A parent and their child looking at sharks in an aquarium.

Top 5 Aquariums in the U.S.

Aquariums in the U.S.

Whether you are in New York or New Mexico, the U.S. is home to some of the best and most comprehensive aquariums in the world, showcasing the marvels of the marine world.

For those school trips, rainy day adventures, or whether you are an ocean enthusiast, each of these aquariums provides an enlightening taste of what goes on under the sea.

In this article, we have put together a bucket list of the top five most popular and best aquariums in the U.S.

We’ll also be providing you with a rundown of the main attractions at each aquarium, how much entry costs and where you can buy your aquarium tickets.

1. New England Aquarium (Massachusetts)

Featuring approximately 20,000 unique species of marine animals, the New England Aquarium boasts one of the broadest and best collections of marine life in the country.

The aquarium’s popularity speaks for itself, welcoming over one million visitors per year, who come to visit one of the many new exhibits the marine museum has on offer. One of those is the recently opened Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Exhibition, expressing some of the most vibrant colors the ocean floor has on offer.

The aquarium also boasts one of the largest giant ocean tanks in the world that is home to a variety of sharks, turtles and rays and holds 200,000 gallons of saltwater. It also is home to Myrtle, the giant sea turtle who has been a resident at the aquarium since 1970.

From eels to barracudas, penguins to anacondas, this U.S. aquarium has one of the most comprehensive lists of animals in its tanks and for that reason is a must-visit if you are a budding marine biologist.

Open seven days per week, adults can expect to pay around $30 for a standard ticket to the New England Aquarium, with children and seniors costing $23 and $30. Children under the age of three and members are allowed free access to the aquarium, while specific exhibitions may cost extra.

To pick up your aquarium tickets, visit the New England Aquarium ticketing portal.

2. Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta)

The Georgia Aquarium located in downtown Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the country. The aquarium itself houses 10 million gallons of water and holds more aquatic life than any other aquarium in the world, making it the largest aquarium in the U.S.

This is the only aquarium in North America that is home to manta rays and whale sharks in its 84,000-square foot AT&T Dolphin Tales tank. This is also one of the biggest tanks in the world, which can fit one and a half White Houses into its 1.8-million gallon hold.

Lucky visitors will also see dolphins, beluga whales, sea otters and thousands of exotic fish. We highly recommend you attend the aquarium’s simply superb Dolphin Tales show, which focuses on better understanding the connection dolphins have with humans.

The aquarium’s cafe is also not to be missed either, offering delicious sandwiches, pizzas and pasta to quench your hunger after a long day visiting the exhibitions on show.

General admission adult tickets are on sale at approximately $36, while children under 2 years old can go for free.

3. The Tennessee Aquarium (Chattanooga)

Located on the banks of the Tennessee river, the Tennessee Aquarium dedicates itself to the preservation of freshwater animals and boasts a series of diverse exhibits that all have a big emphasis on conserving the water, animals and plant life in the ocean.

The aquarium is also home to the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, which conducts research on the impact humans have on marine wildlife.

But this U.S. aquarium is best known for its 3D IMAX shows which have recently been showing an eye-opening Antarctica documentary that highlights the extremities of life under the icy continent.

Tickets can be purchased through the aquarium’s website, with visitors requiring a separate ticket to visit one of the aquarium’s IMAX exhibitions.

Adults can expect to pay $34 to visit the aquarium, while children from the ages of 3 to 12 will pay $21. General admission IMAX tickets cost $8.

4. Maui Ocean Center (Hawaii)

On holiday in Hawaii and want to see more of the wonders of the Pacific Ocean native to the island? Head over to the Maui Ocean Center situated on the south coast of Maui and take a closer look at the diverse fish and aquamarine species that live around the tropical island.

This is one of the best aquariums in the country for children’s exhibitions and includes a special humpback whale experience that helps visitors better understand more about the ocean’s gentle giants and where they live.

General admission for adults cost $38, $35 for seniors and $27 for children under the age of 4.

The aquarium can get busy, so plan ahead and secure your tickets online today!

5. Shedd Aquarium (Illinois)

One of the most famous aquariums in the world, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is renowned for its population of white-sided dolphins, one of the rarest mammals in the world. It is estimated that there are only 20 in America’s aquariums, with Shedd housing five of those dolphins in their Abbot oceanarium tank, which is a must-see for any dolphin enthusiast!

At the Shedd Aquarium, you will also find over 32,000 different animals from 1,500 different species, ranging from beluga whales to sea lions.

The Shedd Aquarium is located on South Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and was the first aquarium to host a permanent saltwater fish collection.

With the aquarium holding over 3 million gallons of water, there is a lot to see at this marine museum, and its popularity is unrivaled.

Hosting between 2 to 3 million visitors each year, it is one of the most acclaimed aquariums in the world, and to avoid disappointment, you will need to book your tickets in advance through the aquarium’s online ticketing platform.

General admission tickets for adult’s costs $39, while a child’s ticket costs $29.

Chicago residents also receive a discount in price, with adult tickets dropping to $19, while members and children under 3 years old gain entry for free.

Don’t miss out! Secure your tickets to one of the five most popular aquariums in the U.S. today, and experience all the amazing sub-aquatic life the Shedd Aquarium showcases.