South Carolina Aquarium

South Carolina Aquarium

100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston SC 29401
843-577-3474

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Reviews
  • Jun 13, 2021 by Stephen Smith

    The South Carolina Aquarium was a lot of fun. The staff was very friendly. As you enter you get to see a majestic bald eagle. They have lots of sea life such as the popular sea otters and fun interactive things for kids to do. They allow you to touch some of the sea life such as the stingrays, star fish and sharks. This is right next to Fort Sumter so it’s a good idea to do both locations since they are next to each other.

  • Jun 07, 2021 by Ryan

    I have been going to the SC aquarium since it opened when I was a child but have not been in a few years. Yesterday I went with my service dog for the first time and was so impressed with how appropriately the staff handled it. At the entrance, I was asked "what tasks does your service dog perform" (legally, businesses can only ask "is that a service dog?" And the task question that they asked), which I greatly appreciated. All other staff we interacted with completely ignored my service dog and were very appropriate. Great experience!

  • Jun 05, 2021 by Thomas Michel

    I haven't been too impressed with aquariums in the past but this place was a welcome change. Well designed and interesting backdrops for a wide arrays of sea life and even a few birds. Great view of the harbor from a few observation decks. Very kid friendly with plenty of engaging activities. Definitely stop by and check out the turtle clinic and the ray petting exhibits. Best aquarium I have been to by far!

  • Jun 03, 2021 by Jared French

    My 3 year old liked petting the sting rays the best. Other than the huge fish tank downstairs, she was pretty bored. I would recommend for children 5yrs plus and adults. 3 year olds are free if I remember correctly.

  • May 27, 2021 by S Coleman

    We have been coming to this aquarium since before my husband and I had kids, our oldest is 8. It is always fun! We brought our kids here because we were in the Charleston area for an appointment. Buying tickets online was a breeze. Parking was easy to find for this time of year. It was not crowded inside the aquarium. We were in and out within 2 hours. Overall, we did have fun during our visit. The reason I did not give 5 stars is due to pricing. I don't recall ticket prices being that high from 9 years ago. It seems a little on the pricey side.
    Nonethless, thank you guys for everything that you do

  • May 27, 2021 by Diane M

    Visited late afternoon so not very crowded. Clean interactive facility. Staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. My daughter loved the snakes in the reptile exhibit. Taylor was so kind and patient for spending the time explaining the creatures and entertaining my daughter curiosity about reptiles. Definite highlight of the trip.

  • May 16, 2021 by Mandy Wolters

    We love the aquarium! The exhibits are wonderful and they have so much information about their animals. They even have a few fun activities for kids (and the young at heart). Their staff and volunteers are so friendly and helpful to!

  • May 12, 2021 by Katy Montes

    We had the best experience! It was a perfect day trip for a rainy day. Every employee was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and we enjoyed the variety of sea life and other animals. It had something for all ages and we especially enjoyed getting to see a baby alligator and a ball python up close. We also got to feed the stingrays for an additional charge, but it was such a cool experience! Highly recommend!

  • May 04, 2021 by Kaitlyn Cavarretta

    We always have a great time when we come here. The staff are so friendly and knowledgeable. My son is always asking to come back.The membership is definitely worth it !

  • May 02, 2021 by Robert Burriss

    I think this place is way overpriced for what they have to offer. I guess after going to the aquariums and Cincinnati and Atlanta the bar personally has been set to high. Don't give me wrong it's a good place for a little family get together or a birthday party or something like that but I'll probably won't visit it again unless they get some new exhibits. This is a one-hit wonder

  • Apr 17, 2021 by Sydney Yeung

    Small but kids still had a lot of fun. Touching the sting ray and crabs and sharks are what my young ones enjoyed most. Plenty of interactive features for hands on stimulation. The staff was kind and informative. Definitely not crowded with their Covid policies in place which I personally enjoyed. Definitely make a reservation ahead. They still out fast and must of the time you cannot buy at the door because they are sold out.

  • Apr 07, 2021 by Marc Miller

    Well done! A very good aquarium and I've been to several. The only downside for me was having to go on a schedule due to covid. They offer specific time slots and the only one available 0n the day we could go was 4 and they close at 5. An hour isn't enough! I do get the idea and totally understand.

  • Apr 03, 2021 by Chelsea Marina

    Gorgeous aquarium. I know other reviews have mentioned the tickets were pricey. But truly the tickets are priced just right!! 30$ for each adult is a great price for the support and conservation of these beautiful creatures. Its evident they care so much about their animals here and even provide plenty of educational services and interactive activities throughout the exhibit's. Our highlight was petting the adorable sting rays and seeing the 200 pound sea turtle.

