Whether it’s to occupy a rainy afternoon, break up the daily grind, or educate your kids on marine life, a visit to a New Jersey aquarium will submerge you in sea of knowledge. Here are our picks for the top New Jersey aquariums:
Atlantic City Aquarium
800 N New Hampshire Avenue, Atlantic City
Become acquainted with the sea life of the Mid-Atlantic as well as assorted ocean oddities at the Atlantic City Aquarium. With activities ranging from touch tanks and tropical exhibits to stingray feedings and exotic animal shows, there is no shortage of options to entertain and educate.
As the first and only aquarium in the world to exhibit hippos, Adventure Aquarium has established a well-earned reputation as a hub for aquatic rarities. Among its nearly 9,000 species (inhabiting 2 million gallons of water), the Adventure Aquarium boasts the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast, and is home to the only great hammerhead shark on exhibit in the U.S.
300 Ocean Ave, Point Pleasant Beach
Beloved by locals and day-trippers alike, Jenkinson’s Aquarium offers a family-friendly experience designed to emulate the diversity of the deep sea. Sharks and harbor seals from the Pacific and Atlantic are on display, under the same roof as stingrays, African penguins, alligators and more. Each exhibit is tailored to optimize educational outreach, creating an atmosphere that is innovative and interactive.
3400 Boardwalk, Wildwood
One of several stops along Wildwood’s 38-block boardwalk, the Seaport Aquarium is a welcome change from the amusement rides, shops and restaurants. This New Jersey aquarium features a variety of reptiles and fish, including sharks, eels, alligators, skinks, snakes, and marmosets.
Although not aquariums, these attractions are similarly suited for lovers of marine life:
1075 Stone Harbor Boulevard, Stone Harbor
A world-class research, conservation and education facility, Wetlands Institute focuses its efforts on the issues affecting wetlands as well as the species that inhabit them. A non-profit, the Institute features a Salt Marsh Trail, Observation Tower and Aquarium, and aims to provide a hands-on educational experience to families, school groups and vacationers alike.
Marine Mammal Stranding Center
3625 Atlantic Brigantine Blvd, Brigantine
Over the past several years, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center has responded to nearly 5,000 strandings of whales, dolphins and sea turtles along New Jersey waterways. Dedicated to ensuring the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all marine animals in distress, the Center furthers its initiative through a seasonal-based series of collaborative and educational outreach events, including a Tour of the Stranding Center, a Guided Beach Walk and a Terrapin Day.