North Carolina is a state with a diverse array of natural beauty, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Outer Banks. The place is home to many beautiful national parks, such as the Great Smoky Mountains and the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and some spectacular aquariums with awestricken marine life experience. The state offers an abundance of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
In this blog, we are going to focus on the aquariums in North Carolina that offer a unique and captivating glimpse into the underwater world. Are you feeling excited already? Let’s dive into the details.
10 Aquariums in North Carolina that will make you go WOW!
North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke IslandView Website Get Directions
This aquarium on Roanoke Island opened in 1976 and is renowned as one of the best places in North Carolina to witness marine life. It is filled with fascinating underwater artifacts that both young and old pirates will enjoy exploring.
You can find the world’s most fascinating underwater inhabitants on Roanoke Island. There are impressive freshwater alligators, cuddly river otters, and a number of expansive saltwater exhibits. The marine life at this aquarium will surely leave you awestruck.
The Roanoke Island sea turtle rehabilitation facility is perhaps the most inspirational of all. At this spot, you may observe how the center’s team of conservationists treats and make injured turtles ready for release. This is a wonderful method to get kids interested in the environment from an early age.
In the aquarium’s mind-blowing “Graveyard of the Atlantic” display, which plunges back into the water, visitors come face to face with more sharks than they can count. Additionally, if you’re an open-water diver with certification and are feeling extra bold, you can even jump in with them! Not interested in these marine adventures? We have got something different for you. Check out 10 Thrilling Things To Do In Buckhead.
North Carolina Aquarium at Fort FisherView Website Get Directions
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a popular tourist destination located in Kure Beach, North Carolina. The aquarium features a variety of exhibits showcasing the diverse marine life of the state’s coast, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, and many species of fish. The facility also has a touch tank where visitors can interact with animals such as starfish and sea urchins.
One of the most popular exhibits at the aquarium is the 285,000-gallon Cape Fear Shoals exhibit, which features a variety of fish and animals found in the nearby Cape Fear River. The aquarium also has a variety of interactive exhibits, such as the Bogue Sound Discovery Center, which allows visitors to learn about the plants and animals that live in the sound’s estuaries.
In addition to the exhibits, the aquarium offers a variety of educational programs, such as behind-the-scenes tours and animal encounters. The aquarium also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs, and a café that serves food and drinks.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is open year-round and is a great destination for families, nature lovers, and anyone interested in learning about the state’s marine life. However, if you are a beach lover, we will recommend you to read about the 7 Best Beaches in Destin Florida. You will surely love it.
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll ShoresView Website Get Directions
The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is a popular tourist destination located in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina. This Aquarium features a variety of exhibits showcasing the diverse marine life of the state’s coast, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, and many species of fish. The facility also has a touch tank where visitors can interact with animals such as starfish and sea urchins.
One of the most popular exhibits is the 280,000-gallon Living Shipwreck exhibit, which features a replica of a shipwreck and a variety of fish and animals that you would find in such an environment. The aquarium also has a variety of interactive exhibits, such as the Bogue Sound Discovery Center, which allows visitors to learn about the plants and animals that live in the sound’s estuaries.
If endangered animals are your thing, this place also houses a rare white sea turtle that swims just beneath the surface. Although the North Carolina Coast has seen its fair share of sightings, the odds for these uncommon white reptiles are significantly higher. So, be sure to take a peek before you go! Only 1 in 1000 sea turtles reach full maturity.
Furthermore, Pine Knoll offers a family-friendly play area for the youngsters to enjoy before settling down for refreshments at the on-site snack and gift store, assuming you can drag yourself away from the living shipwreck.
EMA Touch Tank AquariumView Website Get Directions
An EMA touch tank aquarium is a unique and interactive exhibit that allows tourists to experience and learn about marine animals in a hands-on way. These exhibits are typically found in aquariums and marine education centers and can include a variety of species such as starfish, sea urchins, and small sharks or rays. The purpose of these touch tanks is to educate visitors about the animals and their habitats and to promote conservation efforts.
People can touch and interact with the animals in the touch tank, which can be a fun and educational experience for both adults and children. They can learn about the characteristics, behaviors, and habitats of the animals, as well as the importance of the conservation and preservation of marine ecosystems. The touch tank can also be a great opportunity for visitors to connect with nature and understand their impact on the environment.
These aquariums are typically designed to mimic the natural habitat of the animals, and are carefully maintained to ensure the health and well-being of the animals on display. The animals are often fed and cared for by trained professionals, and any visitors who touch the animals are typically asked to follow guidelines to minimize stress on the animals and prevent damage to their habitats.
