Top 10 Must-See Aquariums in the USA

Aquariums offer a great way to see all the interesting and sometimes exotic sea life that you would never be able to see normally. Aquariums let you get up close and personal with everything from dolphins and sharks to manta rays and whales. It's also very educational for children as they get a chance to learn about different species of sea life. Many aquariums also help to preserve sea life species through breeding programs and through awareness to issues like pollution and global warming. They do this through lectures and programs that are directed to places like schools, government agencies, and other people who come to the aquarium to view the animals and fishes. Aquariums are also great places to relax and release stress since it has been proven that watching fish swim in home or commercial aquarium is peaceful and good for lowering a person's anxieties. So, going to aquariums is a good way to learn things, help protect animals from becoming extinct, and a healthy way to lower your stress and teach your kids about the sea world in many ways. Here are the top 10 aquariums you can visit all over the US.

1: Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia

Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia

Opened in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the biggest of its kind in the entire world. It was made possible by monies from the same person who founded Home Depot, Mr. Bernard Marcus. The aquarium holds more than 500 different kinds of sea life, including fascinating creatures like groupers, whale sharks, and beluga whales. You can even schedule a stay overnight through their special tours to see how the fish and animals experience the nightlife. Plus, there are multiple programs designed to help children learn about the animals living in the aquarium.

Address: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313

2: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, California

Founded in 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is situated on the site of what used to be a sardine cannery. Nearly two million people come here every year to see more than 600 different species of animals and plants. An interesting note is that the aquarium gets its water for its tanks through a circulation of sea water being continuously pumped into their tanks from pipes originating in the nearby Monterey Bay. Some of its animals include jellyfish, sting rays, tuna, sea otters, and a giant kelp forest. It's also one of the only aquariums to house ocean sunfish and has the world's biggest single paned windows to view the creatures under its care.

Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940

3: Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois

Opened in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium houses more than 25,000 fish, and with its five million gallons of water, used to be the biggest indoor aquarium in the whole world. Shedd is the first inland facility to have its own permanent display of saltwater fish. More than two million people come to view it in all its glory every year. It has also won several awards such as being the best exhibit from the Association of zoos and Aquariums in 1999, best Wild Reef in 2004 and for its display of seahorses in 2001. It's considered one of Chicago's most popular attraction.

Address: 1200 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60605

4: National Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland

National Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland

Opened in 1981, the National Aquarium in Baltimore gets more than 1.5 million visitors every year. It is a combination of two aquariums: National Aquarium in Baltimore and National Aquarium in Washington, which happened in 2003. Their tanks hold over two million gallons of water, and over 17,000 creatures that represent more than 700 different species. The aquarium has a vision to be able to challenge the important issues being faced by sea creatures and their habitats via emergent sciences, educational programs and conservation programs. Some of their exhibits include a tropical rainforest, coral reef, open shark aquarium, a marine mammal pavilion, and a 4D immersion theater.

Address: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, MD 21202

5: Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN has more than 10,000 sea creatures representing at least 350 discrete species. Some of its exhibits include a tropical rainforest, a shark lagoon and a coral reef, as well as creatures such as giant octopus, sea anemones, growing coral, jellyfish, penguins, sharks, rays, crabs and more.

Address: 88 River Rd, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

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