South Carolina Aquarium
South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston Harbor
Charleston Harbor and its surrounding waters are teeming with aquatic wildlife. The tropical climate, with the combination of salt and fresh waters, makes for a diverse ecosystem. Of course, during your vacation it might be hard to witness all the underwater creatures you want to see out in nature. That’s where the South Carolina Aquarium in Charleston comes in handy. Plan a visit during your vacation, and be sure to check out some of the following attractions at the aquarium.
The South Carolina Aquarium opened in 2000 after construction began in 1995. The facility, located at 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401, juts out into the Charleston Harbor over 200 feet, striking a strong figure against the backdrop of the water. There’s over 93,000 square feet of the facility to explore, with over 10,000 plants and animals calling the aquarium home. Rare species such as the bald eagle and the albino alligator reside at the South Carolina Aquarium. The goal of the aquarium is to provide realistic, interactive ecosystems that represent the Charleston area. This includes the Southeast Appalachian Watershed, the Mountains, the Piedmont, the Coastal Plain, the Coast, and the Ocean.
Great Ocean Tank
One of the aquarium’s most impressive exhibits is the Great Ocean Tank. We would tell you not to miss out this exhibit – but it’s impossible to miss! The 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank ranges from the first floor of the aquarium all the way to the third floor. The tank contains more than 700 different animals, a brilliant representation of the diverse ocean ecosystem.
You’ll be able to see sharks in the Great Ocean Tank, as you practically rub noses with the ocean’s most renowned predator. Be sure to look out for Caretta, the 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle that hangs out in the tank. Daily dive shows in the Great Ocean Tank serve to educate and entertain visitors while they watch in wonder.
Perhaps the most interactive exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium is the Touch Tank. Visitors are able to touch and feel several different species of invertebrate. Get your hands on a hermit carb, whelk, sea urchin, horseshoe crab, Atlantic stingray, and more! The truly adventurous can reach out to touch the sharks in the Touch Tank. But don’t worry – the non-aggressive species in the tank won’t bite your arm off. Staff at the aquarium is more than willing to answer the questions you’ll inevitably have about all these unique creatures.
For more information about the aquarium, you can call their help desk at (843) 577-3474.