  • Mar 31, 2021 by Amanda Lindsey

    Very neat place for the whole family. Lots of interesting facts and the staff was very informative and friendly. We will be back! Also, the year membership is absolutely worth it!

  • Mar 29, 2021 by Camille Hall

    My husband and I stopped here for part of a day during our recent honeymoon to Charleston. This was a nice stop. We enjoyed seeing the marine life. They do boast having the largest fish tank in North America and it was beautiful and serene to look at. They also have a great sea turtle rehab and that was super interesting. We got some great pics and had a great time together here.

  • Mar 14, 2021 by Michelle Farrar

    At first glance, was sad to see how "small" the outside was. When we got inside, it felt like we had entered the Tardis! So many little exhibits and great information. Was well worth the $30 and honestly, my mother and I had just as much fun if we were at our local Georgia Aquarium. All of the avian species including a bald eagle were wildlife rescues due to injuries could not be released back to the wild. The staff were very courteous and knowledgeable as well. Thank you for a great experience!

  • Mar 09, 2021 by Katherine Pina

    The place is small but offers plenty for a good 40 minute walk maybe less. The kids enjoyed it but were sad they didn't see a shark. I would still visit again though.

  • Mar 06, 2021 by Natalie Allgyer

    My family and I have been members of the aquarium for 4 years. Our daughter loves it here. She learns something new every time, and they are constantly changing to keep things interesting. Even with the restrictions of covid 19 we are still enjoying our time there and we ALWAYS find something we haven’t seen or noticed before.

  • Mar 02, 2021 by dylan walker

    Have had a membership for the last 2 years. We love this place. Tanks are all clean, staff is knowledgeable and friendly. I take my daughters almost once a week. Its great!!!!!

  • Feb 20, 2021 by Mackenzie Baranski

    Had a fantastic time at the aquarium this week! Feeding the stingrays was amazing and so was the entire exhibit. Warren was extremely wonderful and informational about the horseshoe crabs and also the sea turtles in rehab. He definitely added to our knowledge and experience. Will return any chance we get!

  • Jan 13, 2021 by Kim White

    Great exhibits. Lots of hands on experiences. Two hours flew by. Lots of educational opportunities about the fish and many other animals. Teaching South Carolina's variety of environments.

  • Jan 09, 2021 by Celeste Redman

    Everyone was super friendly, especially to my 2 1/2 year old. Well worth the price! If we lived closer, we would have memberships, for sure! We love how educational it is as well. What a gem!

  • Dec 20, 2020 by Bethany Summers

    This aquarium is beautiful and they have a touch pool where you can pet SHARKS which is always exciting. My only complaint is the price. $30 for an aquarium is pretty steep but overall happy with my experience.

  • Dec 20, 2020 by Darrylhi Locklear

    A beautiful little aquarium. But a little pricey for one so small! Once my husband and I finished walking around, we were a little surprised by how little time we'd spent there and that there wasn't more to see. Still, many of the exhibits were really beautiful, and they had an interesting variety of animals. Still absolutely worth going to if you love ocean life. :)

  • Nov 28, 2020 by Kasey Blake

    If you only have time for one museum in Charleston, go here even though it’s not a museum! You will learn about local animals and their habitats. All the volunteers were so amazing and knowledgeable. The aquariums COVID precautions were top notch! The best we’ve seen on our trip to Charleston. The turtle rescue lab and exhibit really touch our hearts! It was so encouraging to hear all the good work they are doing. Would definitely recommend going here!

  • Nov 27, 2020 by Jake Altier

    Absolutely love this place. My wife and I got 1 year membership and it has been such an oasis to come and visit. They do some amazing work in the community and provide such important education on conversation. Plus they have so much including tons of fish, sharks, turtles, otters, a bald eagle, several touch tanks, and more. Highly recommend the year pass!!

  • Nov 23, 2020 by Bridgette Donaldson (静けさ - Shizukesa)

    Nifty Aquarium! We Loved the Chained Dogfish Shark and Stingray petting areas! There were two floors of freshwater, marsh water, river water, and sea water Fish and Animals/Critters! We were even able to see a Turtle Triage center with several Giant Sea Turtles and an American Bald Eagle who are being tended to and cared for! Pretty Amazing!

  • Nov 20, 2020 by Vinny0509

    I’m originally from Florida so we have a ton of aquariums but this one ranks my top 3. Florida, Atlanta and then this one. Absolutely a great time with wildlife inside including a bald eagle, snakes, jellyfish and rescued turtles. A great place to bring the family and plenty of stuff to keep your little ones fascinated.

