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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

#8 in Best Things To Do in Outer Banks

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island picture in Outer Banks
Sean Russell / Getty Images

Key Info

Price & Hours

  • $12.95 for adults; $10.95 for kids 3-12; free for kids 2 and younger
  • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

  • Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.5
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    3.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

If you want to see what animals you're sharing the water with when you're splashing around on the Outer Banks beaches, head to Roanoke to the North Carolina Aquarium. Its main feature is the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit. Models of remains of the USS Monitor make up the home for giant turtles and sharks in the 285,000-gallon tank found in the Ironclad Sanctuary exhibit. Throughout the rest of the aquarium, you'll find a variety of other marine critters, including alligators, otters, frogs and plenty of fish. If the kids are itching for a hands-on experience, head to the Sea Turtle Rescue exhibit, where they can touch turtles while learning about efforts to protect these creatures.

There is an admission fee and a discounted price for kids ages 12 and younger. Still, some recent visitors said the aquarium is overpriced considering its small size. Also, keep in mind that the aquarium sees the most crowds on rainy days and during the summer.

To get to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, travelers will need to take a car or taxi due to the lack of public transportation to and from the area. The aquarium is open daily (except Thanksgiving and Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets cost $12.95 for adults, while seniors, military personnel and children between 3 and 12 receive reduced rates. Kids ages 2 and younger or travelers who visit on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day or Veterans Day get in for free. Once inside, visitors will have access to all of the aquarium's exhibits, a gift shop, a cafe and restrooms, plus interactive experiences like animal feedings, animal encounters and educational talks with the property's divers. Shark dives, behind-the-scenes experiences and day camps are also available for an additional fee. For more information about the aquarium, visit the attraction's website.

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Hotels Nearby

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White Doe Inn

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Elizabethan Inn

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#8 North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island If you want to see what animals you're sharing the water with when you're splashing around on the Outer Banks beaches, head to Roanoke to the North Carolina ... Read more » Sean Russell / Getty Images

Outer Banks beaches picture in Outer Banks
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Outer Banks beaches picture in Outer Banks
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North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island picture in Outer Banks

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Courtesy of Roanoke Island Festival Park

Seals, sharks and otters are just a few of the animals housed in exhibits at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Sean Russell / Getty Images

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