With its picturesque landscapes and rich maritime history, New England is home to several outstanding public aquariums that showcase the diverse marine life found in the region’s waters. Here are some of the best public aquariums in New England, each offering a unique underwater experience.
New England Aquarium (Boston, Massachusetts)
Located in the heart of Boston, the New England Aquarium is a renowned institution known for its stunning Giant Ocean Tank, mesmerizing coral reef ecosystem and adorable penguin exhibits. You won’t want to miss the fantastic touch tanks, and definitely be sure to enjoy a captivating IMAX film.
Mystic Aquarium (Mystic, Connecticut)
Mystic Aquarium is not only an aquatic wonder but also a leading research facility. Home to sea lions, beluga whales, and penguins, the aquarium offers interactive exhibits and a chance to get up close with marine mammals.
Maritime Aquarium (Norwalk, Connecticut)
Nestled along the Long Island Sound, the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is dedicated to educating visitors about the local marine life. The popular “Shark & Ray Touch Pool” and the “Jellyfish Encounter” are must-see exhibits.
Seacoast Science Center (Rye, New Hampshire)
The Seacoast Science Center is not only an aquarium but also an educational hub, promoting ocean conservation. Visitors can explore tide pools, touch tanks, and discover local marine species.
Maine State Aquarium (West Boothbay Harbor, Maine)
This charming aquarium focuses on showcasing the unique marine life found in Maine’s coastal waters. It features lobsters, sea stars, and the fascinating eelgrass habitat.
Gulf of Maine Research Institute (Portland, Maine)
While not a traditional aquarium, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute offers immersive, hands-on experiences where visitors can learn about the Gulf of Maine’s marine ecosystem, sustainable fishing practices, and seafood industry.
Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village (Providence, Rhode Island)
Roger Williams Park Zoo is home to a fantastic rainforest exhibit where visitors can see river otters, turtles, and other aquatic creatures. While not a dedicated aquarium, this attraction provides a unique blend of land and aquatic experiences.
Ocean Explorium at the New Bedford Seaport (New Bedford, Massachusetts)
Located in a historic port town, this facility offers interactive exhibits, touch tanks, and educational programs that highlight the importance of ocean conservation and marine research.
Montshire Museum of Science (Norwich, Vermont)
Although not a traditional aquarium, the Montshire Museum features a “RiverWorks Discovery Lab” that explores the ecology of freshwater rivers and streams, with a focus on aquatic life.
New England’s public aquariums offer a captivating journey into the underwater world, featuring a diverse range of marine species and educational experiences. Whether you’re interested in the colorful coral reefs of the New England Aquarium or the playful beluga whales at Mystic Aquarium, there’s something for everyone!