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“Is the only issue the cost?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Great Lakes Aquarium

Great Lakes Aquarium
353 Harbor Drive, I-35, exit 256B, Duluth, MN 55802
218 740 3474
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Ranked #37 of 81 things to do in Duluth
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Attraction details
Owner description: The only aquarium in the U.S. that focuses on freshwater exhibits, this three-story waterfront structure is ready for public viewing after a year and a half and almost $34 million. Plenty of interactive exhibits and re-created habitats are fun and educational for children.
Level Contributor
1,516 reviews
1,041 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,209 helpful votes
“Is the only issue the cost?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

We are seniors and spend more than the admission price on a bad lunch at times, so no big deal. I do think there should be a family rate that caps the cost because young families are not going to spend 60+ dollars for this Aquarium. We went late in the day because we wanted to see the Aerial Bridge by night as well as the Canal Park area. The exhibits are kid friendly and children will enjoy the touch and feel parts. Adults will not be as excited about the place. It needs an infusion of financial support from some good fund raising so the costs can be lowered. They are high because the place can't make it on its own. Too bad I do not see a bright future for this Aquarium.
The Canal Park is free and has more to appeal to families...go at night it is beautiful.

Visited August 2013
3 Thank James H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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252 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Indiana, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
188 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Nice visit...good information”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

A lot of interesting information regarding the Great Lakes, wildlife and environmental issues. Pleasantly surprised at the gift shop prices. More than reasonable for some nice merchandise. Suggest stopping by

Visited July 2013
Thank LaurLaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
65 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Very Informative”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

This aquarium crosses a children's museum with a traditional exhibit heavy aquarium. Our kids (2-1/2 to 9 years) all enjoyed it and so did the adults. Obviously, there is something for everyone.

All of us enjoyed the Great Lakes lock system where you can open and close the locks and let toy boats through.

I liked the complete fresh water fish displays. One does not see muskies often.

Visited August 2013
Thank TervurenTrails
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Dakota
Level Contributor
152 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Kids Had Fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

The kids really enjoyed some of the hands-on things such as the wave machine and interactive model of the Great Lakes. This was a great way to teach kids how boats move through locks. We all had fun with the camouflage screen. I haven't laughed so hard in ages. The lower level definitely had more interesting varieties of sea creatures. The kids were entertained by the busy ducks on the upper level.

The is a very personal opinion, but as someone who does not believe in evolution, I really disliked the evolution-based information presented on the panels at the beginning of the second floor exhibits. Because the is where you start your tour, my immediate impression of the museum was negative. I realize the banner on the outside of the museum hinted that this type of information would be presented and I chose to go in anyway. I also realize other museums display similar information. It was just a large amount right off the bat.

As others have said, the admission fee is high. Other than Spirit Mountain, this was the most expensive attraction we visited in Duluth.

Tip: To save money on parking, if the convention center lot is not full for a convention, you can pay to park there and see three attractions: Vista Cruise, William Irving Ore Boat and the aquarium. The lot is large enough that it is possible to move your car to various sections of the lot close to each attraction as opposed to using separate lots for each attraction and having to pay three different parking fees.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank MomMobile5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jackson, Michigan
Level Contributor
516 reviews
130 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“VERY expensive in my book”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

We only went because it was raining. First they hit you for $5 to park and then $13.50 pp senior! There is a $1 coupon in the tourist coupon book. (I got mine at the Thompson Hill info center but others may have them) Fishermen and kids will enjoy it the most. There is one big, 2 or 3 story (can't remember) tank with all kinds of native fish. The only thing impressive is the size of some of them but pretty, they aren't. My husband did enjoy it more than me but he even said it was not worth the money.

Visited July 2013
Thank Jackie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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