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Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach

(2,400+ reviews on the web)
Science Museum
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.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We really enjoyed the aquarium, and I can't wait until my kids are tall enough for the new ropes course that was added in! The touch tank was quite active, though a few more hand-washing stations woul...  more »
  • The Aquarium is outstanding. Very professional and polite folks. So much to see. My teenage son and nephew found out they had zip lines and and courses so they ventured onto the challenge for 3 hours.  more »
  • This beautiful place but is very short travel there so many species... it is almost the same and was not what we expected
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Google
  • We LOVE the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center! Our family has had a membership for several years, and we still love going. It is a place I can take my 5 year old to explore, touch, learn and even play (yep...they have several places for fun meaningful play) AND take my 15 year old and her friends to wander and explore, and that is not even counting the Imax movies available! I love to bring out of town guests because my kids still enjoying going even when they have already been, and as a local they have activities available all of the time within the Aquarium that can fill a morning or afternoon. Well run, engaging and great exhibits with the animals and sea life. THERE ARE 2 buildings to explore and wonderful nature path in between! A great outing no matter your age. :-)
  • Wife and I took our two young boys here. My oldest seemed to really enjoy himself. The place was not as big as we expected it to be but it was really nice. There were plenty of exhibits with buttons, sounds, and aquatic animals for my boys to enjoy. We got greeted by every staff member and and they all had a wealth of knowledge about their work. Facilities were clean. Probably will go back we the kids are older.
  • My kids loved it. Lots of species. Not a big fan of the photograph service I could have done a better photo shop job for one third the price. But they do not force you to buy it. I wold go again to educate my kids.
  • As I live in the area, it's nice to have a membership just for something extra to do once in a while, but it's definitely not the best aquarium I've ever visited. Some times it's a 5 star experience, sometimes it's a 1-2 star experience. The walking trail between the two buildings is wonderful. If it's too hot or humid, you can always drive, but walking is nice. I love the adventure park (rated separately, that's 5 stars). There are a LOT of play areas within the museum, which is nice for kids. The one thing I cannot stand is that there's not enough room for people in the buildings. When you're walking around you feel constantly rushed by others or blocked by people who are looking at the animals. Which, obviously, is what they're there to do, but the area should be wide enough to get around them, as that would help with not feeling rushed, as well. It's just crowded and most of the families have strollers and it's hard to navigate, especially when you have one yourself. It's insane during the summer and when there are field trip groups during the school year. The volunteers are a hit or miss, as well. Sometimes they're amazing, friendly, and answer your questions well. Other times they kind of get in your face to inform you about things/tell you how to do things in more of an uptight manner. Edit: On my more recent visits, I've quite enjoyed it here and I bumped up my star rating. I hope they keep their wonderful volunteers and employees and look a bit closer at the ones who seem to make the experience more negative for the families.
  • This is a must see if you're visiting Virginia. TIP - they feed the outdoor seals at 10am - so come for a free show & tell without paying a penny. If you're not into fish, catch a IMAX movie instead. 3D National Geographic movies are magnificent.