Traveling the country allows you to marvel at some of the beautiful landscapes across the U.S. From the tropical paradise of Hawaii to the Rocky Mountains, to the deserts of the West, the changing landscape is something to behold. While most of us will never to explore under the water, besides feeding or caring for a goldfish, we can appreciate some of the things the submerged culture has to offer through the best aquariums in the U.S.

Best Aquariums in the U.S.

Throughout the U.S. there are large aquariums built to hold thousands of gallons of water, providing a safe and functional habitat for sea life, including plants and creatures we may otherwise have never gotten to appreciate. Here is a list of some of the best Aquariums in the U.S. that you need to visit if you like coral and fish.

Baltimore National Aquarium

Maryland offers the fabulous Baltimore National Aquarium for your consideration. Not only does it have water displays filled with life, but it also has a rainforest exhibits with monkeys, frogs, and other creatures. The Blacktip Reef exhibit is award-winning and is home to Blacktip Sharks, among a variety of fish and turtles. Dolphin Discovery is the largest and most popular exhibit, as it is home to the eight Bottlenose dolphins. You can watch these dolphins as they react and play with each other through the underwater viewing area. Baltimore National also helps fund conservation efforts, and if you buy a membership, those funds will contribute to that as well. If you are in the area, the Baltimore National and its award-winning displays and exhibits are well worth your time.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Located in New Orleans, the Audubon Aquarium offers some fantastic exhibits. One of the favorites is the penguin exhibit, where you can see the penguins swim underwater. Feeding times are the most exciting times to see the penguins, so check the online times to see when to catch it. The Maya Reef is another popular draw for visitors, allowing you to walk through a 30-foot tunnel, surrounded by water, plants, lobsters, and fish.

For a fee you can even scuba dive in the Maya Reef, seeing the creatures up close and personal. Check out the aquarium’s largest exhibit called the Gulf of Mexico. This presentation contains 400,000 gallons of water and some impressive sharks that call it home. You may see some sea turtles, fish, and stingrays swimming in this exhibit as well. What’s nice about the Audubon is that there are a zoo and a butterfly garden and Insectarium to explore as well.

Texas State Aquarium

You will find the Texas State Aquarium in Corus Christs, Texas. This one also had water and non-water exhibits such as Eagle Pass. See a rehabilitated Eagle and other raptors in its bird of prey show. Not only is this an exhibit, but functions as a rehabilitation center for these birds. Texas Aquarium also has a massive exhibition for its two Bottlenose dolphins, complete with a viewing room so you can see the two male dolphins swim under the water. Another delightful exhibit is the Otter Creek exhibit. See two North American River Otters as the scamper and play with each other. Trainers are allowed limited contact, and you can see how intelligent they are. You will find plenty to do and see at the Texas State, and it will fill your day!

Oregon Coast Aquarium

The Oregon Coast Aquarium comes as one of the best Aquariums in the U.S. Located in Newport, Oregon, come and see the great seals and sea lions exhibit. As one of the aquarium’s largest exhibits experience the seals and sea lions as they swim in their habitat. Viewing is available and is encouraged during feeding time to see active and hungry seals eat. Check out the Giant Pacific Octopus in the Octopus exhibit. They like to hide, so look carefully among the rocks, and you may see one looking at you. The Coastal Waters exhibit is a visitor favorite and houses the jellyfish. Watch these delicate creatures as they explore their peaceful habitat, offering an up-close look at a creature many of us will never see.

Aquarium of the Pacific

Long Beach, California, is the home to the Aquarium of the Pacific, home to some of the most amazing exhibits. The Southern California/Baja exhibit is made up of eighteen shows. Check out the 3-story large exhibit featuring a plethora of sea life in the Southern California/Baja area, as well as the 211,000-gallon sea lion exhibit. Touch a stingray in the shallow Ray Touch Pool too! The Aquarium of the Pacific is vast and extensive; you can spend at least a day here. See otters, sharks, penguins, jellyfish, and a variety of beautiful fish. They have a 3D experience, many interactive displays, galleries and events for the visitor to enjoy.

Shedd Aquarium

A massive indoor public aquarium awaits guests in Chicago, Illinois.  It opened in 1930 and now has over 30,000 animals and some 5 million gallons of water indoors.  Several experiences and exhibits are available including the famous “Abbott Oceanarium” exhibit that contains beluga whales, dolphins, sea lions and sea otters.   Touch a slippery stingray and see shows that range from penguins to wild reefs with sharks, to a unique amphibian exhibit.  See the old and massive indoor aquarium and its thousands of creatures that call it home.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Located in Monterey, California, is the famous aquarium settled in just along the coastline.  About 2 million people visit every year, making it a popular attraction in the area.  The facility pumps fresh ocean water through pipes to its habitats in the aquarium from the nearby Monterey Bay.  This Aquarium is ranked as one of the best aquariums in the U.S., and the exhibits display creatures of the sea with tentacles, sea otters, sharks, penguins, jellyfish and many others.  Daily shows and feedings take place where guests can watch sea otters being fed as well as the cute penguins and some open feeding in a massive exhibit that is sure to “wow” you.  Don’t’ miss this top-ranked Aquarium in California.

Aquariums to Sea

These are some of the best Aquariums in the U.S., strewn across the U.S. for you to enjoy. The exhibits listed are only a few that each of these attractions offers. Most have interactive displays and touch pools for you to experience the feel of a stingray or another type of sea creature. Sea life displays are only some of the exhibits, as most have other mammals such as otters, penguins, birds, seals, sea lions, and more. Educational talks are held, where visitors can ask questions, particularly in the animal feeding times. Some hold events such as birthday parties, which would make a great venue for your friend or family member. Many of these also participate in conservation efforts, proving good and beautiful exhibits as well as trying to preserve sea life outside of the aquarium.


  1. I’m still not sure how I feel about aquariums. Some aquariums parade their animals around like it’s a circus show and the conditions can be terrible, also some aquariums still capture wild mammals from the ocean, which looks heartbreaking – this means I usually do a fair bit of research about an aquarium before I visit and spend money at it (I don’t want my money supporting something that I don’t think is right). I’m definitely interested to find out a bit more about the Baltimore National aquarium as it sounds like they are doing good work and the money is going towards positive work such as conservation.


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