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vlangel

What are your favorite big public aquariums?

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vlangel

My hubby and I just got back from a trip from Atlanta to visit the Georgia Aquarium.  It was a great trip and we enjoyed the aquarium immensely.  They have a beautiful tropical marine tank with very nice coral and a large array of colorful fish.  We have also been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium which is my personal favorite.  I love the kelp garden tank there.  We also saw a tentacle exhibit which was really cool.  A few years ago we went to the National Aquarium and of course I have been to the Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo as we live north of Pgh.

 

I am wondering what other public Aquariums you all have visited?  Feel free to share.

 

 

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RIP Sebastian

The Colombus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium is phenomenal. The zoo itself easily takes three days to get through, but the aquarium is great, too. They actually have a few manatees! It's only about three hours from Pittsburgh, too.

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ninjamyst

I love the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  If you are in SF, check out the California Science Academy.  Not huge, but they have some nice exhibits of coastal sealife.  The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is kind of small and more focused on freshwater / lakes.  

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xiaoxiy

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquariums in Omaha Nebraska is amazing! Here are some images and vids I took on my visit last year!

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vlangel
1 hour ago, RIP Sebastian said:

The Colombus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium is phenomenal. The zoo itself easily takes three days to get through, but the aquarium is great, too. They actually have a few manatees! It's only about three hours from Pittsburgh, too.

It sounds like I definitely need to see that one.  Maybe Dave and I can do a weekend motorcycle roadtrip there!

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slowngreen

I've unfortunately never been to one. I know there is a Boise Aquarium, I need to just go and check it out already. I know the previous owner was sent to prison for something to do with getting lemon sharks and spotted rays to Idaho. Not sure of the full story though.

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vlangel
55 minutes ago, ninjamyst said:

I love the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  If you are in SF, check out the California Science Academy.  Not huge, but they have some nice exhibits of coastal sealife.  The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is kind of small and more focused on freshwater / lakes.  

Our son used to live in CA near SF but they have moved back to the Pittsburgh area.  We went to the Monterey Bay aquarium all together when he and his family lived out there.  It might be quite some time before we get back there now.

 

Chicago is more likely.  I like freshwater too and had FW aquariums before I moved into marine life.

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vlangel
9 minutes ago, xiaoxiy said:

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquariums in Omaha Nebraska is amazing! Here are some images and vids I took on my visit last year!

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This looks awesome.  It will definitely be on my wish list!

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pgrVII

National Aquarium Baltimore ?

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squamptonbc

I've only been to 3.

 

Birch Aquarium in San Diego.

 

The aquarium in Long Beach

 

Vancouver, Canada Aquarium.

 

Of the 3, I like the one in San Diego best. Vancouver is old and outdated for the most part and expensive for what it is.

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TheBig053

I've been to three also. Ranked in this order for overall variety of exhibits:

 

1. GA Aquarium

2. National Aquarium Baltimore

3. Waikiki Aquarium

 

I've also been to an aquarium in Norwalk, CT many years ago. I was too young to remember much of what they had so I will leave them unranked.

 

From a purely reef exhibit perspective, the Waikiki Aquarium is no. 1. So many different reef tanks. The outdoor clam and coral propagation tanks are pretty cool also. Here is a pic from their giant reef tank. Note the toddler in the foreground for some size perspective of the clam, hah.

 

DChEHhM.jpg

 

Some of the Cap and Acro colonies in here were 2-3 feet across/diameter.

 

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JBolt

Birch in San Diego, it doubles as a research center.

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Clown79

I've been to 2 outside of Marineland.

 

Marineland was as a child and I won't return now.

 

I went to a small one in NY. It was a fun day.

 

Ripleys Aquarium in Toronto is great.

 

 

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OPtasia

I proposed to my Wife in the whale shark exhibit at the Georgia (Atlanta) Aquarium. 

 

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institute in San Diego is nice. 

The Chattanooga aquarium is impressive and housed in two massive buildings. Very interactive and fun for kids.

The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is pretty awesome but it's been years since i've been to it.

The London Aquarium and Aquarium Artis in Amsterdam are also pretty cool. Seeing all of the aqua life from the Amsterdam canals was cool.

 

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sprite

I've been to

 

Okinawa churaumi aquarium twice

Ripley's in Gatlinburg TN twice

Atlanta's

Newport aquarium in Newport KY

 

My favorite was probably the Newport aquarium. The behind the scenes tour or amazing.

