NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

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North Carolina Coast
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher
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North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is a top notch aquarium! One of its more unusual features are its temporary exhibits. Its dinosaur walk through the coastal hammock (jungle) was incredible, with huge, scaly, moving dinosaurs that roared, and currently (April 2019) it has a lorikeet exhibit. 

Another outdoor feature of this aquarium is a huge ultra-colorful (think Dr. Suess) space age playground. 
Inside there are two storeys of beautiful exhibits, including a huge tank where scuba divers swim among sharks. Other tanks include moon jellies, spotted jellies, sea horses with needle fish, longnose gar fish, cottonmouth and diamondback snakes, an albino alligator and regular alligators, and tropical fish including little puffer fish. There is also a touch tank with sting rays and horseshoe crabs, tropical tank with fan coral, an eel popping out to explore, megalodon jaw, shark jaws and sea serpent skeleton, giant crab, large turtle, box turtles, and my favorite, poison dart frogs. I love the blue frog!
The gift shop has some super necklaces and stuffed animals. 
Buy your tickets online ahead of time to avoid a long line in the  hot sun.
The aquarium is located in a beautiful, wild area at the southern tip of Pleasure Island. You can see the ocean through twisty trees as you drive to the aquarium.
It was shocking to see how many morbidly obese people were at this museum (about half the population)- I guess a reflection of all the deep fried food in the area. 
Make sure you walk the grounds of nearby Fort Fisher Historic Site, which are so magical! The 1921 Fort Fisher Monument is also a nice spot, on the ocean, with huge rocks along the shore.
For a nice beach with colorful upscale beach houses, check out Kure Beach, and for ice cream and a fun atmosphere at a beachside boardwalk, Carolina Beach
Nearby, at Fort Fisher Ferry Terminal, you can catch a 35 minute car ferry ride to Southport, an adorable town on the water. I recommend visiting this town, and eating at one of the restaurants on the waterfront at Yacht Basin Drive, then walking the Marsh Walk. It's blissful!

Continue to directions...

The entrance with school of fish sculpture fountain.

Fresh waterways section.

Longnose gar fish.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Cottonmouth snake.


Albino alligator!

Fish in a pretty tank.

Sting ray touch tank.

Horseshoe crab in the touch tank.

Tropical coral and fish.

Huge tank with sharks.

Second level.

View of the coast through the window.

Coral and tropical fish.

Fan coral!

Moon jellies.

Fan coral and tropical fish.

Large tropical fish.

Eel coming out from behind the coral.


Spotted jellyfish.

Huge grouper.

Megalodon jaw.

Sand tiger shark jaw.

Shark jaws.

Sea serpent skeleton!

Needle fish and star fish.

A boy looks at a giant crab.

Colorful gift shop.

Space age playground.

Stegosaurus and cabbage palm! This was a temporary exhibit.

His eyes move!

Dilophosaurus. The dinosaur walk was a temporary exhibit.

Baby dinos in a nest.

T-Rex! The dinosaur walk was a temporary exhibit.

Cute little dinos.

Taking a photo.

Diabloceratops. The dinosaur walk was a temporary exhibit.

Sea monster.

Turtles on a log, and sea monster sculpture.

Jungly area of the outdoor walkway.

Frog sculptures.

Box turtle!

Love across color divides...

Touch tank discussion.

Fish cruising by.

I love these froggies!

Dart frog.

Blue frog.

Brother and sister checking out a Grouper fish.

Playground outside with spinners and step stools.

Space age playground with slides, tunnels, step stools...

Cool plaque showing where each hurricane sped.

A girl delights in lorikeets at a special exhibit.

Lorikeet lovebirds.

An impressive lorikeet.


North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located at 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449. 
Open daily 9-5.
Price is $13 for adults, $12 for seniors and military, and $11 for kids aged 3-12. Use your reciprocal membership pass if you have one.


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Last Updated: Mon, 26 Feb 2024 01:30:53 GMT

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