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Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Take the kids to this engaging, interactive science center dedicated to educating visitors on the protection and research of Virginia’s marine environment.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is an exciting, educational center featuring more than 300 hands-on exhibits. Encompassing over 800,000 gallons (3,000,000 liters) of aquariums and live animal habitats, the center offers visitors a chance to examine sea turtles, sharks and jellyfish, as well as dozens of other aquatic animals and birds. Handle horseshoe crabs in touch pools, use computers to predict the weather and see a compelling movie in the center’s IMAX theater.

View Malayan leaf frogs, tomistoma crocodiles, snakehead fish and other rare Southeast Asian animals at the Malaysian Peat Swamp. Look for scorpions, seahorses and cobras at the Mediterranean Sea exhibit, which recreates conditions similar to Virginia during the Silurian period. Head to the Chesapeake Bay Touch Pool to interact with horseshoe crabs, sea stars and whelks, while listening to docents explain their anatomy and behavior.

Watch a movie at the six-story National Geographic 3-D Movie Theater, which features a massive screen large enough to accurately depict a life-size whale. Shows range from educational movies to major Hollywood blockbusters.

As you exit the museum, stop at the salt marsh room, which provides an excellent introduction to the nature trail outside. Continue to this 0.3-mile (0.5-kilometer) hike, which runs along Owl Creek salt marsh. Head to the top of the 30-foot (9-meter) observation tower for wonderful views over the surrounding wetlands and creeks. Don’t miss the Adventure Park, which includes an aerial trail of bridges and zip lines.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) south of Virginia Beach’s resort area. The aquarium is open daily, with regular closures for Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is an admission fee. In the summer months, get here by taking advantage of the seasonal trolley service. Interact with Virginia’s diverse marine life at this engaging science center.


Guide to Exploring around Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center


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Best Lodging Options Near Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

See all 1,074 Properties near Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach $35
Howard Johnson by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach

Howard Johnson by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach

512 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this hotel is steps from 5th Street Beach Stage and Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Virginia Beach Convention Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Schooner Inn $50
    Schooner Inn

    Schooner Inn

    215 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
       
      2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Nestled on the beach, this Northeast Virginia Beach hotel is just steps from Rudee Inlet and Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Virginia Beach Convention Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront South $100
      DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront South

      DoubleTree by Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront South

      615 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Northeast Virginia Beach hotel is just steps from 5th Street Beach Stage and Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Virginia Beach Convention Center are also within 2 mi (3 km).

        Ocean Beach Club by Diamond Resorts $79
        Ocean Beach Club by Diamond Resorts

        Ocean Beach Club by Diamond Resorts

        3401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this beachfront condo building is on the boardwalk, just steps from Pacific Avenue and Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Virginia Beach Convention Center and Neptune Statue are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts $75
          Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts

          Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts

          501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this beachfront condo building is on the boardwalk and within a 10-minute walk of JT's Grommet Island Park and Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Ocean Breeze Waterpark are also within 2 mi (3 km).

            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts $79
            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts

            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts

            600 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this condo building is within a 10-minute walk of JT's Grommet Island Park and Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and Ocean Breeze Waterpark are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Virginia Beach $62
              La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Virginia Beach

              La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Virginia Beach

              2800 Pacific Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this hotel is steps from Pacific Avenue and Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Virginia Beach Convention Center and Neptune Statue are also within 2 mi (3 km).

                Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts $79
                Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts

                Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts

                1601 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Northeast Virginia Beach, this beachfront condo building is on the boardwalk, just steps from 17th Street Park, John Wareing Monument, and Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum and Old Coast Guard Station are also within 15 minutes.