Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans

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I have to say, I am always fascinated by the world under the sea so aquariums are something I love to go to, although I haven’t had much of a chance to go to many. I did, however get a chance to go to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans when I was there in the area last month and I have to say, I was not disappointed. If you are thinking of going while you are there, it is definitely worth your time.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans

When you first walk in, you will see a large gift shop to your right and a fountain feature directly in front with a few halls and staircases on either side. I thought this was a pretty great entrance.

aquarium entrance

I decided to start at the top floor and work my way down. One of the first places I entered, I saw there was a touch pool for sting rays. Having never touched a ray before, I was super excited to be able to get up close and personal with one. I was even more excited when I found out I was there in time to feed them. They do 3 feedings a day and I was there for the 11:30 am one. Feeding the rays is quite an experience and it wasn’t an expensive one, either at 2 bucks a pop. In case you are wondering, sting rays eat shrimp on that particular day.

sting ray

After my excitement of feeding sting rays, I walked around the 2nd floor which consisted of some conservation information (which I thought was great!) as well as some local animal life such as shrimp, crayfish and local freshwater as well as saltwater fish.

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There was also some hard plastic play features for the little ones and some boating simulators as well.

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The second floor also has a couple of restaurants, but I was not really thrilled with the choices so I opted not to eat there. They were chain restaurants like Papa Johns pizza and such. I was kind of shocked with the lack of space for tables, too.

I headed out after seeing what food was offered and loved the way the aquarium areas were meant to look like a muddy bayou. I thought this added a nice touch that seemed less like you were in a building.

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On both floors, there were tables set up in the exhibit areas with demonstrations and short presentations from volunteers. I thought this was a great touch and I learned the differences between crocodiles and alligators at one.

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My very favorite part of the whole aquarium at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas was the huge gulf coast simulator. There were fish and animals of all kinds in there from sharks to rays and even sea turtles. I sat there and just watched all the creatures swim in a circle because the exhibit has a current that simulates the one in the gulf. It was so neat to see.

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Although this picture of me isn’t the best quality, I loved how they had a ‘bubble’ that you could sit in that made it seem like you were in the water with all the sea creatures.

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My next favorite part was the section that featured jellyfish. Check out the video below for a bit of my experience. Did you know Jellyfish are 95% water?

After watching the mesmerizing jellies, I headed to the next section of the aquarium and that included the tunnel. This was quite an experience as I saw fish swim over and around me.

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There was an exhibit called The Mayan Temple that feature lots of tropical fish and cool artwork on the walls as well as some Mayan history.

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I finished up my visit to the aquarium with a trip to see the seahorses. There were seahorses of all sizes from tiny to way bigger than I expected a seahorse could get! I had never seen one in real life so it was pretty cool to watch them interact with each other.

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The gift shop was last on my list and it had so much in it. I ended up buying a few knickknacks and a stuffed animal. The prices were very reasonable in the gift shop.

Overall, I would say I wished I wasn’t so pressed for time when I went to the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. There was probably more to see and I know there were presentations I missed out on. I think just about any age child or adult would have a great time here.

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The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday- Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Prices for entry are $29.95 for adults, $21.95 for children 2-12 and $24.95 for seniors over 65. You can save money by getting the full Audubon experience of the zoo, insectarium and aquarium by paying $44.95 for adults, $34.95 for children and $37.95 for senior 65+. There are extras such as the Sea Otter Experience or the Mayan Scuba, but these can cost hundreds of dollars per person.

The Aquarium is located at 1 Canal Street, adjacent to the french Quarter and on the banks of the Mississippi river next to the street cars station.

 

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