The South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston’s most visited attraction, features thousands of amazing aquatic animals from river otters and sharks to loggerhead turtles in over 60 exhibits, which represent the rich biodiversity of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea.
The Aquarium also presents fabulous views of Charleston harbor like no other found in historic downtown. Daily interactive exhibits and programs are offered for visitors of all ages. Every visit to the Aquarium reveals something new—glimpses of new animals in exhibits, budding plants, baby animals and more. Not only that, the institution provides a variety of opportunities to learn about conservation, animal life, endangered species, & environmental issues and more.
By visiting the Aquarium, guests are supporting one of the area’s leading private not-for-profit organizations dedicated to education and conservation related causes. A valued community resource, the Aquarium is dedicated to reaching out and serving the community. Providing community access, participating in area outreach and assisting with economic development are all important components of the Aquarium’s mission.
Opened in May 2000, the South Carolina Aquarium is a state-of-the-art environmental learning center that encompasses the entire spectrum of Southeastern aquatic habitats as found in South Carolina: mountain streams, piedmont rivers, coastal swamps, saltmarshes and ocean waters. Just after celebrating its third year anniversary, the Aquarium welcomed its two millionth visitor and continues to attract guests from all over.
The South Carolina Aquarium is a significant educational and conservation institution. It was the first aquarium in the country to open with a complete Education Master Plan in place. During its first year, the Aquarium launched its free, standards-based schools programs, with required teacher training for visiting classes.
The South Carolina Aquarium is home to over 10,000 plants and animals including river otters, rattlesnakes, loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, Venus flytraps, great blue herons, hawks, owls, sea horses, jellyfish, pufferfish, moray eels, horseshoe crabs, starfish, pythons, sea dragons and sharks. Some are rare and exotic.
Exhibits include The Mountain Forest, The Piedmonth, The Coastal Plain, The Coast, The Ocean, and Discovery Lab.