Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
September 27, 2006
The touch tank is set up so that kids can touch some of the friendlier ocean animals, including crabs, snails, and starfish.
There are plenty of benches for rest, and also rocking chairs to relax right next to ocean-themed children's books and toys.
Great way to spend 2-4 hours, and well worth the price.
From journal Weekend in Charleston
by Taylor Shelby
Charleston, South Carolina
February 14, 2005
The coastal area was my favorite. Going out into what seems like a large cage perched overlooking the Cooper River, you are in another open-air exhibit; this one filled with all the different animals you find in the coastal areas of South Carolina. There are a number of different species of loose birds and some very unusual turtles. This exhibit also has a beautiful owl.
After the coastal area you come to the ocean, which seems to be the favorite among most people. After seeing a tank of schooling fish, flounder, weird fish with legs, and a couple of baby sea turtles (they are adorable!), you come to the main attraction of the aquarium, the 300,000-gallon Deep Ocean tank. This tank is full of sharks, eels, an enormous loggerhead turtle, and more fish than I could count. Sometimes they have a diver in the tank to talk about the different creatures you see. You can view this tank from a lot of different angles, which is great.
Make sure to look at the small but neat jellyfish exhibit when you are in this area. It is off to the side, so many people don't realize it is there. One tank is lit with blacklights so you can see the glowing colors they have.
After leaving the ocean, you come to the Discovery Lab area, which is great for the kids. They have a touch tank and different strange animals that a trainer discusses. Also in this area is the special exhibit. Right now they have an Amazon exhibit. I didn't go in because there is a huge anaconda and I'm terrified of snakes, but my roommate said it was really cool.
I think the aquarium is a wonderful place for anyone, and I highly recommend it. If you have kids, they may especially appreciate it, since they are probably tired of being dragged around to restored houses! Make sure to check out the gift shop, too. It has some really great merchandise that you might not expect.
From journal Charleston's Big Sights
The exhibits are broken up into the many different regions that you find in South Carolina. Starting in the Mountain Forest area, which shows marine life at the foot of the mountains you find in northwest South Carolina, you walk through a recreated open-air forest. There are rock-face walls and icy creeks filled with local trout and other fish. The constant cool mist helps to really put you in the mountains (despite the blazing heat outside). This is also the area that has three otters that are delightful and playful and a treat for all visitors.
At the foot of the mountains, you enter the Piedmont plateau. These rolling hills will seem familiar to fishermen, who are used to catching the catfish and other animals who inhabit this area. There is also an interesting exhibit on fly-fishing.
Next, visitors enter the coastal plain, which consists of the familiar swamps and marshes that I often associate with the low country. There is a dark tank that shows the species that live in the Blackwater swamps, including snapping turtles and some unusual, rarely seen fish. This exhibit also has snakes (yikes) that you see in this area and a tank that has some small alligators lurking around. They were really fascinating close up.
Blacksburg, South Carolina
February 20, 2005
From journal The Old South is Alive and Well in Charleston
January 2, 2004
The Discovery Lab, where you can hold and examine a horseshoe crab, is fun for all ages. We spent several minutes holding these prehistoric creatures and others. Piranha, turtles, river fish, birds, seahorses, and many other creatures can be seen in varying exhibits.
From journal Myrtle Beach--a family vacation
by Nahali Croft
May 28, 2002
The new Mountain Forest Gallery, a glass-enclosed aviary, contains free-flying bluebirds, cardinals, thrushes, and Eastern towhees. The area depicts a mountain ravine at a cascade, and the plants are exactly what you would expect to see in a mountain forest. Animals roam throughout the exhibit, including fish, salamander, snakes, and river otters.
The Piedmont Shoals exhibit provides a below-water view of a rushing stream flowing over a rocky outcrop. In this fast-flowing environment, the fish have small, streamlined bodies adapted for fast swimming in fast-moving water.
Nearly two-thirds of South Carolina lies in the caostal plain. The Coastal Plain Gallery includes the Brownwater Swamp Exhibit, Swamp Snakes Exhibit, and the Blackwater Swamp Exhibit. In addition to the fish and snakes visitors can view in the Coastal Plain Gallery are the presence of several species of turtles.
The Coastal Exhibit also contains turtles, as well as birds, fish, and snakes that reside along the coast. Visitors can also see the Seahorse Exhibit. A backdrop of coral and a sand-filled bottom are used to highlight these colorful creatures.
The last of the five watersheds represented is the Great Ocean Exhibit. This gallery extends through two stories of the South Carolina Aquarium.The Great Ocean Exhibit contains 30,000 gallons of water, and it contains hundreds of animals and plants. The exhibit offers many different views, such as Sandy Seafloor, Deep Ocean, and Rocky Reef.
I would especially recommend this attraction to any family visiting Charleston since there are several hands-on activities throughout the aquarium, as well as the interesting animals. Of course, all nature lovers will delight in experiencing the different habitats and getting close-up views of the often elusive fauna.
From journal The Charms of Charleston
by Free Spirit
May 19, 2001
What makes this aquarium most special is its location right on the harbor. With all that there is to see inside, I was constantly drawn to the outside and the amazing closeness to the activities in the harbor: tug boats and huge cargo ships, pleasure boats, Fort Sumter, and playful dolphins which broke the surface of the water. There are balconies and areas around the aquarium where visitors drink in the fresh air and the sights. We couldn't believe how close we were to the tug boats as they connected to a loaded container ship that needed safe passage through the channels. There is an interactive touch tank inside where visitors can touch horseshoe crabs and sea urchins. This aquarium is a treasure.
Look up the S.C. Aquarium at www.scaquarium.org for information about hours, prices, new arrivals, and special activities that are changing throughout the year. There is also a link there to many other aquariums, and I have discovered that seeing one does not make me say, "Been there, done that." I would love to see more for myself. Cost is a factor, however. The Charleston Aquarium is $14 for adults, $7 (4-12), and free (under 3). I think it is worth the money. There is an IMAX theater beside the aquarium and apparently a Fort Sumter museum under construction. There is a park and there are other sights of interest in the historic district closeby.
There is a very nice parking garage across the street from the aquarium. It charges by the hour and provides a convenient place to safely park your car out of the sun. There is no parking along the street by the aquarium complex.
From journal Activities on Charleston Harbor
July 7, 2003
From journal Loving the Lodge