Unless you’ve invested in snorkeling or deep-sea-diving gear, the closest you’ll get to the surrounding aquatic wonderlands is a visit to an aquarium. Thankfully, the northeastern region of the United States is chock-full of them.
No matter if you live every day like it’s Shark Week or just want to spend a rainy afternoon indoors, each one of the aquariums listed below has something wet, wild, and one-of-a-kind for everyone.
New England Aquarium, Boston, MA
The New England Aquarium wants to put you in touch with the sea, and they can! The four-story Giant Ocean Tank– which plunges 23 feet at its deepest point!–is a Caribbean coral reef. It is home to over 1,000 sea creatures, including famous Myrtle the sea turtle.
They have it all, from a Shark and Ray Touch Tank to a joint whale-watching adventure with Boston Harbor Cruises! Find out firsthand what it’s like to pet smooth-skinned cownose rays and epaulette sharks.
The aquarium also breeds penguins as part of a survival plan. Visitors can see over eighty seabirds comprised of several different species in the Penguin Habitat.
Adventure Aquarium, Camden, NJ
Formerly known as the New Jersey State Aquarium, Adventure Aquarium is centrally located a short distance from both New York City and Philadelphia. It is one of only six facilities in the United States exhibiting Little Blue penguins, the smallest species of the seabird, usually found in Australia. It is also home to the most extensive collection of sharks on the East Coast.
It’s the place to visit for unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else and features one-of-a-kind exhibits. It is the only aquarium in the world where you’ll get to meet the Niles hippos Button and Genny, and the Northeast’s great hammerhead shark.
Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT
If you want to experience endangered sea animals, this aquarium should be at the top of your list. It’s one of three institutions in the country where you’ll get the chance to see Steller sea lions.
Mystic Aquarium is home to a habitat for endangered African penguins, where visitors can choose to participate in a Feeding Encounter. A portion of the admission prices will go toward ensuring their survival.
Other must-see indoor and outdoor exhibits include Jellies and the Arctic Coast. Prepare to be mesmerized by beautiful, translucent journeys and see the best outdoor beluga whale exhibit in the United States.
The New York Aquarium, NY
In Brooklyn, New York, you will discover the oldest continually operating Aquarium in all of the United States. Originally opened up in 1896 at a Manhattan location, The New York Aquarium eventually moved to its current home located on Coney Island in 1957.
Learn all about their impressive conservation efforts dedicated to protecting the marine waters of New York, watch a famous sea lion show and then be mesmerized by moon jellies, octopi and zombie worms and more in their fan-favorited Spineless exhibit.
Have you visited any of the aquariums mentioned? What did you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments.
Originally posted November 17, 2017. Edited August 2, 2021.