Outer Banks Aquarium is one of the OBX’ most fun, educational, and very affordable family attractions. The Aquarium is located on Roanoke Island, in Manteo, NC, within 30-40 minute drive from Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, in close proximity to the Island Farm attraction.
Outer Banks Aquarium on Roanoke Island boasts some great exhibits, including “Coastal Freshwaters”, “Wetlands on the Edge”, “Operation: Sea Turtle Rescue”, “Marine Communities”, “Close Encounters”, “Open Ocean”, and “Oceans Revealed: Power of the Planet”.
Start your visit at the “Coastal Freshwaters” Exhibit and learn about the freshwater fish, reptiles and amphibians, native to the waters of coastal ponds, lakes and rivers of North Carolina. Then enjoy watching the playful otters, observe turtles (snapping turtles, box turtles, and aquatic turtles) and alligators, and participate in the operation “Turtle Rescue” – a pretend play exhibit that gives you a hands-on experience of diagnosing and treating a replica of an injured sea turtle – very educational experience for kids and adults alike. As you continue your exploration of the Outer Banks Aquarium, you will also see seahorses, eels, lobsters and saltwater fish and have an opportunity to experience close marine animal encounters (at Aquarium’s touch tanks with stingrays, sharks, sea stars, crabs, starfish, etc.). The highlight of any trip to the Outer Banks Aquarium is the 285,000 gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic Tank with Sand tiger, sandbar, and nurse sharks swimming by the Replica of USS Monitor shipwreck. If you time your visit right, you will also have an opportunity to interact with divers who will answer just about any question you might have about sharks.
After your Aquarium visit, be sure to stop by the Aquarium Gift Shop that offers great souvenirs and very educational toys for kids of all ages.
OBX Aquarium in Manteo is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, and closed only on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. General Admission prices range from $6.00 to $8.00, with discounts for seniors and kids. Children under 2 years old are admitted free of charge. If you already have an NC Aquarium membership, admission is free. Outer Banks Aquarium has partnered with 150 zoos and aquariums around the country to offer more benefits to Aquarium Society members, based on their reciprocal agreement. If you are visiting from a different state and you are have a Zoo or Aquarium Membership in your state, be sure to check if you qualify for free or discounted admission.