The New England Aquarium is located right near Boston's Quincy Market. It's a quick walk under I-93 and even The Common and Public Garden are within long walking distance.
The Aquarium is a large cement structure on one of the downtown wharfs, although a few exhibits are on boats or barges berthed along the dock.
Inside, the penguins are one of the highlights inside the main aquarium building. When you walk through the lobby, the main floor is looking down on a large penguin pool, covering the whole floor of the building. Spectators can watch the birds climbing on the rocks and swimming with surprising grace across the pool. During the day, these birds get fed, and visitors are invited to watch.
The penguins may be one of the best parts of the aquarium, but there is much more to see. The building is large and spacious (but dark), and there are walkways close to the walls ramping up to the top of the building. There are displays along most of the walls as you walk up. Along the side you enter on, running the long length of the building, there are skeletons of various sea creatures, giving visitors an idea of the size of some of the aquatic life forms we have. On the two narrow sides are your typical fish tanks. These sides serve as the landings as though you are walking up a large staircase. On one such landing is small pool where people are invited to touch the animals on display.
Connected to one of the sets of landings is a large cylinder tank. There is a ramp around this tank, and people can walk up or down around it instead of the other walkways. This tank is a large reef habitat, which also houses numerous species of sharks. Many times you can observe aquarium employees diving in scuba suits into the pool in order to feed or check up on the inhabitants of the reef.
During the summer months and in the proper seasons, the aquarium offers whale watch tours aboard the Voyager hydrofoil. This whale watch seems to have better whale-finding technology than the others offered such tours offered in Boston. This is because it's not just a sightseeing endeavor for the aquarium, but these trips also allow the marine biologists do research on the whales.
This is one of my favorite aquariums in the world. Many of the others I have been to feel rundown or small. I don't feel that way about the New England Aquarium. Not only is this building large, but the space within is used pretty well. There is a section that focuses on conservation and the clean-up of the Bay, which this place does better than most of its peers. This is another touch that makes this place better in my eyes.