We can say that EMA touch tank aquariums are a great way for tourists to learn about marine animals and their habitats in an interactive and engaging way. They offer a unique and memorable experience that can help promote conservation efforts and inspire visitors to learn more about the natural world around them.
Sea Life Charlotte-ConcordView Website Get Directions
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord is another popular aquarium located in Concord, North Carolina. The aquarium offers visitors the opportunity to explore the underwater world and learn about the diverse array of sea creatures that call it home.
The aquarium features a wide variety of exhibits, including the Shark Discovery exhibit, where visitors can see different species of sharks up close and learn about their unique characteristics. Another popular exhibit is the Jellyfish Discovery exhibit, which is home to a variety of different jellyfish species and offers visitors a chance to learn about these fascinating creatures.
The aquarium also features a touch pool, where visitors can gently touch and interact with some of the sea creatures, such as starfish, rays, and sea urchins. You will also find a Gift Shop at this place, where tourists can purchase souvenirs, gifts, and educational materials. A café is also available to munch on food after the visit.
Sea Life Charlotte-Concord also has a variety of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages, including school field trips, summer camps, and family-friendly activities. Overall, it is a great destination for family and friends to explore marine life and learn more about sea creatures. So, plan your trips with families and teach your children to take care of marine life.
Appalachian Rivers AquariumView Website Get Directions
The Appalachian Rivers Aquarium is a must-see destination for visitors to the region. Located in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, this state-of-the-art facility offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
The aquarium features a wide variety of aquatic life from the rivers and streams of the Appalachian region, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. One of the highlights of the aquarium is the “Appalachian Rivers” exhibit, which showcases the diversity of species that can be found in the region’s waterways. If you are a nature lover, you will surely love to read about these Mesmerising Waterfalls in Minnesota as well.
Coming back to the Appalachian, tourists can see fish such as brook trout, smallmouth bass, and muskellunge, as well as other aquatic animals like the hellbender salamander and the mudpuppy. This exhibit also features interactive displays that teach visitors about the importance of preserving the waterways and the species that call them home.
The aquarium also features a “Rivers of the World” exhibit, which allows visitors to see and learn about aquatic life from other parts of the globe, such as African lungfish, electric eels, and piranhas. Additionally, the aquarium offers a number of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, hands-on activities, and behind-the-scenes looks at the aquarium’s operations.
Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCOView Website Get Directions
Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO should be a top priority for tourists visiting North Carolina. This state-of-the-art facility offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. The aquarium features a wide variety of aquatic life from around the world, including fish, sharks, rays, and other marine animals.
One of the highlights of the aquarium is the “Shark Lab” exhibit, which showcases a wide variety of shark species from around the world. tourists can see species such as sand tiger sharks, bull sharks, and nurse sharks, as well as other marine animals like rays and sea turtles. This exhibit also features interactive displays that teach visitors about the importance of preserving shark populations and their role in the ocean ecosystem.
The aquarium also features an “Ocean’s Edge” exhibit, which allows visitors to see and learn about aquatic life from the different ocean habitats such as coral reefs, kelp forests, and the open ocean.
During regular reptile feeding and contact sessions, both children and adults can test their animal magnetism, or they can watch the aquarium’s resident sharks and stingrays go on a feeding frenzy. This place can provide an engaging, educational, and motivational day trip for everyone. So, mark your calendars and plan your vacations to the Aquarium & Shark Lab.
North Carolina EstuariumView Website Get Directions
The North Carolina Estuarium is located in the coastal city of Washington. It is always on the list of people visiting NC. This place is a unique and educational facility that offers a glimpse into the diverse aquatic life of North Carolina’s estuaries and coastal waters.
The Estuarium features a wide variety of exhibits showcasing the plants and animals that call the estuaries home, including fish, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals. One of the highlights of the Estuarium is the “Coastal Habitat” exhibit, which offers visitors the chance to see and learn about the diverse species that can be found in North Carolina’s estuaries and coastal waters.
Tourists can see species such as red drum, speckled trout, and blue crab, as well as other aquatic animals like diamondback terrapins and the American oyster. This place also features a “Touch Tank” exhibit where visitors can get a hands-on experience by handling and learning about the animals that live in the estuary.
Additionally, the Estuarium offers a number of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, hands-on activities, and behind-the-scenes looks at the estuary’s operations. So, pack your bags and plan your marine adventure today. In case you are looking for a beach trip, check out 7 Heart Capturing Beaches In New Hampshire.
