|900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449, USA
|9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM
Im glad that North Carolinas citizens have an aquarium, but if youve ever been to Monterey Bay Aquarium, or probably any other aquarium, you will be severely disappointed in this place. Only saw NC plates in the lot, which is a sign that tourists know better than to come. At least its bargain priced. I think $12 for an adult and $3 for the butterfly part. The first part is fresh water exhibits in a hot, domed room like a big patio. Theres not much to see because the tanks have dark water, dirty glass and poor lighting. The albino alligator was cool, but they have a 16 year old staff member answering questions with very little knowledge and a dirty white stuffed toy alligator for the kids to play with and get a nice case of hand, foot and mouth disease. The next part is marine exhibits and it is a lot better compared to the first part, but still its dated and there isnt much to see. They have a touch pool which Im sure the marine animals hate. I wanted to watch their whale video in the auditorium (all seats had hair and crumbs on them) but instead of playing the show every 15 minutes like every other aquarium, they only play it like twice a day, so I missed it. There was never a brochure or pamphlet to inform me of what the place offered. They did have one big tank with a few sharks swimming around, so that was nice. I saw the whole place in about 20-30 minutes and I was reading signs. They do have a nice gift shop. I was looking forward to lunch but the "cafe" is outside on a patio in FULL SUN, which is not pleasant in this part of the country in the summer. Ridiculously hot and humid. The last thing you would want to do is eat a hot meal out there in the sun. The menu was fried foods and candy, so I skipped that and thought maybe the dinosaur walk would be cool. Its not. It features plastic dinos from the 80s that blink and growl. The butterfly exhibit next door was cheap at $3 and it was very cool, but also very very small and I was done in about 2 minutes. Its hot and humid as well, but the insects need that. All in all, I felt like I wasted my money to come here. At least it wasnt busy. I left disappointed.
We really enjoyed our time at the sea park. The outside gardens are a nice getaway from the beach. Shade and native plants litter the boardwalk through the gardens. Look closely through the wilderness to find exotic animals ;) The well designed inside of the aqua house is home to native both fresh water and sea aquatic life. Binoculars and a viewing station make this a bird watchers Paradise! So many different turtle species to mention. Outdoor cafe and gift shop. Friendly staff, wheelchair accessible. The entire property is non smoking, what a let down. I love a good smoke next to the fish tanks! I guess thats why I can dream at night. There are several exibits where flash bulbs on cameras can not be used. Please be mindful and read the signs, these sea creatures are already in captivity. We did spot the eel back in the eel cave, it was awesome. I didnt get an answer to why the sharks in the shoal display didnt eat the other fish, but im sure there is a good reason. Still interested in knowing. The jelly fish tank is a must see. Very well presented, and even a handler on site to allow patrons a hands on expiencence. Plenty of gators including an albino. Humpback whale display very impressive, HUGE fish right next to the interactive dolphin!! There is a greenhouse type enclosure with parrot type birds you can feed and have land on your shoulder, we opted out! Birds can carry diesese!! Pros- Lots to see and do, Informative, Low cost admission, AC! Cons- Non smoking, No swimming with sea life, No Great White Sharks on site (only jaws from a once 10 ft fish). Coin Toss? Do It!!!
The unique feature of this aquarium is its focus on local ( southern North Carolina ) marine life and eco system. Entering, you are familiarized with the reptiles and amphibian inhabitants as well as their environments. Moving to the aquarium you enter a serine aquatic world of sea creatures and exhibits. Hallmarks is the deep tank. A massive underwater reef that stands 2 stories tall and is filled with shark, tarpon, grouper and sea turtle. On schedule, divers enter the tank and interact with the inhabitants. There is a "petting" tank where kids can touch the backs of skates and small rays. The aquarium is immaculate and well staffed. Family pictures are available with a deep tank background. There is a gift shop and a well crafted playground for the kids. This is a great place to visit.
Was ok. Quite small. Even on a non busy day the flow was pretty bad. The opening are not very large. Tons of workers standing around, mostly in the way, with no personality and unfriendly, though a few were very nice and shared good information. I personally recommend Ripleys aquarium in Myrtle for the next closest and much better experience in just about every way. If youve been to the Georgia aquarium then you may not even want to bother because this place is nothing compared to that. If youre in the area and dont want to go to Myrtle (or Atlanta), then its fine. I would make a day of it and hang around fort fisher area. Theres many things to do /see around there nature wise. The ferry is nearby and a neat view of the area.
The North Carolina Aquariums are really great places to visit. Fort Fisher has a new Lorakeet exhibit where the birds are free flying and will land on you to eat nectar out of a cup. The exhibits are well done and the staff is always really pleasant and informative. They have several alligators including Luna the albino alligator, a bald eagle, box turtles, lots of snakes, lobsters, and jellyfish; their large ocean tank has a moral eel, tons of different fish, and a sea turtle. They have a touch tank where you can touch crabs, sea urchins, starfish, rays and small sharks. Well worth the cost and membership pays for itself quickly. Especially since you can use the membership at the NC Zoo also.
Excellent place to visit for kids and adults alike. Theres lots of cool fish, some alligators (including an albino one), a bald eagle, and some very active rays. Staff were friendly and knowledgeable, and there were several places where you could reach in and touch some fish & sharks! Dive show was excellent too, informative in a generalized sense, possibly a bit better for kids. Dont forget to bring cash so you can step inside the hurricane simulator to feel 100mph winds! And then make sure to look at the full sized model of the megalodon jaw (from a fossil found off the NC coast). Theres a few things outside too, including a butterfly house, but I didnt have time to look at any of those.
I just visited the outdoor side exhibit with the Lorakeets (birds) and had a blast interacting with them and feeding them nectar. I have long loved the local aquarium but never visited this kind of exhibit where folks really get to interact with the wildlife like this. I read the signage and handouts and learned a ton about these tropical birds while they played, squaked and walked all over me. These are REALLY curious and funny birds. I had ten birds on me (on my head, arms, shoulders, feet; anywhere they could perch) at one time. When youve got food, theyll be on you like white on rice. If you dont have food (and they arent hungry), theyre fun to watch/observe (prob wont land on you).