National Aquarium of Baltimore
Baltimore, United States
Most American cities have built aquariums to lure tourists. The National Aquarium in Baltimore was the trend setter. Building a colossal aquarium was unique in the 1970s as most aquariums were extensions of zoos. The National Aquarium helped anchor the Inner Harbor neighborhood and was essential to the area’s success.
Nearly every marine ecosystem is represented here: from the Amazon Rain Forest to the frozen Arctic to the depths of the oceans. Naturally, there is heavy emphasis placed on the 225,000 gallon shark tank which is sure to mesmerize visitors as sharks swim within a few inches. Hopefully that Plexiglas is strong.
One of the best experiences is the recreated rain forest. Temperature controlled for uncomfortable authenticity, be assaulted by the heat and humidity of the Amazon. This large exhibit spotlights the plethora of wildlife including birds, reptiles and amphibians as well as marine life.
Although it has passed its 30th birthday, the Aquarium is hardly showing its age. Recent additions include Animal Planet Australia, winner of the 2008 Best Exhibit by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Like the Amazon rain forest exhibit, Australia is a walk in exhibit and displays birds and reptiles of the island continent.
The Marine Mammal Pavilion puts on several shows throughout the day with Atlantic bottle nosed dolphins jumping and soaring through the air with ease. The Aquarium also has a 4D IMAX theatre with nature films or the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
The Aquarium's official parking garage, the Lockwood Place Garage at 124 Market Street, is around the corner from the Aquarium. Due to its location, there is very little street parking in the area.
The Baltimore Metro Subway stops at Shot Tower/Market Place, 2-3 blocks north of the Aquarium. The closest light rail or MARC train station is at Camden Yards.
The Aquarium is an easy walk from Inner Harbor, heading east on the waterfront.
Maryland State House