The South Carolina Aquarium.
Spectacular. That's why the South Carolina Aquarium is the most visited attraction in Charleston. The Aquarium is located at the edge of Charleston's Historic District at the end of Calhoun Street and juts into Charleston Harbor. This is an inspiring, up close look at the diversity of aquatic life that exists in South Carolina. The Aquarium focuses on conservation, education and the study of the diverse aquatic life that inhabits all of South Carolina including both fresh water and salt water creatures.
The South Carolina Aquarium features nine major exhibit sections that will entertain and educate the entire family. Each exhibit features replicated environments and aquatic life within the various regions of South Carolina and includes interactive learning experiences for all ages.
The Great Hall.
Your fun day begins at The Great Hall with an impressive introduction to the Aquarium. Enjoy great views of Charleston Harbor through two-story windows as you step onto a floor that is an artistic representation of the South Carolina Coast. A gigantic wall map depicts the various South Carolina regions you will experience at the Aquarium. The centerpiece of the Great Hall is a 15,000 gallon Carolina Seas exhibit that comes alive with the colorful fish and aquatic life that exists within the reef habitats of the South Carolina coast including the Nurse Shark.
The Mountain Forest Aviary.
Take a voyage into the Blue Ridge Mountains with its biodiversity of fresh water fish and songbirds. This aviary exhibit features waterfalls, rocky gorges and native trees that form a canopy above native species of birds and fish that dwell in South Carolina streams. One of the stars of the exhibit are river otters that you'll find playing beneath the exhibit's largest waterfall.
The Piedmont Gallery.
The Piedmont Region is a region is in the Eastern Foothills area of South Carolina. In fact, "Piedmont" means "Foothills" in French. This exhibit depicts native fish species and gives the visitor a peek into what South Carolina would have been like during prehistoric times when saber-tooth tigers and giant sloths roamed the area. If the timing is right, you may get to see a demonstration of the science behind fly-fishing at one of the exhibits.
The Coastal Plain Gallery.
More species of fish, amphibians and plantlife typically found in the South Carolina Coastal Plain Region. Here you will find replications of swamps and marshes that include remnants of Cypress Trees felled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Keep your eyes-out for displays of carnivorous plants like the Venus Fly Trap and Carolina rattlesnakes.
The Saltmarsh Aviary.
Get ready for some simulated adventure. Experience the feeling of kayaking through the salt marsh with expansive views of Charleston Harbor in the background. See the wide variety of coastal flora, birds and wildlife that typically live in the salt marsh region including rattlesnakes and even a red-tailed hawk.
The Coast Gallery.
Here you will find the marine
life that lives in the waters
along the South Carolina
coastline including sea horses,
flounder and stingrays. Kids
and adults will enjoy the
learning center and discovering
how local shrimpers work together
to protect the area's sea turtles.
The Ocean Gallery.
This is almost like a dive into the ocean. The gallery includes a massive two-story "Great Ocean Tank" filled with 385,000 gallons of salt water giving habitat to sharks, various ocean fish and even a 200 pound loggerhead sea turtle. Other exhibits feature reef inhabitants including live baby sharks developing within their egg cases.
The Touch Tank.
The kids will love this experience of touching a wide variety of invertebrates which are animals without backbones. Knowledgeable staff and aquarium volunteers will give you all the details of marine life in the South Carolina area of the Atlantic Ocean. There's even a "videoscope" that will give you a magnified view of marine animals and a collection of fossils.
Secrets of the Amazon.
Delve into the sights and sounds of the Amazon Rainforest where you will get to see an electric eel, a green toucan, the meat-eating piranha fish, stingrays and the giant anaconda. Although the Amazon is thousands of miles away in South America, this exhibit will give you a great insight into what life in the real Amazon is all about.
Enjoy The Aquarium Wharf.
Take a stroll along The Fountain Walk featuring shops and restaurants with great views of the Charleston Harbor. Catch an IMAX movie and consider a tour of Fort Sumter. Read about Fort Sumter where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
Directions From Different Points
While vacationing to Charleston SC, don't miss the South Carolina Aquarium. For more information, visit the Aquarium's website for more information about the exhibits, educational group tours, entrance fees, hours of operation and directions to the aquarium. Children of one year-old or younger are free and discounts apply to students, military personnel, seniors and groups.
Make your Charleston Hotel Reservations now. Or consider the options of Charleston Bed and Breakfast
Inns or the many Vacation Rentals in the Charleston area.
*Photos compliments of the South Carolina
Aquarium in Charleston, South Carolina.
Our visitors often use misspellings and abbreviations for Charleston,
South Carolina including Charlston, Carlina, SC, So Carolina, So Car. Users
also use Low Country or Lowcountry to describe Charleston.
Those words are included for user convenience.