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“One of only 3 in North Carolina!”

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Ranked #3 of 10 things to do in Kure Beach
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Visitors to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, located in Kure Beach (a short drive from Wilmington), enjoy an exploration of “The Waters of the Cape Fear.” Journey down the Cape Fear River – from freshwater streams and swamps, to coastline habitats, reefs and the open ocean - discovering unique habitats and aquatic wildlife. Meet a rare albino alligator named Luna. Get eye-to-eye with a loggerhead sea turtle. Talk to a SCUBA diver swimming with sharks rays and eels. Compare teeth with a megalodon. Touch sea stars, horseshoe crabs and even sharks! Play outside in the Adventure Reef play area. Feed free-flying tropical birds. Free daily programs include dive presentations, animal feedings and encounters. Explore more with behind-the-scenes tours, outdoor adventures, classes, camps and more. Open 363 days a year, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Days). Tickets available at the door and online.
Reviewed January 3, 2012

Not the biggest or the brightest, but will definitely give you an opportunity to learn more about the surrounding zoology in and around the Cape Fear area. Minimal cost associated with tours or just walk around a few of the free exhibits! 1st Sunday of the month is free!

Thank AJ_Seahawk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"albino alligator"
in 131 reviews
"butterfly exhibit"
in 34 reviews
"horseshoe crabs"
in 56 reviews
"fort fisher"
in 84 reviews
"rainy day"
in 59 reviews
"sea life"
in 42 reviews
"snack bar"
in 32 reviews
"touch tank"
in 48 reviews
"gift shop"
in 58 reviews
"north carolina aquarium"
in 22 reviews
"all ages"
in 52 reviews
"two story"
in 12 reviews
"answer questions"
in 18 reviews
"interactive exhibits"
in 12 reviews
"main tank"
in 15 reviews
"great for kids"
in 17 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 15 reviews

1,058 - 1,062 of 1,122 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2012

My husband was reluctant to go to this aquarium because we have been to many before, but was pleasantly surprised. The volunteers and staff were all friendly and knowledgeable. They cover not just fish, but other animals that live near the water. We especially enjoyed being eye to eye with the alligator, seeing an albino alligator and the jellyfish that were unlike any we have seen. If you are staying in Southport you can take the ferry and it is just a short walk from the dock.

1  Thank gardener19464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

Very family friendly. Not to expensive. Great place to take the family and see the sea life.

1  Thank tiffany m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2011

We visited the day before Thanksgiving. We were surprised at the amount of people that were there- definitely a steady stream of people coming through. This is a small aquarium with local type aquatic life. It gives you an idea of the type of marine life in the NC area. They did have a large tank that was 2 stories high and had a shark and eel in it along with other large creatures. They offer educational programs at different times and several of our party went to the one about Jelly-fish. They learned soo much and thought it was great. The main tank has a feeding time on Friday- I believe it was at 3pm. There were divers in the tank while we were there and they posed for pictures with the guests. There is a touch tank with horse-shoe crabs. When you first enter the aquarium it is very humid- they have snakes and crocodiles (? or alligators- not sure which were there.) The entire aquarium is wheel-chair friendly as well as stroller friendly. There are elevators available to get downstairs. The snack-bar was not open while we were there and there were minimal choices in the vending machines. They will take your picture in front of a GREEN SCREEN while you are there and you can purchase really fun pictures if you like. They turned out picture into a holiday card as well as other neat things. We had a child that was wearing ALL GREEN (green pants and a solid green shirt) and because of that his clothes disappered in the pictures and were replaced by coral and shark teeth. It made the pictures REALLY cool. I felt that the price of the pictures was actually reasonable compared to other places I have visited recently. We got 4- 4x6 pictures as well as the cd with all of the pictures and copyright release for 25 dollars. I was able to then use my CD at print off more pictures. While we were there they were ripping up most of the outdoor area and working to better it. This is not a large aquarium- however, we really enjoyed it. We were able to get upclose and really VIEW the creatures. It was wonderful. The kids ranged in age from 9 months to 13 years old and everyone talked about how it was wayy better than the LARGE aquarium we visited in August because the creatures were soo close to where you were standing and you could really learn a lot about the different parts of the NC environment.and on that day it was not crowded and because of that we could see them so we allowed them to go from tank to tank on their own. As for the gift-shop...it is one of the nicest I have ever seen. It was clean, the items in it were carefully chosen and were all sooo nice. It wasn't a bunch of junk like you normally find at most places- there were some definite keep-sakes in there. I am really glad that we went. We stayed there for several hours and loved it.

1  Thank HotelsRmyLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 17, 2011

Nice place to visit when it is rainy ! All kinds of things to see from frogs to fish, snakes, alligators, they will even take your photo for you. It is very clean and well kept place second visit here.

1  Thank Pokiedot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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