple, so you and your family will never be bored!