Virginia Beach Attractions
Virginia Beach Aquarium
Visiting the Marine Science Center is one of my favorite things to do in Virginia Beach. The aquarium remained open while under a massive 25 million dollar renovation which added 110,000 gallons of new aquarium space and dozens of new exhibits. The renovations are complete and the new exhibit, Restless Planet, is now home to more than 6000 new animals from 367 species!
There are hundreds of hands on exhibits, an outdoor aviary, marshlands, nature trails and a six-story tall 3D IMAX Theater. Two buildings, the Bay and Ocean Pavilion and the Marsh Pavilion, house over 700,000 gallons of the best aquariums in the country and are home to thousands of exotic animals.
Restless Planet more than doubled the center's animal collection and includes Komodo dragons, Egyptian cobras, snakehead fish, rare crocodiles and even hedgehogs! The exhibit explores the diverse environments of Virginia's past and compares them to four similar environments in other areas of the world today: the Malaysian Peat Swamp Habitat, the Coastal Sahara Desert Habitat, the Red Sea Habitat and Indonesia's Flores Island Habitat.
The Red Sea Habitat explores a time period where the earth was separating and creating the Atlantic Ocean. A new forty foot tunnel delves into a 100,000 gallon Red Sea Aquarium that showcases some of the most beautiful fish in the world.
Kids will love the Flores Island Habitat where they can actually crawl under the exhibit and pop up into a cool acrylic dome that allows them to get up close and personal with animals on display!
Take a walk on the wild side! Encounter programs allow visitors to explore marine wildlife like never before. The Harbor Seal Splash is the only place in the US where you can hang out in the water with a harbor seal while a certified trainer explains training techniques that are critical to their care and well-being in an aquarium setting. Boat trips offer the chance to see bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales in their natural environment and Behind the Scenes tours offer a chance to observe sea turtles or harbor seals from a unique perspective and experience the inner workings of the facility.
Wildlife Conservation and Education
The staff works diligently to protect and preserve a variety of species through conservation education, preserving natural habitats, as well as fish and wildlife management.
The aquarium and science center is dedicated to optimizing the physical and mental health of all of it's inhabitants and is a fully accredited member of both the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Educating the public about wildlife conservation is the marine park's primary goal. Each visitor gives the living museum another opportunity to educate the public and inspire conservation of marine mammals and wildlife alike.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
When searching for family attractions and things to do while on vacation, keep the aquarium in mind. It's a great way to spend the afternoon and beat the heat during the hot summer months.