Showcasing the wealth of marine life found throughout North and South America, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. From the colorful recreated Caribbean reef to a penguin colony, there’s plenty to entertain all age groups.
Run by the respected National Audubon Society, the Aquarium of the Americas opened in 1990 and is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States, housing an incredible 10,000 creatures representing more than 500 different species. The exhibits are grouped by habitat, and information panels offer detailed insights about the different ecosystems. Highlights include the Great Maya Reef, an Amazon Rainforest habitat, and the Stingray Touchpool, where visitors can interact with the rays.
Many combine a visit to the aquarium with trips to some of the other Audubon Nature Institute’s attractions in the city, including Audubon Zoo, butterfly garden, and insectarium. Combined entry passes make it easy to switch between the different parks. You can purchase skip-the-line admission in advance.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Choose between single entry to the aquarium or a combined pass for two or more attractions.
- A number of special experiences, including penguin encounters and snorkeling in the Great Maya Reef, must be prebooked.
- A giant screen theater shows films about the natural world several times per day (included with admission tickets).
- The aquarium has two restaurants and an ice cream stand.
- The aquarium is wheelchair accessible, and there are a limited number of wheelchairs available to borrow.
How to Get There
Aquarium of the Americas is at 1 Canal St. in NOLA’s Central Business District. The Riverfront and Canal St. streetcar lines, and bus line 5, Marigny-Bywater, run close by. The aquarium is within walking distance of Downtown New Orleans, and there are paid parking lots nearby for those planning to drive.
When to Get There
The aquarium is open from Monday to Sunday, 10am–5pm. Weekends can get very busy, and school trips often visit on weekday mornings. Visit on weekday afternoons to enjoy plenty of space. The aquarium is closed on selected holidays, so check before visiting.
Located in Uptown New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo brings together animals from across the world for a memorable day out. Visitors can feed the giraffes, explore the swamp habitats native to New Orleans, and see animals, including rhinos, tigers, elephants, zebras, and more. Children will love the “Cool Zoo” splash park, with lazy river, splash pads, and a huge alligator water slide.