Aquariums are the best ways to get up-close and personal with all sorts of marine life, from whales to dolphins to penguins, and everything in between. Here are some of the top aquariums in the U.S.
Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is located on Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California. It first opened on June 20, 1998, and sees 1.6 million visitors each year. The aquarium is home to more than 11,000 animals, featuring more than 500 species. The largest tank at the Aquarium of the Pacific is the Tropical Pacific Gallery, which holds 350,000 gallons of water and is home to giant Pacific octopus, zebra sharks and more.
The Georgia Aquarium is located in Atlanta, Georgia. It first opened its doors on November 23, 2005 and has 2.4 million visitors annually. The aquarium is home to over 100,000 animals, representing 500 species. The Georgia Aquarium features 6 animal exhibits, as well as the AT&T Dolphin Tales Theater, the 4D Funbelievable Theater and the Sun Trust Pier 225. The largest exhibit at the aquarium is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which holds 6.3 million gallons of water and is home to whale sharks, manta rays, a green sea turtle and more.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is in Monterey, California. It opened on October 20, 1984, and sees 2.08 million visitors annually. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is home to 35,000 animals, featuring 623 species. The heart of the aquarium is the Open Sea exhibit, which holds 1,200,000 gallons of water, features a 90-foot viewing window and is home to critters such as bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, jellyfish, sea turtles and more.
The National Aquarium is located in the Inner Harbor section of Baltimore, Maryland. The aquarium opened its doors on August 8, 1981, and features 1.5 million visitors each year. The National Aquarium is home to over 17,000 animals, representing over 750 species. Its most popular exhibit is Australia: Wild Extremes, which features 1,800 animals representing 120 species. It is home to flying foxes, freshwater crocodile, Black-headed pythons, snake-necked turtles and more.
New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is located in Boston, Massachusetts. The New England Aquarium first opened its doors on June 20, 1969, and sees 1.3 million visitors each year. The aquarium is home to 20,000 animals, featuring 600 species. In addition to the aquarium, there is also the Simons IMAX Theater and the New England Aquarium Whale Watch. The heart of the aquarium is the Giant Ocean Tank, which holds 200,000 gallons of water, features 52 viewing windows and is home to bonnethead sharks, barracudas, moray eels, stingrays and more.