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MrsK

I've been to the Birch aquarium at Scripps in San Diego, The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, World Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium in my home state Az, the Aquarium in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and my favorite aquarium ever The Monterey Bay Aquarium ❤

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squamptonbc
1 hour ago, MrsK said:

I've been to the Birch aquarium at Scripps in San Diego, The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, World Wildlife Zoo and Aquarium in my home state Az, the Aquarium in the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and my favorite aquarium ever The Monterey Bay Aquarium ❤

My wife will not let me hear the end of it if she finds out I totally left out the Mandalay Bay...lol...It's where we got married. oop's. I was sick with a fever when I posted so that's my excuse...ha ha

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Nola Bear

Love ATL aquarium

Tge Florida Aquarium in Tampa is pretty nice, I guess, but I think many would expect more. 

The aquarium at Atlantis are pretty nice too. 

 

Ive heard about the Chattanooga one, sounds awesome. 

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yoshii

I've only visited a few in California - Steinhart Aquarium (part of California Academy of Sciences), Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Steinhart is my favorite, their huge coral reef tank is always stunning. Monterey has a similar centerpiece tank with their kelp forest, and their million gallon open ocean tank.
Birch is small, but I still think their pair of Falcifer Butterflies are my favorite. It's crazy to think of the history of those fish.

Oh, I've also visited the Aquarium of the Bay (on Pier 39 in SF), and my prom was there lol. They have a neat "tunnel tank" where you walk under the sharks.

 

I've walked by the Waikiki Aquarium, but didn't get to go inside.

 

I'd like to visit Shedd and the Georgia Aquarium some day

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OPtasia

Hawaii is an aquarium unto itself. Diving off of Chinaman's hat and feeding frozen peas to the fish was a real treat when I was a kid.

 

Average aquariums i've also visited:

 

Charleston, SC

Ripley's Myrtle Beach, SC

Fort Fischer, NC

Roanoke, NC

Tampa Bay, FL (cool water park for kids included in the price, bring their bathing suits)

Atlantis Aquarium, Paradaise Island, Bahamas

Sparklett's Aquarium Sea World, San Diego & Orlando

Marineland Aquarium, Palm Coast, FL

 

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OldManSea

I have been to many and most are well worth visiting.  The ones that really stand out for me are the

 

Steinhart

Monterey Bay

Birch - smaller but exquisite; glad to see so many others like it

Point Defiance in Tacoma WA - my all time favorite. It is perhaps slightly larger than the Birch but is getting bigger.  I visit 3 or 4 times each year. Supported by city of Tacoma but is a real jewel with their many temperate displays, and it is currently being added to with a very large addition - Tacoma has much more enthusiastic supporters than Seattle which is thousands of times wealthier but has only a very basic aquarium with lots of dead space.  Still, like the others, Seattle’s is worth seeing.  It’s just that as the largest city on the Puget Sound and as wealthy as the city is, the aquarium does the Sound little justice.  Point Defiance highlights the Sound much better and has a number of displays that recreate specific places along the Sound.  Their Sea Pen display is killer - looks like it was scooped up from the Sound intact. Point Defiance also has tropical ocean displays.

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RollaJase

I've visited a few over the years in Australia, America and internationally. The one that stood out most to me though was the S.E.A Aquarium on Sentosa Island in Singapore. There is a link in my sig to a gallery with photos from my trip there for those interested.

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Xanthine

I love going to Newport KY and Georgia Aquarium - I try to visit them whenever I'm traveling through those areas.

 

I once went to Newport on Halloween and had the place almost completely to myself. Spent hours talking to the staff - it was an amazing experience.

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FLARGUE

If your travels ever bring you to Lisbon, Portugal, check out that aquarium! It's beautifully laid out and a real pleasure. They do an awesome job creating an illusion of depth with a big central tank and multiple smaller tanks.

Japan is very passionate about their aquariums, and the aquariums in Okinawa and Osaka are both wonderful.

Baltimore MD also has a very lovely aquarium. Definitely worth the trip.

 

I recently visited the GA Aquarium and felt a bit let down. It may have been due to unreal expectations, but it didn't feel very intimate, and had a strong theme park vibe. The aquarium layout begins with a central hub, with five or six themed corridors looping back to the center. They had some nice displays, and some very grandiose ones as well with the beluga whales and whale shark exhibits. The tropical reef display was fun. There's also a very nice freshwater section. It was a pretty good experience, just not my favorite, and definitely not head and shoulders above any other aquariums i've visited.

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MedievalITGuy

I really enjoy going to the Manta aquarium in Seaworld Orlando. They'e got a very impressive mixed reef right at the front of it.

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