Phoenix. One of the nation’s largest cities, infamously the sunny (and toasty) Valley of the Sun, this Southwestern metropolis might not be the first place to one would look to find a world of aquatic life, but thankfully that is the case. Blessed in rich topography and an exploding population, it would seem humans are far from the only ones to come to Phoenix in large numbers, as a resident population of aquatic animals from all over the world has also settled here in a number of institutions. Whether you are a visiting tourist, returning home for friends and family, or a local looking for something to do, read on for some of our favorite aquariums in the Phoenix area.
Our first entry to the list must be the premier attraction, OdySea Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Southwest! Over 6,000 animals represent more than 370 species in a dazzling number of exhibits, diverse in their populations as they are in the environments they represent and most notably, in their layouts. Visitors travel the world’s oceans in a series of immersive and interactive exhibits, including the Deep Ocean Escalator, Rotating OdySea Voyager, (the only revolving aquarium in the world), and the notable SEA TREK experience.
SEA LIFE Arizona
The colorful SEA LIFE Arizona exhibit is a great option for families and visitors wanting to make the most of a single visit, with a variety of exhibits that inspire and entertain the imaginations of visitors of all ages. Here, icons such as the zebra shark, southern ray, green sea turtle and the bamboo shark reside among other species. The highlight exhibit, however, is the 360-degree Ocean Tunnel, putting you in the center of the action, a walk through a colorful tropical sea community of exotic flora and fauna.
Wildlife World Zoo
On the western side of Phoenix’s metro is another unique attraction- the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. Indeed, while this may not specifically be an aquarium, the Wildlife World Zoo’s attention to aquatic animals cannot go ignored, for its scope and depth of coverage. Visitors looking for a true variety of experiences with aquatic animals and more will enjoy the Wildlife World Zoo. Here, Nile crocodile, alligator snapper turtles, arapaima, giant Pacific octopus, and Asian small-clawed otter are only some of the famous faces resident. However, the stars of the show here are undoubtedly the sea lions, with their eccentric antics for all to see.
The Phoenix Zoo’s roster also is worth a spot on our list, combining a mission of education and conservation with animals from land and sea. Families of stingrays, the Aldabra tortoise, and the majestic Asian elephant have their presence with visitors and have graced the Phoenix community for generations. Also of note here are the number of hands-on experiences, feedings, and Q&A sessions, as well as the number of tours at different speeds, with safari experiences and calm strolls all available.
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