Back in town, a traveler’s escape or locals just curious about what’s around Boston will be delighted to know the City on a Hill is as wealthy in aquatic life as it is in history. Read on for some of our favorite aquarium experiences around Boston.
New England Aquarium
The New England Aquarium is easily a full day’s event, if not a gift that keeps on giving. This is owed to its diversity in wildlife, experiences, and purpose, a place where Boston goes to be educated and inspired by some twenty-thousand representatives of more than six hundred species.
The Indo-Pacific Coral Reef exhibit is the first of many examples of New England Aquarium’s great scope, housing a community complete with its own small coral neighborhood and famous faces such as the tomato clownfish, orangespine unicornfish, and the longnose butterflyfish. The Penguin Exhibit is home to the lovable African penguins and rockhoppers, where guests can see their eccentric activities on land and in the water. Representing the West Coast is the Olympic Coast Exhibit, a glimpse into the lifestyles of the inhabitants off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, including stoic bivalves, colorful anemone communities, and kelp forest, and the majestic giant Pacific octopus.
The jewel in the New England Aquarium’s crown, however, is the aptly named Giant Ocean Tank, four stories of a complete Caribbean coral reef exhibit, a massive project undergone by the Artistic talents of the aquarium to a strikingly lifelike result. Inside more than 200,000 gallons of warm salt water are barracuda, reef fishes, loggerhead sea turtles, moray eels, and the most famous star of New England Aquarium, Myrtle the Green Sea Turtle, dazzling the people of Boston since 1970!
Also present is the Atlantic Harbor Seals Exhibit, with its own quirky family of local Atlantic Harbor Seals. Here, you can watch the beloved Atlantic harbor seals swim and perform in their deep habitat, or enjoy a sunbath on top of the rocks. There is also the Amazon Rainforest exhibit, a trip through 4,500 gallons of captivating terror – between piranhas, tetra, anacondas, electric eels, and poison dart frogs.
In addition to these exhibits, there is also a variety of more interactive experiences for visitors who prefer a hands-on visit. These include two touch tanks where visitors can meet and touch tidepool natives such as Sea Stars, Mussels, Snails, and Sea Urchins, or docile cownose rays, Atlantic rays, and Epaulette Sharks.
Guests can also famously catch the opportunity to go whale-watching with the professionals of the New England Aquarium every year throughout the summer, where a rich community of humpback, finback minke, pilot, and right whales flourish off of the coast of Massachusetts. This is a three-to-four-hour tour to see some of the larger inhabitants of Massachusetts’ waters in their natural habitat. For those visitors who are unable to attend the New England Aquarium in person, there are also a number of educational and more intimate virtual calls and encounters with special species and the staff.
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