Ever since the movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” tourists have been fascinated with the view underwater. Aquariums have been a popular attraction across the country, with large attendance numbers at the nation’s preeminent aquariums. Aquariums are perfect for visiting on family trips because they’re usually fairly relaxed and stress free. Children love to have the experience of feeling like they’re underwater. Also many children love animals and seeing them in this environment can change their lives. They also present a wonderful opportunity to de-stress while looking at the wonders of our world. Below are some of the top aquariums in the country to visit.
Located in Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium is one of the nation’s oldest aquariums. Opened in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium is the most-visited attraction in Chicago. The aquarium contains approximately 32,000 animals and receives over two million visitors annually. The aquarium is built to have a lower level below street level that allows for underwater viewing. The Shedd Aquarium recently opened a special exhibit called “Underwater Beauty.”
Source: Choose Chicago
This is the largest aquarium in the country. Prior to 2012, it was the largest aquarium in the world, containing close to 100,000 aquatic animals. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the few aquariums that have whale sharks. The Georgia Aquarium was opened in 2005, and its prime location in Downtown Atlanta makes it a popular site for tourists to visit. Although tickets are on the more expensive side, there are many discounts available. One can purchase a combination pass that includes other city attractions to save money.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore
Opened in 1981, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has long been regarded as one of the nation’s best aquariums. This aquarium features in excess of 20,000 aquatic animals, including alligators, turtles, and sharks. Blacktip Reef is a popular new attraction at the aquarium that is meant to reproduce an Indo-Pacific reef. The exhibit has large turtles, stingrays, and sharks among its many animals. One of the most popular features of the aquarium is the half-price discount on Friday evenings, as well as certain days each year when guests can pay what they want for admission to the aquarium.
The Seattle Aquarium is known for its outreach to the community. This aquarium focuses extensively on Washington and Puget Sound aquatics. The Seattle Aquarium recently opened an expansion in 2013, adding 18,000 square feet of space. Tickets for this aquarium are reasonably priced, and affordable.
Source: Adventure Student Travel
Monterey Bay Aquarium
This is an extraordinarily popular aquarium, receiving roughly two million visitors each year. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has roughly 35,000 animals and a total volume in its tanks of 2.3 million gallons. The aquarium is best known for its kelp forest exhibit, which was the first of its kind in the country.
Source: San Francisco Travel
Taking children out for new activities is a great way to get them engaged in things other than their screens! It’s also a great opportunity to see what they are interested in. If you’re looking for other great trip ideas, then you should also read our article talking about wonderful outdoor destinations for family vacations!