Aquarium native hardy fancy gold fish, Red Fantail

Located in Boston’s Seaport District, the New England Aquarium is a fun, educational spot for visitors of all ages. Here are 7 reasons why you should spend a day at the here on your next trip:

The Giant Ocean Tank

The centerpiece and one of the coolest features of the aquarium is the the four-story, 200,000 gallon tank that has been built to resemble a Caribbean coral reef. Renovated in 2013, it is better than ever with more species calling it home than ever before. Exotic sea creatures like barracuda, moray eels, guitarfish, and trumpetfish can be viewed from 360 degrees of large windows. Guests who walk to the top of the tank are rewarded with a view of the Yawkey Coral Reef Center and animals like garden eels and batfish that can’t be seen elsewhere.

Myrtle the Turtle

One of the many inhabitants of the Giant Ocean Tank, Myrtle is by far the Aquarium’s most famous resident. She has lived at the NEAQ since 1970 and at approximately 80 years old, is an amazing example of the longevity of Green Sea Turtles. She is over 500 pounds, so it’s pretty easy to spot her as she swims by.

The Penguins

Some of the most popular animals at the aquarium live in an open air enclosure surrounding the Giant Ocean Tank. The Penguin Exhibit features several unique species, including African Penguins, the distinctive Rockhopper Penguin, and the adorable Little Blue Penguins, the smallest penguin species in the world.

The Simons IMAX Theater

Featuring the largest screen in New England, the Aquarium’s IMAX Theater offers guests a unique cinematic experience. Catch breathtaking films like Galapagos 3D, Humpback Whales 3D, or Secret Ocean 3D, all with an incredible audio system pumping out 12,000 watts of digital sound!  

New England Aquarium Whale Watch

For those who want to make their visit last the whole day, New England Aquarium has partnered with Boston Harbor Cruises to allow you to view these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat. Humpback whales, finback whales, minke whales, pilot whales, the critically endangered right whales and even white-sided dolphins can be spotted on this 3-4 hour excursion. Check the schedule to buy tickets and plan your expedition.

The Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank

This relatively new exhibit is the largest shark and ray touch tank in the Northeast. It provides visitors with an interactive experience, allowing them to gently stroke cownose rays, Atlantic rays and epaulette sharks. Since its opening in 2011 it has remained one of the aquariums most exciting exhibits, especially for children.

New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center

This area of the aquarium gives visitors a new perspective on the relationship between marine mammals and humans. Guests can watch California sea lions and Northern fur seals perform tricks with their trainers in a display of strength, intelligence, and athleticism. Check the daily schedule here to see when training sessions are held.