National Aquarium

National Aquarium © AndrewHorne
National Aquarium © AndrewHorne

The National Aquarium is Maryland's leading tourist attraction and one of the best aquariums in the world. Recently voted as one of the top ten family destinations in the USA, visitors can tour the tidewaters of Maryland, the Pacific coastland, or a tropical rainforest without leaving Baltimore.

The aquarium offers more than just marine life. There are several special exhibits like the Amazon Rainforest display with poison dart frogs, dwarf caiman, anacondas, sloths, colourful birds, and conehead lizards, as well as plants and fish.

A sea cliffs habitat features puffins and other sea birds, while the Coral Reefs and Open Ocean tanks are walkthrough displays bringing visitors face to face with sharks and exotic fish. Permanent residents include seahorses, turtles, stingrays, and octopuses.

In addition to the permanent exhibits, dolphins jump, wave, and flip in regularly scheduled shows at the Marine Mammal Pavilion. People can catch an underwater view from an atrium below the pool or watch the tricks from the stands.

The aquarium also offers 4D films to immerse viewers in fascinating marine worlds. These shows have additional in-theatre sensory effects, such as smell, water spray, and moving seats. Films shown range from popular cartoons to documentaries, usually lasting for 15 minutes.

Address: Pier 3, Inner Harbor, 501 East Pratt Street

Website: www.aqua.org

Telephone: (410) 576 8745

Opening times: Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm, Friday 9am-8pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm. Hours vary according to season, check the website for specific dates.

Admission: $39.95 adults, $24.95 children 3-11. Concessions available. Certain shows cost extra.