on July 6, 2007
There is nothing like a trip to the aquarium, no matter what city you are in, but the Audubon Aquarium (www.neworleansonline.com/directory/location.php?locationID=1246) in New Orleans is truly unique. Offering tons of marine life from the local surroundings of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico, the attractions are unrivaled. Located right on Canal Street overlooking the Mighty Mississippi, this aquarium is perfectly located no matter where you are staying. With the admission being a bit high ($17/person for adults), you really do get the most bang for your buck. But please try to go when school is out because I went during Mardi Gras on a Friday, thinking I would be the crowd, and I was way off. Apparently every school comes down here for a field trip and little kids + hangover = unhappy traveler. Anyway, inside, there were some really cool attractions. There was an albino alligator, tons of different jellyfish (ones that even seemed to be producing electric lights), Sea Otters, a really cool tunnel that goes under water to view the inhabitants of the tanks and much more. In the tropical forest area, there were two Toucan birds looming right over head, Piranha’s, Monkey’s and plenty more jungle life that you are not really supposed to play with, but the workers there don’t seem to care so much. One of the coolest things to see is midday when they feed the fish I n the giant tank. First of all, the big tank contains a community of fish that is reminiscent of a community center during a town meeting, and they are everywhere. There are sharks, stingrays, barracuda’s, turtles and a multicolored universe of fish. In one of the rooms, there is a giant viewing area that looks like a movie theater with a screen that is very much alive. The workers drop tons of dead fish into the tank and the fish take different turns scarfing down whatever they can. The sharks grab a little here and there, but the stingrays are the ones to watch; they eat right up against the glass so no other inhabitants can share in their delicacies. There is plenty more to do while here, but I would hate to ruin the fun that each floor has to offer. However, while you are the aquarium, buy the combo ticket that goes with the IMAX movie, because they are pretty interesting. I bought a ticket for what I though was the shark show and ended up watching a documentary about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina and the effects. It was very moving and worth it completely. I also heard the shark show was really cool, but I will catch it next time.
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