The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island features the largest aquarium in the state — a 285,000-gallon ocean tank complete with sharks, sea turtles and hundreds of fish. Throughout the aquarium are exhibit tanks filled with fishes of North Carolina coastal habitats, including sharks and rays. You will see eels, sea turtles and more than 200 fishes in a shipwreck habitat displaying a 1/3-scale replica of the USS Monitor. In the Wetlands on the Edge sky-lit atrium, you will see river otters, alligators and turtles lazing on rocks in the sun. Each day at the aquarium there are educational programs, fish feedings and demonstrations.
The Aquarium also explores the nearby coast through its theme ''Waters of the Outer Banks.'' Inside this 68,000-square foot educational facility, visitors will find marine animals ranging from yellow-bellied sliders to rivers otters. The Aquarium offers a wide range of activities from daily to special events. You can find a full calendar of events by clicking here. • Daily programs include animal feedings, live dives, lectures, films, animal encounters and aquatic-themed games. • Day Camps for children include field trips, crafts, behind the scenes tours, live animal encounters and feeding programs. • Indoor programs include behind the scenes tours, aqua tales for tots, breakfast with the rays, snack with the sharks, happy otter hour, seafood series and craft programs. • Outdoor programs include wetlands walk exploration, surf fishing for beginners, catch a crab, night hikes through Nags Head Woods and nocturnal beach creatures. • If you are a certified diver, you can dive with the sharks in the 285,000 gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit. • Birthday parties are welcome at the aquarium. Live animals are guaranteed to add excitement to your child’s special day. • Sleeping with the Sharks is a big hit! Imagine a slumber party at the Aquarium in front of the 285,000 gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit, as sharks and other fishes swim close by. • Marine Labs allow students to investigate a variety of animals up-close and personal. The North Carolina Aquarium is open year-round 9am to 5pm except major holidays. Most visitors can tour the aquarium in about two hours. However, if you plan to participate in programs, search for relics in the Fossil Hunt, or visit the gift shop, allow more time. Prices range from $6.00 to $8.00 for admission. Special programs and activities are an additional cost.