Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum

Come explore over 800,000 gallons of one of the best aquariums and live animal habitats in the country! Discover the amazing underwater world of the Aquarium. Travel on an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean and experience coastal habitats from around the world. Thousands of animals representing over 300 species, displayed in entertaining and educational exhibits, are ready to enchant, entertain and inspire you!

Check out the hundreds of hands-on exhibits, outdoor aviary, Owls Creek Path, and marshlands. Plus you won't want to miss the 3D IMAX® Theater. Of course, with a screen six stories tall and eight stories wide, the IMAX® theatre would be impossible to miss!

Bay & Ocean Pavilion

From the rivers to the Chesapeake Bay and into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, this Journey of Water through Virginia introduces you to the many aquatic animals and plants that are native to the state. See the largest collection of Chesapeake Bay fishes and meet a horseshoe crab at the Chesapeake Bay Touch Pool. Observe loggerhead, Kemp's ridley, and green turtles in the Chesapeake Light Tower Aquarium. Watch in wonder as sharks, stingrays and other ocean dwellers navigate Norfolk Canyon Aquarium. Learn about the science of oceanography through engaging, hands-on exhibits. Restless Planet, opened in 2009, features 6,000 new animals including Komodo dragons, rare tomistoma crocodiles and more. Four immersive habitats, new hands-on exhibits, and 110,000 gallons of new aquariums show forces that shaped Virginia to become the landscape it is today.

Marsh Pavilion

See river otters, seahorses, snakes and other marsh dwellers. Take a closer look at life in the "macro-marsh," where plants and animals are magnified up to ten times their normal size. Then walk outside on an elevated deck through a half-acre bird aviary to see 55 different species of native birds.

Owls Creek Path

Enjoy the scenery on this 10-minute walk that meanders through salt marsh and woodland preserve between the Aquarium's buildings. Climb the 30-foot observation tower to get a view of Owls Creek from tree-top level. During the summer, stop by activity carts stationed along the trail, where an educator will provide information on the plants and animals in and around Owls Creek.

A Hands-On Experience

Does a stingray really feel like wet bologna? What do a horseshoe crab's mouth and a toothbrush have in common? Find out for yourself at our two touch pools. Examine skulls, shells, shark jaws, and other artifacts at our Curiosity Carts. Try out some of our 300 interactive exhibits to learn more about marshes, the bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

IMAX® - Larger Than Life

Experience life on a larger scale in the Aquarium's own 3D IMAX Theater. The film experience doesn't get any better than this! Images jump out into the seats off a screen that's big enough to show a life-sized whale. And our state-of-the-art sound system is so realistic, you'll be crouching in your seat for cover. The Aquarium's 3D IMAX® Theater is open daily and showcases a variety of films ranging from educational pictures to major Hollywood releases.

There's plenty to discover at the Aquarium! Upon arrival to Admissions, check the schedule posted behind the desk for the most up-to-date information about programs and activities being offered during the time of your visit. Listed below are the types of programs you can expect to be available during your visit, however, times and topics are subject to change.

Educators bring out the Aquarium's Animal Ambassadors at various times during the day in the Marsh Pavilion and in Conservation Station in the Bay & Ocean Pavilion.

The team of staff and volunteer divers do regularly scheduled maintenance in the largest aquariums. When you stop by to observe, an educator will be there to answer questions.

On selected days throughout the year, check out the special programs and activities focused on specific themes or topics. Some are simple self-guided experiences such as scavenger hunts related to the topic of the day. Others are more elaborate and feature temporary displays, additional daily programs, hands-on activity stations, crafts, and games.

Details & Events

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  • Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum
  • 717 General Booth Blvd
  • Virginia Beach, VA 23451
  • 757-385-FISH (3474)
  • Directions
  • Web site

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