  • Nov 10, 2020 by Hannah Allen

    I love aquariums and the experience that comes with them. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive. It’s essentially 60 for me and my partner to go. I’m a college student and frankly that’s just to much. Even looking at what my mom would have to pay to take two little ones. It is just seems like a lot.

  • Oct 30, 2020 by Joshua Enos

    We enjoyed the exhibits and the general atmosphere of the place; staff were helpful and knowledgeable as well. They've also done a pretty good job integrating hygienic measures into the experience. The Halloween trail setup was the exact kind of cheesy fun we were looking for and my daughter especially enjoyed the art style of whoever was responsible for the blacklight paintings near the end. My favorite was the little American kestrel doing its convalescence.

  • Oct 27, 2020 by Ikea Gibson

    Such a fun time at the aquarium yesterday! Way bigger than I thought it would be. I loved all the areas they had and learning about all the different fish and wildlife. I would definitely recommend!

  • Sep 28, 2020 by Cameron

    My family and I had an amazing time on our visit (09/27/2020). Even during the pandemic it was such a great trip. From the ease of purchasing our tickets and time online to the wonderful staff at the aquarium, it all made this trip a great time and experience. We will definitely be returning for future visits! Thanks from the Thompson Family to the wildlife conservationist and staff who help make that place what it is!

  • Sep 17, 2020 by Tamara Bartlett

    We love the aquarium, upset that Covid has shut down the children's play area and the interactive areas. Also have been a member for years, and we have to now reserve a time to come which always seems to be hours later, but if i paid as a guest they would have enough room to let me in at an earlier time.

  • Sep 13, 2020 by Sang Lee

    Great place but little overpriced

  • Sep 04, 2020 by Karen Jurcik

    There was alot to see. Very cool experience feeding the rays. Kids had a blast!!! Expensive for sure, however, it is an AMAZING aquarium!!

  • Sep 04, 2020 by colin George

    Great place to visit especially for kids. Amazing location , exhibits , friendly and welcoming staff. Def recommend a visit if u r in Charleston. We took the all day long boat rides across the river ( separate fee and company runs it ) to visit other places from the aquarium.

  • Sep 04, 2020 by Brianna Boyd

    This has some of the best ocean views of any aquarium I’ve been to and an awesome staff member pointed out dolphins which was great to see. The touch tank is super cute, the facilities seemed to be clean and taking proper precautions with covid. While this isn’t a particularly large aquarium, the space is filled well with a good variety of creatures to see. More maps around the building would be wonderful though. Side note, I spent an hour reading the turtle patient stories on their site; I love the conservation efforts of this facility.

  • Sep 01, 2020 by Sebastian Arango

    Great way to spend a couple hours if you have kids or to take someone on a date. Don't expect the Atlanta Aquarium though, It was a small yet filled with educational information. My 2 year old had a blast looking at the turtles that are being rehabilitated and feeding the stingrays. Due to covid you do have to wear a mask, although they have places to take a "breather" and the cafeteria is closed so bring snacks for your little ones. Honestly it's great for kids because it's short enough they wont get restless.

  • Aug 30, 2020 by Sierra Humphries

    10/10 would recommend. Otters were fabulous and lively. Facilities were clean and staff was friendly.

  • Aug 29, 2020 by Paige H

    Pricey but was great for the kids ages 5 & 3!

  • Aug 25, 2020 by Mary Kohl

    A wonderful Charleston institution doing wonderful things for the lowcountry and our environment. The turtle hospital is so impressive and very successful. The behind the scenes view is awesome, especially for kids to soak in. Tons to learn here and be awed by.
    If your a tourist, this should be on the list as a great escape from heat, rain and crowds. If you're a local, get a membership. Visit to learn about the new things they're involved in like a turtle release. New parents, this is your peaceful morning outing for you and baby. Anyone interested in preserving our local environment, support SCA.

  • Aug 23, 2020 by Tisha Barron

    Very nice aquarium. My granddaughters were able to feed the rays. We all enjoyed it.

  • Aug 17, 2020 by Madison Proctor

    One of the nicest Aquariums I've been to. The layout is so clever and from an educational standpoint, they did it RIGHT. The informational signage is so well done. It's a shame a lot of interactive experiences needed to be closed due to covid. Seemed like a lot of awesome opportunities for younger visitors to get hands on learning. Also, I have never been to a sting ray touch tank where the Rays were like puppies. They wanted to be pet.

  • Aug 16, 2020 by Eric Heilman

    Great family outing! Definitely get out of it what you out it. We took our time and checked everything out well, you could easily blow thru it quickly and not enjoy your time.

    Kids loved the touch pools.

