North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

374 Airport Road

About Us:

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island was originally founded in 1976 as the North Carolina Marine Resources Center, along with our sister facilities at Pine Knoll Shores and Fort Fisher. In 1986, the three facilities were renamed Aquariums, and we were joined by Jennette's Pier in Nags Head in 2011. The state of North Carolina owns the Aquariums and Pier, which are administered by the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR).

Located on the Outer Banks, three miles north of Manteo on Roanoke Island, the Aquarium is an educational attraction focused on "inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina's aquatic environments." The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and in 2015 was awarded the AZA Quarter Century Award for maintaining accreditation continuously for 25 years or more.


Wynde Wagner

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017

We spent an entire winter's day exploring the aquarium with three kids two, and under, and we didn't want to leave. The hospital is doing such great work. Seeing the over 100 turtles that they were saving from cold stunning was really amazing. There is so much to see, and do here. We are going to buy a membership so that when we come back for summer break, we can explore again.

Mark Beshel

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017

Fantastic aquarium, all of them have something different to offer. Always clean, and staff is very professional. There's always something new, and this Aquarium focuses more on native species. This one in particular is a little small, but well worth the trip.

Anne Kibler

Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017

This is a great place to go with kids especially on a rainy day. Lots of stuff to do with kids in this aquarium and it is very hands-on. they do a great job interacting with the children and keeping it fun and also educational. and also bring a stroller wagon and with no problems

Stassi Snyder

Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017

Hands down my favorite place to visit at the beach. I love what they have done with the renovations and continue to do all the time. The place is always clean with clear tanks and the animals seem very content there. I applaud their efforts with the sea turtles especially and would love to help them in their conservation missions! A must-visit for any OBX, animal, and ocean lover. The only thing I'd change is the photo process- instead of pre-printing out photos that may not be purchased (and wasting paper) why not just display them digitally? Just my two cents!

Lindsey Stout

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017

We visited the aquarium Fourth of July weekend 2016, only a month after we got engaged, as we always visit aquariums everywhere we travel. We immediately fell in love with it and had a difficult time decided where to get married as he is from Florida and I am from Texas and we live in the Hampton Roads area in Virginia. Once we saw the pier out back, we instantly knew we had to get married at the aquarium! We set our date for 10/7/2017 and Cheryl was amazing, took time to take our calls and answer questions, the cost was extremely reasonable with a refundable deposit after the event (provided no incident, of which we had none and got that back). We wanted our family and friends to fall in love with the Outer Banks, just like we did and they absolutely did. Cheryl was beyond accommodating and available to either meet or speak and coordinate everything, her and the staff are beyond pleasant and we couldn't ever imagine having our wedding anywhere else and we will continue to visit frequently!