Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach

4.1
#1 of 13 in Zoos & Aquariums in Virginia
The ultra-modern architecture of Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center shelters more than 3 million liters (800,000 gal) of salt and freshwater exhibits. Almost every environment is represented, including the Sahara Desert and an aviary replete with at least 70 species of birds. In 2009, the attraction added the Restless Planet exhibit and four new types of environments: coastal Sahara desert, Malaysian peat swamp, Red Sea, and Indonesia's Flores Island. Put Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center into our Virginia Beach vacation route planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
Create an itinerary including Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
map
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
2,726 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    This was a nice place but was disappointed in the aquarium when comparing it to others that I've been too. The displays were very crowded with narrow walk ways. Also I felt there should have been more...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    This aquarium was crowded on a rainy day at the beach. Due to maintenance of the second large tank, foot traffic was forced to go back on itself to see the next exhibit. For a major coastal resort tow...  more »
  • August 14, 2017
    23 years in the Navy and this was the first time we were on the ocean! We had a great crew that was so informative and friendly. We had a great view of dolphins and learned so much about them on the t...  more »
Google
  • June 17, 2017
    The aquarium was a lot of fun. They have a wide variety of fish and marine mammals. It's just big enough for an afternoon with the family. The kids loved​ the stingray pool. We were a little disappointed that the big tank at the end was closed, but we're looking forward to seeing what will be swimming in it next time. With extra add-ons like 3D movies, seal encounters and dolphin watch cruises, there's something for everyone to enjoy. It was a nice walk to the otter building, past the Adventure Park. That looked like fun too, but we had little ones with us. All the staff we encountered we're very helpful and friendly.
  • June 5, 2017
    This was a neat place to visit with a lot to see & do. The staff was friendly and everything seemed clean/well kept. The exit was through the gift shop which I dislike. Obviously it's good marketing, but It creates unnecessary tension if you're with children. Look into parking before you go. There are multiple lots. Some are for the Aquarium and others for the adventure center. The walk between the 2 centers is not ideal for the very young or very old.
  • July 6, 2017
    Great family destination that's not to be missed! Very knowledgeable volunteers, including a sharp preteen young man who may be running the place some day, giving lots of info and answering questions. High quality eD film was very enjoyable in comfortable, up to date Theater. We were there 3 1/2 to 4 hours with still more to see next time. $30 each including film was about right in my opinion.
  • June 28, 2017
    Overall this was a nice aquarium. Very clean, beautiful nature trails. The tickets are pretty expensive considering the small amount of actual aquariums inside. Quite a few exhibits and displays are under renovation. One of my biggest issues is that the only changing table in this family establishment, is inside a one person family bathroom. There are none in the women's or men's bathroom. There was a line of parents needing to change their children, while a childless woman came walking out of the "family" bathroom 10 minutes later. Definitely need more changing tables.
  • June 4, 2017
    Use to LOVE coming and it was worth it! Went in October and at the desk, after we paid admission we were told 2 of the major exhibits were closed, and I mentioned as long as I could see the otters, I was happy. We walked the nature trail to the otters, and it was closed. No one told us and there weren't any signs about it. I was so disappointed. Paid full price for two major exhibits to be closed. We went again today, with high hopes. One of the major exhibits was still not open, but the otters were! The gift shop on that side though, two employees were so busy talking nasty about another employee that they never said a word to us when we walked in. Never once acknowledged us, and didn't skip a beat with their rude conversation. We were thinking about getting memberships so we could go more often and not have to pay the outrageous price for what you get, but I'm thinking we're probably not going to bother going back. We spent $50 and were hardly there an hour. Pretty disappointed the last few times.

Plan your trip to Virginia Beach

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Virginia Beach

With over 10,000 hotel rooms, Virginia Beach offers comfortable and affordable accommodations for every type of traveler. Even with that many places to choose from, this popular resort area does get quite crowded during the height of the tourist season, so it is essential to reserve your lodgings well in advance. You can stay just steps from the Atlantic by booking your room at one of the city's luxury resort hotels. To stay near the water for less, consider a budget-friendly inn with an ocean view.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Virginia Beach by other users

14 days in Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: November, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM INDIA November, kids, popular PREFERENCES: November, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: October, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Virginia & Seattle BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Virginia BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Virginia Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, beaches, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans