Aquariums around Washington, DC

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Washington, DC. The nation’s capital, rich in history, landmark institutions, and a burgeoning, diverse population, picking any one activity to do might seem difficult here when there are so many options. So allow us to recommend to you some of the best the area has to offer in aquatic life. Whether you’re visiting, in the area to see friends and family or a local resident of the DMV, this side of the capital might be less known with everything in the region- but nonetheless more than worth the visit. Read on for some of our favorite aquariums around Washington, DC. 

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Washington DC’s premier attraction for wildlife of all origins and all types is Smithsonian’s National Zoo, unrivaled in the region for its scope and work. Some of the famous faces visitors can see here include the arapaima, Asian small-clawed otter, beaver, California sea lion, crocodile monitor, electric eel, freshwater stingray, gharial, grey seal, Japanese giant salamander, and the North American river otter. 

Aside from the stunning variety in animals, there is also the exhibits themselves, taking visitors on a tour of the world’s most iconic ecosystems, including the Sahara desert, the Panamanian jungle, the islands of Madagascar and Sumatra, the Chinese interior, the Amazon, and the coastal rocks of California. In addition to these, there are also a number of events celebrating the many inhabitants of Smithsonian’s National Zoo year-round and on special occasions, adding another element of variety to any visit.

Glen Echo Park Aquarium

Just outside the city borders in neighboring Glen Echo is Glen Echo Park Aquarium, a center of learning and exploration for the aquatic wildlife of the Potomac, Chesapeake Bay, and the Capital Region. Here, visitors of all ages and interests can engage their curiosities in a series of interactive exhibits, and meet locals such as the Chesapeake blue crab, the horseshoe crab, mummichog, channel catfish, yellow-bellied slider, American eel, and oyster toadfish. Aside from this, there are also opportunities to interact with the animals in touch pools and learn about the variety of activities from fishing to microscopic life with hands-on exhibits.

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park is Washington DC’s retreat from the city inside the city, a realm of nature, changing colors, numerous native species, and human activities blended with the reach of nature. Here, visitors can see red and grey foxes, beavers, meadow voles, red-backed salamanders, eastern box turtles, and northern water snakes. Birdwatchers will also find themselves somewhat spoiled here, as Rock Creek Park is home to over 150 species of birds! A number of historical relics also are on-site, meaning visitors can truly step into different ages of our nation’s capital, from before man, to the colonial era, and to the integrated age of the present. Visitors can participate in a ranger-led tour, learn at the range of in-building activities managed by the park, or enjoy golfing and horseback riding for those who want a bit of a more unique experience.

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