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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.


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Lodging Near Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

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Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), VA $106
Reviewed on May 21, 2019
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Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), VA

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Virginia Beach (Oceanfront), VA

1801 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
     
    3.9 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Very pleasant staff and this has to be the nicest complimentary breakfast we've ever had with plenty of space for guests.

    Baymont by Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront $93
    Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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    Baymont by Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront

    Baymont by Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront

    1201 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA
       
      3.3 of 5
      2.0 out of 5.0

      The staff was friendly and helpful. Great selection of general breakfast items that were fresh and good. Housekeeping was friendly, but did as little as possible. During a 3 night stay, they did not change the sheets, asked me what I needed instead of just coming in and doing their normal cleanin ...

      Days Inn by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach $70
      Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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      Days Inn by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach

      Days Inn by Wyndham Virginia Beach At The Beach

      1000 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
         
        3.5 of 5
        2.0 out of 5.0

        Rooms were clean and comfortable. Pool was nice and warm. Breakfast was okay, not great but not bad. Overall a relatively good experience.

        Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts $139
        Reviewed on May 20, 2019
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        Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts

        Boardwalk by Diamond Resorts

        1601 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
           
          4.0 of 5
          3.0 out of 5.0

          I liked the proximity to the beach and the size of our room.

          Schooner Inn $70
          Reviewed on May 15, 2019
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          Schooner Inn

          Schooner Inn

          215 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
             
            4.1 of 5
            2.0 out of 5.0

            Location was great. Rooms clean and looked just like the picture

            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts $119
            Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts

            Turtle Cay by Diamond Resorts

            600 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
               
              4.1 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0

              How come there is no sign for 'ELEVATOR' in parking lot ?

              Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts $119
              Reviewed on May 17, 2019
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              Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts

              Beach Quarters by Diamond Resorts

              501 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA
                 
                3.8 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0

                The big bathtub in my room and also the kitchen plates and silverware!

                The Barclay Towers Resort Hotel $116
                Reviewed on May 18, 2019
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                The Barclay Towers Resort Hotel

                The Barclay Towers Resort Hotel

                809 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA
                   
                  4.0 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  All of the rooms at The Barclay Towers face the ocean, which was very pleasant. We appreciated having a a separate bedroom and kitchen facilities so we didn’t need to leave our room for meals. The breakfast facility was one of the nicest we have seen. The food was fresh and the attendant was ...