The Wiseman Aquarium at the Greensboro Science CenterView Website Get Directions
The Wiseman Aquarium at the Greensboro Science Center is no less than a heaven for marine life lovers. The aquarium features a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and many different types of fish. Tourists can experience the thrill of walking through the shark tunnel, which allows them to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures.
The aquarium also features a touch tank, where visitors can interact with sea stars, sea urchins, and other sea life. Additionally, the Wiseman Aquarium has an impressive collection of reptiles, including snakes, lizards, and even crocodiles.
The Wiseman Aquarium is also home to a wide variety of marine life from North Carolina’s own coastal waters. This includes species like the American eel and the Atlantic horseshoe crab, which are both native to the area.
The Greensboro Science Center also features an interactive exhibit called the “Sea to You” exhibit, which allows visitors to explore the ocean’s depths and learn about the marine life that lives there. The exhibit includes hands-on activities, interactive displays, and live animals, making it a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.
North Carolina Museum of Natural SciencesView Website Get Directions
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a top destination for tourists visiting the state of North Carolina. The museum is located in downtown Raleigh and is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast.
One of the museum’s main attractions is the “Nature Exploration Center” which features live animals, interactive displays, and hands-on activities that allow visitors to explore the natural world. The center includes a variety of exhibits that highlight the diverse ecosystems of North Carolina, including the mountains, coast, and wetlands. Tourists can also learn about the state’s unique plant and animal life, including species such as the Venus flytrap and the American alligator.
Another popular exhibit at the museum is the “Fossil Lab” which features a wide variety of fossils from North Carolina’s past. Tourists can see fossils of ancient creatures such as the giant ground sloth and the megalodon shark, as well as fossils of plants and insects that lived millions of years ago.
The museum also has a “Living Conservatory” which is home to a wide variety of live plants and animals. Tourists can explore the different habitats, including a tropical rainforest, a desert, and a wetlands area, and learn about the plants and animals that live there.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences also offers a variety of educational programs, such as guided tours and workshops, which are perfect for families and groups of all ages. So, when are you taking your family over there? Hopdes can assure you the place is worth visiting.
Things to Consider Before Going To Aquariums
North Carolina is a place to be, there is no doubt in the fact. But wait! You must prepare yourself for the place you are heading. Be it for days or weeks, below are the things you must consider before traveling.
- Weather — North Carolina has a humid subtropical climate, so visitors should be prepared for hot and humid summers, as well as mild winters. If you are not good with hot and sweaty weather, it is highly recommended to visit in winter only.
- Outdoor activities — North Carolina offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and water sports. The Great Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Outer Banks are some popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. So, make up your mind and brace yourself for the adventures. Else, you will miss out on a lot.
- Transportation — North Carolina has a well-developed transportation network, including airports, trains, and buses, making it easy to get around the state. Thus, transportation is not going to be a problem. But being new in the state, it is highly recommended to reach out to locals for guidance.
- Accommodation — North Carolina offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, resorts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds. From budget-friendly to luxury, from urban to rural, from hotels to vacation rentals, and campgrounds. tourists can choose the one that best suits their needs and preferences.
- History and culture — North Carolina have a rich history and culture, with many sites and museums dedicated to the state’s role in American history, such as the Wright Brothers National Memorial and the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. If you missed them, then why did you go there? It’s the most important thing to consider.
- Natural Disasters — North Carolina is located in a region that is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes. It’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions if visiting during hurricane season.
- Mosquitoes and other insects — During summer, mosquitoes and other insects can be a problem in some areas of North Carolina, particularly in the swampy and wooded regions, so it’s important for visitors to take necessary precautions such as using insect repellent.
- Crowds — Some popular tourist destinations in North Carolina, such as the Outer Banks, can become crowded during peak seasons, making it difficult to enjoy the area’s natural beauty and amenities.
How Do We Pick Our Recommendations
Hopdes is all about traveling, adventures, and tourism. We love making and telling stories. It’s always great to share our experiences with readers. The team of Hopdes has been to places and with these blogs, we share our experiences and recommendations with readers. We want you to have the best traveling experience and avoid challenges. Therefore, we recommend what is best and enlighten tourists all around the globe.
Aquariums in North Carolina - FAQs
ROANOKE ISLAND, PINE KNOLL SHORES, and FORT FISHER are the three popular aquariums in North Carolina.
North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is the biggest NC Aquarium.
There are three public North Carolina Aquariums.
People spend around two hours at the NC Aquarium.