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The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

750 Channel View Drive, Port Aransas, TX 78373-5015
361-749-6729
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Ranked #4 of 10 attractions in Port Aransas
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Aquariums
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
Description: Free admission to see tanks displaying sea horses, eels, oysters, fish and other marine life.
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83 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    44
    23
    14
    2
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Waco, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

My family visited the Marine Institute. It was smaller than I anticipated. There are several fish tanks located inside the building to view. The gift shop is small and quaint. You can take a guided tour around the wetlands walk or browse on your own as we did. We did see pelicans and other birds on our walk.

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

We enjoyed our visit to MSI. Be sure to take the wetlands trail to see the ferry go by. The center has daily educational classes at 10am for kids. Other activities are available, check their website. Make sure you check the locations carefully as they advertise activities from other sites besides the port Aransas one.

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San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
435 reviews 435 reviews
125 attraction reviews
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2014

We couldn't locate the Wetlands Center or museum at first but after going in a back building and walking around found out it was on the other side from where we entered. The Wetlands is a nice, short walk and has good educational signage. You can see pelicans, squirrels, and gulls but not much else. The gift shop is very... More

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Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
22 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2014

I love the work they do here. There is a small Visitor's Center and Gift Shop that benefits their research. There are some educational exhibits and aquariums. If you want to see a HUGE exhibit, go to the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus.

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San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
19 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2014

We visit the Institute whenever we are in Port Aransas - it's free and educational. This year we happened to visit on World Oceans Day in early June. Events included kids crafts and stories, a presentation by a marine biologist, and a presentation by their celebrity oceanographer (including sea turtles), boat excursions (by reservation, we didn't go). I recommend checking... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Hurst, Texas
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
13 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2014

There isn't a ton to look at like a standard aquarium, but they have like 6 or 7 aquariums with different sea creatures to look at and also some fossils and bones. Very cool stop off the beaten path to check out some underwater creatures and not cost you anything. And they have a small gift shop too.

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

If the State Aquarium has become a little too commercialized for you, go here! It's free! They have a small exhibit area and gift shop, but makes up for lack of size by being highly educational. There is also a wetlands trail where you can easily access a jetty to walk out to the ocean. We saw several sea turtles... More

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Texas
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
21 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

The few marine tanks are just enough to whet your appetite. The whale bones are awesome. It is worth a look. My conversation with the young person running the shop was delightful. I learned a little about what is studied on campus and how the system dovetails with studies at UT Austin. The children's books, puzzles and toys awesome. The... More

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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

No fee. Some interesting exhibits. Learned something about the marine life around Port A and got to talk to the person who set them up.

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Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
199 reviews 199 reviews
55 attraction reviews
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2014

This is a free small aquarium to visit while in the area. While parts of it were unavailable because of renovations, we did enjoy seeing the exhibits almost more that the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus. We did not do the estuary tour. The only complaint we had was that we didn't see a sign on where this was located.... More

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