South Carolina Aquarium, Charleston

4 out of 5 stars 10 Reviews

100 Aquarium Wharf (843) 720-1990

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  • River Otter
    River Otter
    by jurisfiction
  • Sea Turtle
    Sea Turtle
    by jurisfiction
  • Shark!
    Shark!
    by jurisfiction
  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    South Carolina Aquarium

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Feb 14, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Carolina Aquarium
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    This recently opened Aquarium has been one of Charleston's major attractions. It features exhibits on all the aquatic eco systems of South Carolina from the mountainous streams of the west to the tidal marshes of the east.

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    Sharks, turtles, and otters, oh my!

    by jurisfiction Written Jun 7, 2008

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    The South Carolina Aquarium is seperated into 8 distinct sections: Mountain Forest, Piedmont, Coastal Plain, Saltmarsh Aviary, Coast, Ocean, and Touch Tank, and the newest exhibit - Camp Carolina. The final section of the aquarium, located at the entrance/exit, is the Great Hall. Here you'll find the giftshop, a small cafe, as well as art and informational signs on the walls.

    Animals on display include everything from river otters and sharks to rattlesnakes and sea turtles. It encompasses all terrains found within the state of South Carolina. Not being a native, I'm not sure just how accurate the representations are, but I did find the aquarium entertaining and informative. Families will probably need at least 4 hours to get thru all the exhibits, while those without children could probably do it in 2-3. I spent about 3 hours, but only because the river otters wouldn't sit still, so I had to go back twice, and I still didn't get a decent shot. Just a note - the touchtank isn't just for the little kids. Many teens and adults were thoroughly engaged in picking up and feeding the critters - myself included. The staff on hand were very knowledgable and took time to speak with adults, as well, though the small kids were their main audience.

    If you want a more in-depth look, there are two tours available: Great Ocean Tank and the Sea Turtle Hospital. Both are offered on specific days every week, last 30 minutes, and cost $10 adults/$5 children.

    All in all, I found the aquarium enjoyable. The only exhibit I found lacking was Camp Carolina, which only had owls and skunks on display. I don't know if it's because it's a new exhibit, or what, but unless you have small kids, I'd probably skip it. The exhibit that was in its place previously - Secrets of the Amazon - sounded much better.

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  • TheTravelingNerd's Profile Photo

    SC Aquarium

    by TheTravelingNerd Updated May 7, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    I went here the other day and absolutely loved it. It's not as big as the Monterey Bay Aquarium or Sea World, but it is an amazing aquarium that is very very kid friendly. They have all the exhibits of fish you would expect...everything from sharks to jelly fish and sea turtles and sea horses, etc. They also have 2 macaws, an anaconda, a southern anteater, otters and alligators.

    For the kids there's a touch pool, little pirate ship and all kinds of cool little things to do and see. There's also an IMAX theater and a really good restaurant next door, but it's kind of expensive compared to the places you could eat if you just drive or walk a few blocks. Overall I loved the aquarium...A+. I was so busy having fun I forgot to take more pictures.

    TIP: go to the SC Aquarium's website and you can print out coupons to save on admission.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Aquarium
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    south carolina aquarium

    by doug48 Written Apr 14, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    south carolina aquarium

    located at aquarium wharf on charleston harbor the south carolina aquarium is an interesting place to visit when in charleston. the aquarium focuses on the various envionments of south carolina. they have exhibits on the ocean, carolina mountain forrest, the piedmont, coastal plain, and the salt marsh. a excellent place to take children when visiting charleston. next to the aquarium is the dock for the tour boats to fort sumter. you can use the parking garage on calhoun street for both attractions.

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  • Bayside aquarium

    by myca99 Written Oct 6, 2006

    The acquarium is a nice attraction in Charleston. If I remember correctly, it is mostly salt water. The dolphins had gathered in the bay right outside the aquarium platform the day we went, so that was an extra bonus.

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    South Carolina Aquarium

    by goingsolo Written Feb 14, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Charleston

    This attraction was dubbed "the most visited attraction in Charleston", probably by the people who collect the entrance fee. I'm not sure whether that's true and I have no way to quantify it, but it really was impressive. There were many unusual exhibits, especially the ones about the marshes and other areas unique to S.C. The centerpiece aquarium had a large collection of sharks and fish, some very unusual. I went in looking for a way to pass some time on a really cold and rainy day and ended up being really impressed. Definitely a place worth visiting. There are combination tickets sold for a slight discount if you want to combine a visit here with a tour of Fort Sumter.

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    South Carolina Aquarium

    by grandmaR Updated Oct 10, 2004

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    We heard about this aquarium, and as our boat was docked almost next door, we thought we needed to go see it.

    There is quite a lot on the local swamp environments and a lot of specific information about SC plants and animals. The aquarium is not supported by the government and runs on the admission fees it charges.

    General Admission
    Adult (12-61) $14
    Seniors (62+) $12
    Youth/Child (3-11) $7
    Comp Child (0-2) Free

    Combination tickets available

    Hours: Apr 1 - Aug 15
    Monday - Saturday 9am-6pm
    Sundays 12pm-6pm
    Last ticket sold at 5pm Aug 16 - Mar 31
    Monday - Saturday 9am- 5pm
    Sundays 12pm-5pm

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  • South Carolina Aquarium

    by MandaJ320 Updated May 5, 2004

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    This aquarium is located in downtown Charleston, and is within walking distance of the market. Here you'll find exhibits such as the coastal plain, the piedmont, the mountain forest, a discovery lab, and a 300,00 gallon ocean aquarium that houses sharks. The aquarium is right off the Cooper River, so you can also enjoy good views of boats and ships. The aquarium is $15 for adults, and $8 for children.

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  • South Carolina Aquarium

    by Stevel47 Updated Jan 17, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    South Carolina Aquarium
    They claim this is Charleston's most attended attraction, the South Carolina Aquarium showcases aquatic life from the five major regions found in South Carolina. Explore their fascinatingly diverse aquatic habitats...from coastal saltmarshes, Piedmont rivers, and rushing mountain streams to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. Experience SC's colorful song birds, mysterious sharks, graceful rays and playful otters. Many people complain that it is overpriced for what you see. You'll have to decide for yourself. They have not lived up to the financial expectations that the city government had anticipated when it was built.

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  • Charleston Aquarium

    by klstomi Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is not a huge aquarium but the theme is very much South Carolina. This aquarium focuses on the watershed. It follows the water of South Carolina from the mountains to the sea exploring all the habitats as it goes. Most people think of beaches when they think of SC but it REALLY is about the swamps and the watersheds.

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