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“Repeat visitor”

North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Dive into adventure. Take a tour of North Carolina’s aquatic life “from the mountains to the sea.” Talk with divers as they swim with sharks in the Living Shipwreck, featuring a WW II German U-boat replica. Laugh at the antics of playful river otters, touch a stingray or enjoy programs free with admission. Field trips and other activities are available for additional fees. On-site snack bar and gift shop.
Cary, North Carolina
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Repeat visitor”
Reviewed November 22, 2012

Spending a week on the Crystal Coast each year has become a tradition. I've been to the NC aquarium a few times and have enjoyed it each visit. Nice exhibits, including the huge saltwater tank with multiple sharks w/ large viewing area. The divers in the tank were educational and interesting, especially for younger visitors. The snake / turtle viewing areas are also very nice and allow for a great, close-up viewing. An outdoor area adds a little something. The other great thing about this aquarium is that it's not overcrowded, so it allows for a comfortable, relaxing experience where you get a good view without being crowded or rushed. I would definitely recommend a visit if you are spending some time in the area (especially on a rainy day when you can't enjoy the beach!)

Visited September 2012
Thank pillis1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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743 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great place to visit for all ages.”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

One of the best aquariums I've visited. We actually got time to look and spend time at each exhibit without feeling crowded. Make sure to time your visit with the sharktank dives and other events they have through the day/

Visited November 2012
Thank KrishnaV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Family Friendly”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

We had a great time visiting with our grand-daughter. Lots to see and touch. great outdoor area on the boardwalk. Divers in the living shipwreck were entertaining. All ages were educated and entertained.

Visited October 2012
Thank Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina
Level Contributor
166 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Fish, Education & Fun!”
Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stopped in for a visit to the aquarium on Sat., Nov. 3rd. It been quite some time since we had been to this location & they have completed updated their exhibits. They have one of the largest salt water tanks on the East Coast with a scale wreck of a German U-Boat for all the fish & sharks to swim around. Also was lucky enough to be there for a live dive & a little later a feeding.

Make sure you check out the otters. We see them occasionally while cruising the ICWW where we live, but you seldom get this close to them in the wild.

The aquarium also has a nice nature walk area which we enjoyed. Be sure to give yourself a least an hour to see everything & you can spend a whole day here without being bored.

Visited November 2012
Thank Tommy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, Nc
Level Contributor
74 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great for Kids and Adults”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We bought an annual pass for adults and grandkids, and every time that we're in the area we go visit the aquarium. If my memory serves me right, on Tuesdays and Thursdays they feed the sharks at the same time they feed the other fish. It's great to see these ferocious-looking fish swimming around with a smaller fish in its jaws. The employee narrating the fish-feeding seemed knowledgable and was quite personable, willing to help us understand anything about the aquarium that interested us.

It normally takes us about 2 hours to see the aquarium, and grandkids always consider it a treat to go. This last time we went with some adults visiting us who had a zoo pass from another state. The zoo pass got them in free, and as leaving, they said that it was one of the best aquariums they had ever visited.

The tanks are all well-kept and clean.

Touching the stingrays is fun for kids and adults alike. This time there was one small stingray who kept coming up to the surface to have its "wings" lightly touched.

My personal favorite is the river otters. I love to see them playing, diving into the water, running from area to area and diving in the water again. This time we saw the three otters being fed. The employee "hid" fish in places around the exhibit. Then the otters were released to come back in, and they "searched" for the fish.

In the baby turtle exhibit, there were a half dozen or so small turtles who had been rescued from a birth this last August. It was amazing to see how much they had grown in just 2-3 months. Apparently they keep the small turtles for a couple of years and then have them released out in the gulf stream.

In the past, when the weather is bad at the beach, we head for the aquarium. The only problem with this is most everyone has the same idea! So it gets a little crowded. This time, it was a nice day in October, and we had lots of space.

Really worth the trip!

Visited October 2012
Thank CLTKiter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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