Living in Baltimore's Inner Harbor neighborhood affords its residents (and visitors) with a wealth of things to do like touring the National Aquarium. Baltimore's number one tourist attraction, the aquarium draws an annual attendance of approximately 1.5 million people and is considered by many as one of the best aquariums in the country.
USA Today named the National Aquarium as one of the 10 Best Attractions in Baltimore. Packed with over 17,000 animals and award-winning exhibits, the design of the aquarium allows you to get up-close encounters at some of its "live" exhibits. The aquarium's structure revolves around an open pool filled with stingrays and fish. Explore a tropical rainforest replica at the top of the aquarium. You will feel like you are swimming with sharks as you walk through a doughnut shaped shark tank.
Don't forget to say hello to the sea lions outside of the aquarium on your way to the National Aquarium's dolphin show at the Marine Mammal Pavilion. Be sure to arrive early or you might get a little wet during the show.
USA Today is not the only group to notice the quality of the experience at the National Aquarium. "Blacktip Reef," the heart of the National Aquarium, is a beautiful replica of Indo-Pacific reefs, complete with coral that won the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Award for Significant Achievement in Exhibit Design. You will feel like you are scuba diving under the sea when you walk through this exhibit and get nose-to-nose with a shark and many other aquatic animals.
As of one Baltimore's most popular things to do, get ready for crowds. It is best to visit on a weekday, but if you need to visit on the weekend or on a holiday, plan to arrive before 11:00 a.m. or after 3:00 p.m. The aquarium does limit the number of visitors each hour, but it can still get crowded.
If you are visiting with small children, please be aware strollers are not permitted in the aquarium. Carriers will be provided. Large crowds, escalators, and people movers make navigating the National Aquarium with a stroller nearly impossible.
Ticket prices range from $22 to $35. However, the experience you will get in return for your investment cannot be beat. Also, if you come later in the day, admission prices drop significantly.
After touring the National Aquarium, the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore is ready to welcome you with even more activities, dining options, and attractions. Whether you grab dinner at one of the area's many restaurants, take a cruise on the Bay, head to the 27th floor of the Baltimore World Trade Center or visit the Maritime Museum, you can easily spend your entire day exploring Inner Harbor.