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Best Aquariums in the United States to Explore

by Mary Melnick

Jul 3, 2020

Photo: Jacqueline Nix | Dreamstime.com


Looking for stops to add to your next adventure? Consider taking the family to an aquarium, where you can get close and interact with multiple different species of sea creatures and even participate in once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


If that sounds like an activity your family will love, check out these best aquariums in the United States.


National Aquarium

The National Aquarium is located in Baltimore Harbor. During a visit to the National Aquarium, expect to see more than 20,000 specimens representing 600 different species of wildlife. Explore dozens of unique aquatic habitats from northern Australian river gorge to Indo-Pacific reef to the tropical rainforest.


Ripley’s Aquarium

Located in the Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Ripley’s Aquarium is home to 10,000 sea creatures representing more than 350 individual species. Explore the shark tanks, stingray exhibits and more. Guests can enjoy unique experiences like sleeping with sharks or taking a glass-bottom boat adventure over the Shark Lagoon.


Oregon Coast Aquarium

Ranked one of the top 10 aquariums in the United States, Oregon Coast Aquarium is located in New Port, Oregon. Explore the many exhibits on your own or partake in an Animal Encounter & Tour. Book a behind-the-scenes tour and learn the day-to-day operations with the sea life, encounter an octopus and get a slimy handshake, or swim through the water with different animals.


Monterey Bay Aquarium

This aquarium is located in Monterey, California, and offers plenty of exhibits for people to explore while visiting. Hang out with octopi, sharks, penguins and more. One of the best exhibits is the Life on the Bay, which provides an ocean view, making it easy to spot sea otters and humpback whales.


The Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay is home to more than 20,000 aquatic animals and plants from around the world. While visiting make sure to take advantage of the Shark Swim Program. This snorkel-like adventure allows you to swim alongside more than 1,000 fish, including stingrays, sand tiger sharks, barracudas, sea turtles and more.


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