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North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores


Feel the spray of a mountain waterfall. Watch river otters play. Touch a stingray. Look a shark in the eye. Explore shipwrecks – without getting wet. See a rare white sea turtle and let your spirits soar as raptors and waterbirds fly overhead. Thousands of aquatic animals take you on a journey from the state’s grand peaks to the open Atlantic, much as a raindrop makes its way to the ocean.


Kate Kennedy

Friday, April 27, 2018
I adore this aquarium! It was wonderful even before the huge renovation but all the additions are incredible! The exhibits start in freshwater and travel through marsh to end in the ocean which I love. The shipwreck tank is incredibly impressive and massive! I could watch the sand tiger sharks swim for hours. There are also several nice learning stations for kids as well as an adorable dress up play area. The volunteers and staff are really friendly and you can tell they love what they do. I love the Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium!

Lauren Ivey

Sunday, May 20, 2018
We had our wedding reception here and it was perfect! Kerri was wonderful to work with and everything went so smoothly! All of our guests had a blast and we did, too. We already loved the aquarium before, but it has a special place in our hearts now as the amazing place we celebrated our wedding day!

Kristen Burch

Monday, March 26, 2018
All three of the North Carolina aquariums are different. They have some similarities, but also unique. I like this one because it’s organized by region of the state and it flows nicely. It’s very educational and relaxing. I love the outside walkway and it’s great views. The kids love the climbing nets and the tire swing on the playground.

Robert Austin

Wednesday, May 16, 2018
My family and I visited last September and were extremely disappointed. This facility does not offer humane care and housing for their animals. I am not a bleeding heart animal rights activist, just someone who cares about nature and wants to see captive animals treated well. All of the exhibits were small, especially for the sea otters and the baby alligators, who didn't have enough room to even turn around. The sea horse tank was criminally small. Although touching the stingrays is billed as an attraction, kids were playing roughly with them in full view of staff, who did nothing to help the rays, who were clearly distressed. The most heartbreaking thing, however, was the solitary sea turtle left to swim in a tank no larger than a five gallon bucket. I'm a grown man, and it was disturbing even to me - much more my kids, who are old enough to see that the turtle's conditions were inhuman. Also, there is no information on where the animals come from - whether they were raised in zoos/aquariums, rescued, caught wild, etc - and the staff is clueless, too. How on earth this Aquarium is allowed to operate, much less be supported by the state of North Carolina, is a mystery to me. I can't do anything about the fact that this facility got their $12.95 from me, but I will do all I can to dissuade anyone I know from patronizing this aquarium.

SmartPicsby Tripp

Sunday, April 29, 2018
My kids absolutely love this place. Probably why we got the annual pass! But there is something for the whole family here. Sharks, big fish, interactive tanks to feel the stingrays. They also have a nice nature trail to view the bird life as well as a kids playground at the end of the trail. If ur in the area stop by and you wont be disappointed!

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media