South Carolina Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

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See an array of aquatic creatures, including an albino alligator, in underwater habitats ranging from salt marshes to coastal plains.

The South Carolina Aquarium houses some 6,000 plants and animals. The 60 exhibits cover five major geographical areas in South Carolina. See ocean-dwelling marine life and water-based creatures that live in the mountains. There’s also the Madagascar Journey, where you’ll learn about this island’s species, 70 percent of which are found nowhere else in the world.

Alabaster the albino alligator dwells in the Blackwater Swamp part of the Coastal Plains exhibit. He has red eyes, almost translucent scales and is sensitive to light. The survival rate for albino alligators in the wild is a matter of hours, so Alabaster is a rare sight. The conservation of Alabaster and other endangered animals like him is one of the roles of the aquarium.

The sea turtle rescue program treats and rehabilitates sick and injured turtles found on the coast before returning them to the wild. Visit the aquarium’s sea turtle hospital to learn about different species of turtle and how they’re brought back to health.

Watch young otters at play in the Mountain Forest exhibit. The enclosures are designed to resemble habitats in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. A forest display features a waterfall with a pool of local fish, such as trout. For a real treat, listen to the songs of the mountain birds in the aviary.

A 15,000-gallon (56,781-liter) tank in the Great Hall entrance exhibits colorful fish found on coral reefs off the coast of South Carolina.

At the Saltmarsh Aviary you can join the mid-morning feeding of Atlantic stingrays. Purchase a cup of their food from Gilligan’s Shrimp Shack just near the exhibit.

When your feet need a rest, take a seat in the 4-D immersion theater and enjoy a film; the tickets are additional to admission.

The South Carolina Aquarium lies at the end of Charleston Waterfront Park near downtown Charleston. It’s just over a mile’s walk from downtown to the aquarium or you can drive and park in the adjacent garage for a fee. The CARTA shuttle bus stops at the aquarium and other attractions around Charleston.

The aquarium is open daily, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and half the day on Christmas Eve.

Top Hotels Close to South Carolina Aquarium

Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
4 out of 5
20 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464-4377
The price is $219 per night from May 31 to Jun 1
Stay at this 4-star beach resort in Mount Pleasant. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and 2 restaurants. Our guests praise the pool and the helpful staff in our ...
4/5 Very Good! (1,115 reviews)
"The hotel staff were pleasant, the rooms were clean and comfortable. Two complaints- the water for showering was mostly lukewarm ( though they did try to fix issue). And on our last day- we thought we would use hot tub in morning ( 10 am - just had been cleaned- NOT) masks, beer cans, straws , clumps ..."

Reviewed on May 14, 2022

Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
The Charleston Place
The Charleston Place
5 out of 5
205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC, 29401-3110
The price is $525 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 21
Stay at this 5-star luxury hotel in Charleston. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.8/5 Exceptional! (980 reviews)
"The staff at the property was excellent. The valet parking staff was exceptional, as was the front desk and club level personnel. The spa staff was absolutely terrific. Housekeeping kept the room spotless and the bedtime turndown was always excellent. I highly recommend this property. The pool, sky ..."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

The Charleston Place
The Francis Marion Hotel
The Francis Marion Hotel
4 out of 5
387 King St, Charleston, SC, 29403-6404
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $229 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Charleston. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (1,541 reviews)
"Good location to historical sites."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

The Francis Marion Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near South Carolina Aquarium

Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
4 out of 5
20 Patriots Point Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464-4377
The price is $219 per night from May 31 to Jun 1
Harborside at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina
The Charleston Place
The Charleston Place
5 out of 5
205 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC, 29401-3110
The price is $525 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 21
The Charleston Place
The Francis Marion Hotel
The Francis Marion Hotel
4 out of 5
387 King St, Charleston, SC, 29403-6404
The price is $229 per night from May 30 to May 31
The Francis Marion Hotel
Ansonborough Inn
Ansonborough Inn
3 out of 5
21 Hasell Street, Charleston, SC, 29401
The price is $269 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 21
Ansonborough Inn
Hilton Club Liberty Place Charleston
Hilton Club Liberty Place Charleston
3 out of 5
475 EAST BAY STREET, Charleston, SC, 29403
The price is $354 per night from May 30 to May 31
Hilton Club Liberty Place Charleston
Emeline
Emeline
4 out of 5
181 Church St, Charleston, SC, 29401-3122
The price is $379 per night from May 30 to May 31
Emeline
The Ryder Hotel
The Ryder Hotel
3.5 out of 5
237 Meeting Street, Charleston, SC, 29401-1609
The price is $256 per night from Jun 12 to Jun 13
The Ryder Hotel
Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District
Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District
3.5 out of 5
560 King Street, Charleston, SC, 29403
The price is $229 per night from May 30 to May 31
Hyatt Place Charleston/Historic District
HarbourView Inn
HarbourView Inn
4 out of 5
2 Vendue Range, Charleston, SC, 29401-2114
The price is $363 per night from May 31 to Jun 1
HarbourView Inn
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.