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“Great for kids! Don't buy the photos.”

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
Ranked #1 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.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great for kids! Don't buy the photos.”
Reviewed 12 August 2014

I took my two year old here in honor of shark week. I was debating whether we should travel to this aquarium or to Ripley's. I have been to this aquarium once before, but this time I enjoyed it a lot more. I have been to Ripley's multiple times and it seems to pricey and touristy for what it's worth. I also didn't feel like fighting the crowds, and along with the price I couldn't pass up North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Like other reviewers said, the layout is really great. There are multiple viewing stations for each exhibit so there aren't constantly people in your way. There is also a lot of big open space in case you need to pull to the side with your stroller to tend to your children or get settled. The employees were very friendly and so great with kids. Many children seemed like they really enjoyed being able to pet and touch the horseshoe crabs and stingrays. I also liked that my two year old could see almost every exhibit by walking up to it. I didn't have to lift him for anything. He really enjoyed himself, and I did too! I took him in and let him walk by himself and hold my hand. He loved all the exhibits. Although while chasing after him I had a hard time really looking at things, so we went threw a second time with him in his stroller. We will definitely be back. You can't go wrong for $10.95. I also really enjoyed the fact that two and under were free also.

*****While traveling threw, someone will eventually professionally take your photograph and give you a ticket with a number on it to go view. I wanted to buy the photo, but the aquarium only offered two packages. The cheapest one was $20. I didn't buy it. I later read my ticket and you are able to view your photos online and personalize them however you like. Many times while viewing photos at the attraction, you are rushed into buying something without really taking your time to view all of the options. There are also many more picture packages and options available for purchase. The cheapest photo you can buy is $7.95 and you can also buy yourself a high resolution digital download for $14.95. Many different photo products are available too, such as magnets, key chains, mugs, etc.

Visited August 2014
2 Thank Andrea S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,074 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great place to get in out of the heat”
Reviewed 11 August 2014

Who doesn't like aquariums! NC has a nice aquarium and love the different displays of animals that they have on site. My daughters favorite spots where the big aquariums and the many different fish that are displayed. The gift shop was nice and it was cool to see so many jellyfish in the thier exhibit. Good expereince and worth the visit.

Visited August 2014
Thank FaithDriven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Amazing camp for the kids”
Reviewed 9 August 2014

I have 4 children 5-7. They had the most amazing time and learned so much. The opportunity for the children to explore and go behind the scenes is really fantastic. They loved it. So convenient as thy provide food and snacks too!

Visited August 2014
Thank Christine P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
247 reviews
195 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Nice Aquarium”
Reviewed 7 August 2014

It’s smaller than Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach but just as enjoyable- was an ideal way to wind down before heading home after a day at the beach. We started at the conservatory for the fresh water plants and animals making a quick stop to see the alligators- skipped some of the exhibits like the snakes; Reasonable cost for admission ($22 for 2 adults). Gift shop was a bit pricey to me- Would definitely recommend this aquarium to anyone going to the beach as a before or after activity.

Visited June 2014
Thank 478carmenw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“It's Okay”
Reviewed 5 August 2014

It was great for the kids but it's pretty much the same as the aquarium at Pine Knolls. This one is a little bigger but they basically have the same things. They do have an outdoor play area which was nice.

Visited June 2014
Thank Angelica M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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