The Seattle Aquarium is a bundle of fun and joy, straight from the depths of the Puget Sound. With over 27 million visitors to date, the Seattle Aquarium is one of the top 5 attractions in the Pacific Northwest, and the ninth largest aquarium in the United States by attendance.
With a mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, the Seattle Aquarium participates in daily activism via their exhibits, events, education programs, and research abilities.
Though the aquarium originally opened in 1977, it went through a major renovation in 2007. This renovation expanded the aquarium by 18,000 square feet of space, including a 120,000-gallon exhibit, a gift shop, café, meeting/event space, and more! Another renovation in 2013
As Seattle’s premier resource for hands-on marine fun and experiences, the Seattle Aquarium offers conservation education and the opportunity to see real marine animals enjoy their exhibits.
The Seattle Aquarium – 6 major exhibits
Window on Washington – This 120,000-gallon exhibit is filled with hundreds of fish and invertebrates indigenous to Pacific Northwest waters, and “is designed to replicate the seascape around Neah Bay.” Enjoy the thrice daily diver show, as people donning specialized masks connect onlookers with aquarium insight and answering questions as they come. Creatures you’re likely to see are the wolf eel, sea anemone, sea star, and rockfish.
Life on the Edge – If you enjoy getting your hands dirty, this is the exhibit for you! Get up-close and personal with creatures you might not see on daily basis and engage with who lives at the bottom of the sea! Aquarium Naturalists are always around to answer any questions you might have, making this an incredible educational opportunity.
Pacific Coral Reef – Discover the Pacific Coral Reef in a 25,000-gallon community exhibit, which operates a reef fish community of puffers, tangs, wrasses, triggerfish, and more! You might even see divers feed the fish throughout the day! Opposite the main exhibit are bubbled snapshot displays. Creatures you might see in this exhibit include corals, puffers, giant clams, and triggerfish.
Birds & Shores – Take a stroll along the coastal Northwest in this beautiful open-air exhibit that highlights the many species of birds that can be found along the rough and rocky shorelines. Besides birds, you’ll also enjoy many species of fish and invertebrate. Creatures you might encounter include the black oystercatcher, common mure, tufted puffin, long-billed curlew, pigeon guillemot, and rhinoceros auklet.
The Underwater Dome – Another behemoth of an exhibit, this 400,000-gallon tank is filled with hundreds of “fascinating Puget Sound fish” life. With views from below, this undersea dome gives you an interesting look into the beautiful and ever-changing underwater wildlife. Their fish feeding happens daily at 1:30pm. Creatures you might encounter in this exhibit are rockfish and dogfish.
Marine Mammals – But fish isn’t all they have! Their Marine Mammals exhibits are some of their most popular, and include fan-favorites like sea otters, northern fur seals, harbor seals, and river otters. Though you might see local otters in the wild along Portage Bay, these ones are also super cute to see! Do you enjoy seeing them swimming or diving underwater? There’s a view for that! And you can see the cute antics of these wonderful creatures as they play, eat, groom, lounge, and more! Check their daily schedule for talks, Q&As, and animal feedings.
Daily Seattle Aquarium activities are plentiful and scheduled throughout the day, so you can hit a few up during your visit.
- Diver Show – Held at the Window on Washington Waters at 10am, 11:30am and 12:15pm (also at 3pm on weekends only)
- Storytime – Held at the Family Activity Center on weekends at 11am
- Meet Our Maine Mammals – Held at the Marine Mammal Exhibits at 11:30am, 2pm and 5pm
- Meet Our Octopus – Held at the Octopus Exhibit at noon and 4pm
All of these creatures (and more) are an integral part of Seattle marine life, and the Seattle Aquarium is dedicated to increasing marine life understanding and importance to a healthy ecosystem.
What do you love about the Seattle Aquarium? Share your experiences with us!
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