comScore

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

#4 in Best Things To Do in Virginia Beach

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center picture in Virginia Beach
Whale Watching picture in Virginia Beach
Aquarium Animals picture in Virginia Beach
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center picture in Virginia Beach
Whale Watching picture in Virginia Beach
Aquarium Animals picture in Virginia Beach

Key Info

Details

  • Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.0
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    3.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, located a mile south of the downtown resort area, offers more than 300 hands-on marine exhibits, including two animal touch pools with stingrays and horseshoe crabs. The property also features the Bay & Ocean Pavilion (where turtles, sharks, Komodo dragons and more are housed), the Marsh Pavilion (which has otters, seahorses and more), a ropes course and a 3-D theater that screens educational films and Hollywood movies.

According to recent visitors, families will love exploring this fun attraction, although a few said that the property's admissions are high given its small size. Some also cautioned that older children may lose interest in the aquarium's exhibits.

Standard tickets cost $24.95 per adult, $22.95 per senior (ages 62 and older), and $19.95 for each child between 3 and 11. Visitors can also purchase upgraded tickets (which include one movie) for $24.95 to $29.95 per person, and dolphin- and whale watching excursions are available for $16 to $28 per person. All tickets cover access to the aquarium's exhibits, restrooms, gift shops, cafe and snack stands, plus daily activities like animal feedings and staff Q&A sessions. Use of the on-site ropes course is not included in basic admissions.

Free parking is available on-site, or travelers can get to and from the aquarium via the VB Wave trolley system during the summer months. The property is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance on the attraction's ticket page; additional information is available on the Virginia Aquarium's website.

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#1 Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront Rather than your traditional wooden planks, Virginia Beach's famous boardwalk is concrete. The 3-mile thoroughfare is lined with quaint benches, Colonial-style street lamps and biking and walking paths. The ... Read more » eurobanks / Getty Images

#2 First Landing State Park The most visited park in Virginia is First Landing State Park, where the Jamestown colonists first landed in the New World in 1607. Today, it is a nice getaway from ... Read more » jomo333 / Getty Images

#3 Sandbridge Beach Though Virginia Beach's main stretch of sand is situated next to its boardwalk, for a quieter option with fewer tourists, head 15 miles south of the city's resort ... Read more » Sherry Smith / Getty Images

#4 Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, located a mile south of the downtown resort area, offers more than 300 hands-on marine exhibits, including two animal touch pools with stingrays ... Read more » Sherry Smith / Getty Images

#5 Cape Henry Lighthouse Just north of First Landing State Park is Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first lighthouse ever authorized by Congress. The attraction still has connections with the government; located on the grounds ... Read more » tmersh / Getty Images

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Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront picture in Virginia Beach
First Landing State Park  picture in Virginia Beach
Sandbridge Beach picture in Virginia Beach
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center picture in Virginia Beach
Cape Henry Lighthouse picture in Virginia Beach
Military Aviation Museum picture in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront picture in Virginia Beach
First Landing State Park  picture in Virginia Beach
Sandbridge Beach picture in Virginia Beach
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center picture in Virginia Beach
Cape Henry Lighthouse picture in Virginia Beach
Military Aviation Museum picture in Virginia Beach

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk offers 3 miles of bike and walking paths, plus a pristine white sand beach. eurobanks / Getty Images

First Landing State Park is filled with tall cypress trees, some of which tower above the park's 20 miles of hiking trails. jomo333 / Getty Images

For a quiet day at the shore, check out Sandbridge Beach, which sits 15 miles outside the city's resort area. Sherry Smith / Getty Images

At the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, travelers will find multiple animal exhibits, as well as a ropes course and a 3-D theater. Sherry Smith / Getty Images

One of the best times to climb the historic Cape Henry Lighthouse is on a cloudy, cooler day. tmersh / Getty Images

An array of military planes from World War I and II are on display at the Military Aviation Museum. Joanna Poe / Flickr

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