South Carolina Aquarium: Part 1

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Taylor Shelby on February 14, 2005

I had visited both the Chatanooga aquarium and New Orleans aquarium in the past and expected those to far outdo the one in Charleston. While it is not nearly as large as the Chatanooga one and does not have the amount of salt-water life that New Orleans boasts, this aquarium is very impressive.

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.

South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, South Carolina, 29401
(843) 720-1990

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