North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
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.
Well thought out. Great use of space and technology. The people were super friendly. I love going places that are well cared for and people who work there look to engage you. This was a great day trip while visiting the Outer Banks.
I've been to multiple aquariums in NC and SC including Fort Fisher, Ripley's and Charleston. This was by far the best and most entertaining one we have visited! First let me say that if you go to a lot of zoo's and aquariums, do yourself a favor and buy a membership. It's very likely to be worth the money after 2-3 visits depending on how many adults and kids are in your party. Also you get a discount on non-members that you bring with you as well as on your purchases at the gift shop. They have information on their website - check it out! Our family membership is $75 and lasts one year. It covers two named adults plus however many children and grandchildren you include. When we first walked in, there is a cool screen that shows you alongside critters. Hard to describe but it was awesome and I've never seen it before (see photo). There were so many things to see and do, a lot of it was very interactive as well as beautiful. The sea horses are a favorite of mine as well as the otters. The sea turtle area was interesting and very interactive for little ones. You can get a little plastic turtle and take it around to the "hospital" exhibits and although my girls are teenagers and didn't want to do that, I could tell that the other kids were loving it. Overall it was wonderful and we'll be back (and it won't cost us a thing!).
Really well laid out facility, and very fun for children, especially the sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation center! We went on a rainy Wednesday and it was extremely crowded but the staff handled the flow of people really well and the exhibits kept you moving with interest from spot to spot. Definitely worth the money considering we got four people in here for the price of one ticket at the Baltimore aquarium!
Indoors and out my family has enjoyed this aquarium year round for many generations. Best attraction for local families that offers annual passes. Great relaxing environment with informative and friendly staff.
Love the big sea tank. Kids have fun watching the otters play. Fun outdoor activities for the kids. Really wanted there to be more than 2 jellyfish though.