The Fort Fisher aquarium is located steps away from the ocean along Kure Beach not far from downtown Wilmington. One of four North Carolina aquarium locations, Fort Fisher is well known for such residents as Luna the albino alligator and Maverick the bald eagle.
Visitors enter through the Cape Fear Conservatory, a small freshwater building. This area features native species and some truly fantastic landscaping. Exhibits display venomous snakes, turtles, frogs, and the fan-favorite alligators.
Next visitors move into the two-storied marine section. The Tide Pool Touch Tank allows visitors to get up close to urchins and anemones. The double-storied Cape Fear Shoals displays sea turtles, sharks, and other critters that can be found in the ocean right outside the building. Interactive exhibits keep even the most excitable visitor engaged. An exotic invasive display and shark touch tank round out the marine offerings.
The gift shop is nice and features eco-friendly products and locally made crafts. Upon exiting visitors will find a snack bar and playground. Save some time for the boardwalk which meanders through foliage and has art and descriptive signs. The newest area, Lorikeet Landing, costs extra and unless you are a major fan of the species, it can easily be skipped.
If You Go
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located at 900 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, North Carolina 28449. It is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Tickets cost $12.95 for adults, $11.95 for seniors/military, and $10.95 for children ages 3-12. Children 2 and under are free. All visitors receive free admission on Veterans Day and MLK Jr. holiday. Parking is free.
Admission was provided by the North Carolina Aquarium and Wilmington and Beaches CVB.