Location: Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina
Years Active: 1976 – Active
Located in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina, the North Carolina Aquarium has been a treasured marine haven since its opening on May 28, 1976. Its central mission revolves around educating visitors about the diverse aquatic ecosystems of the Atlantic Ocean. The aquarium boasts captivating exhibits featuring marine life such as sea turtles, seahorses, and sharks, all while offering hands-on experiences through interactive displays and educational programs. Throughout the year, the facility hosts events like the Annual Under the Sea Expo, enriching the visitor experience.
Recent statistics reveal a growing popularity, with over 500,000 annual visitors. The aquarium’s commitment to marine conservation and sustainability is evident in its expansion plans, aimed at enhancing the overall visitor experience and preserving North Carolina’s coastal heritage. With its stunning location, engaging exhibits, and dedication to marine education, the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores remains a beloved institution promoting the protection of our coastal ecosystems.
Largest Aquarium in North Carolina:
The largest aquarium in North Carolina is the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. This impressive facility is situated in Kure Beach and spans approximately 93,000 square feet. It offers visitors a captivating glimpse into the diverse marine ecosystems of the state, featuring a variety of exhibits, including the popular Cape Fear Shoals tank, where visitors can observe sharks, rays, and other marine life in a massive 235,000-gallon tank. The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is renowned for its commitment to conservation, education, and the preservation of North Carolina’s coastal and marine environments.
Three Aquariums in North Carolina:
- North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher: Located in Kure Beach, it is the largest of the state’s aquariums and is dedicated to showcasing the rich marine life and ecosystems along the North Carolina coast.
- North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island: Situated in Manteo, this aquarium focuses on the aquatic species found in the state’s northeastern regions, including the Outer Banks and the sounds of North Carolina.
- North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores: Found in Pine Knoll Shores, this facility emphasizes marine life from the central and southern coastal regions of North Carolina, with exhibits featuring a range of aquatic creatures, including sea turtles and various fish species.