There are dozens of tourist attractions in Charleston, South Carolina, but it also makes sense that its location on the ocean would make it an appropriate home for the South Carolina Aquarium. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums-certified attraction puts an emphasis on education and is a popular stop for field trips.
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What to See at the South Carolina Aquarium
Start your journey upstairs, where you can wander through the exhibits that feature more than just fish, but also birds and reptiles. One of the more popular areas is the open-air river section, complete with insects and river otters.
There’s even a section where visitors can touch underwater creatures and learn more about them from the staff of the aquarium. The South Carolina Aquarium also has the only Sea Turtle Hospital in the area, which you can visit for an extra fee.
While the South Carolina Aquarium certainly appeals to families, it also has programming for adults. There are after-hours events and programming with food and drink.
Tips for Visiting the South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is located at 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, South Carolina 29401. The aquarium is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Paid parking is available down the street, as is paid metered parking. You can also access it by the CARTA DASH Trolley, which is free to ride from King Street.
Tickets start at $34.95 for adults over 13, $27.95 for children 3-12, and free for members and children under 3. Book your South Carolina Aquarium Admission in advance before you go.
Where to Eat Near the South Carolina Aquarium
Sea Turtle Café is the aquarium’s snack bar, serving light bites. East Bay Deli is a few blocks away and is a popular local lunch spot for soups, salads, and sandwiches. Or enjoy German-inspired pub fare like burgers, brats, and pretzels at Bay Street Biergarten.
Where to Stay Near the South Carolina Aquarium
The South Carolina Aquarium is located along the water in an area where there aren’t many hotels, but there are a few within walking distance. Zero George is a luxury hotel made up of historic homes that has a popular restaurant inside.
The stylishly designed Hotel Bella Grace is close to both the aquarium and the shops of King Street, with free daily breakfast and free WiFi. Ansonborough Inn is in a former warehouse turned AAA Four-Diamond hotel with large guest rooms.