Kids of all ages will enjoy visiting the South Carolina Aquarium with everything from sharks and sea turtles to lemurs and lizards. The aquarium showcases the natural habitats and creatures of South Carolina wildlife – from the mountains of the Upstate to the coast on Charleston’s doorstep.
The aquarium is home to 60 unique habitats, including the 385,000 Great Ocean Tank filled with sea creatures of all kinds. Among the exhibits, you’ll find birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish plus a variety of plant life.
One of the visiting exhibits is Madagascar Journey, which showcases four habitats found on the island of Madagascar and is home to feisty ring-tailed lemurs, a Nile crocodile and white spotted bamboo sharks.
One particularly great aspect of the South Carolina Aquarium is the Sea Turtle Rescue Program, which aids sick and injured sea turtles in partnership with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. Turtles in need are treated at the hospital, and rehabilitated ones are returned to the ocean. Daily tours of the Sea Turtle Hospital are available for an additional fee.
The aquarium is currently gearing up for Shark Week Aug. 1-10 with shark-themed dive shows, interactive activities, play in a shark cage and get an up close look at the sharks in the Great Ocean Tank. Shark Week activities are free with general admission. And don’t miss Dark Blue: The Official Shark Week Kickoff Party from 7-11 p.m. July 31 at the aquarium. Local bands Moxie, Jordan Igoe and Brave Baby will perform, plus there will be bites and beverages from Charleston Harbor Fish House, High Cotton, Victor Social Club and Palmetto Brewing Company. Tickets are $35 each or $30 for aquarium members (21 and over only).
Take advantage of Charleston Harbor Tours combo tours and buy one discounted ticket for a spot on a harbor tour plus a voucher for admission to the South Carolina Aquarium that can be used for any date and time. Through August, the aquarium is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From September to February, it is open daily 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Grab your tickets and start exploring.