  • Aug 11, 2020 by tikesha manley

    Very nice place for the family. The water views are absolutely astounding. It's a very modest aquarium, 2 levels. The staff was very helpful and gave a wealth of information for the visitors.

  • Aug 10, 2020 by Ruben Alvarado

    Good aquarium for younger children. Not very big but lots of interactive things for toddlers. They are doing some great things for wildlife so I felt that even though it was a little pricey, it went to a great cause. Parking was easy across the street but probably due to the lack of tourists during Covid period. Thank you.

  • Jul 28, 2020 by Laura dramont

    Pretty cool experience. You don't always think of going to an aquarium when you think "exciting" or "must do fun", but this was worth it. I would highly recommend, especially if you want to get out of the heat and take in some incredible sea life.

  • Jul 26, 2020 by Rachel Hughes

    Great way to spend a couple hours in downtown Charleston. Friendly, helpful staff. Awesome touch tanks and very kid friendly! Be sure to check out the dive shows as well.

  • Jul 26, 2020 by J Brown

    Great visit! The aquarium was diverse and informative. But I was confused about the bald eagle exhibit on the second floor ...was even more confused by the sounds of other birds at this exhibit, the eagle seemed uneasy and jumpy...I was made even more confused when the eagle "flew", talons first, towards my 3 yo who was in my arms while we read the plaques. Never been that close to an eagle before and never will again. The enclosure was just vertical cables/lines so glad they held up.

  • Jul 25, 2020 by Michael Keller

    Clean, medium-sized, Charleston attraction that I've been coming to for many years. Depending on what package you get it can be pricey but the way you have to think about is that you are supporting the local marine life and environmental conservation work. There's a great hands-on section for all ages including horse crabs, starfish and the like. There's an outdoor stingray petting observation pool, a bald eagle, a large multi-leveled observation room with sea turtles, sharks, and large fish. All in all, a great place for family fun, or a date.

  • Jul 23, 2020 by John K

    This South Carolina aquarium had a nice amount of fishes, turtles, and rays. We are allowed to touch the rays. Also, the employees are super friendly and they clear speak the fish abilities. Here the entry fee is $29.95 per adult and for parking $1 hourly. There is a shop inside the aquarium where you can buy many stuffs like history books, kids story books, toys, key chain, clothes, some decorating glass pots that lit at night with the help of phosphorus content in it

  • Jul 20, 2020 by Aaron

    Great medium sized aquarium, and fun for a quick family trip without all of the crowds. Nice interactive exhibits as well. It is a little pricey for the size, but it goes to a good cause.

  • Jul 06, 2020 by Scott Lowry

    Great aquarium. The kids had fun! Recommend visiting at least once.

  • Jul 01, 2020 by Adam Lallande

    Takes about an hour to tour if you read everything. For the price I expected it to be a bit bigger with more exhibits. The deep water tank was quite Imptessive. Lucked up an hit the bald eagle enclosure at feeding time.

  • Jun 28, 2020 by Monika Nicole

    Thought they're would be more.. however it was an enjoyable experience. I touched a stingray

  • Jun 22, 2020 by Jeffrey Lahey

    Our family of 4 (kids age 8 and 7) really enjoyed the 2 hours we spent here. It is very well kept and there's a lot more than just sea creatures. Laura, from Nebraska, was an excellent guide and even took our kids on some "behind the scenes" experiences.

  • Jun 19, 2020 by Rom V

    Great views of the harbor. Aquarium is split between two levels and is quite spacious which helps with social distancing. All staff were wearing masks and were quite polite and helpful. There are spacious and clean restrooms on both floors and a giftshop on the 1st floor.
    There is also a balcony on the 2nd floor with benches to take a rest from wearing your mask. Be aware that all visitors must wear masks to visit the aquarium and social distancing signs are everywhere. There is an outside area on the 1st floor where one can touch the stingrays and see them in the large tank they occupy. I managed to take video of me touching the stingrays who actually come up to the surface to be touched. I also took good video of the stingrays underwater in the tank via the glass viewing area.
    There is also an enclosed (netting above and around the area) outdoor area on the second floor which has fish in a oval tank surrounded by marsh area which is occupied by two pelicans and four other birds. There is a second tank in the middle with small sharks. Inside on the second floor near the outdoor area is another tank where one can touch small sharks. The main attraction is a two story tank occupied by various fish species to include sharks and also large sea turtle(s).
    Overall this was a great experience. Kids of all ages will enjoy the aquarium which costs 30 dollars per adult. It was worth it! I highly recommend a visit to the South Carolina Aquarium at Charleston.

  • Jun 16, 2020 by Trish Godbold

    They did a great job implementing the new social distancing guidelines and had lots of hand sanitizing stations available!

  • Jun 05, 2020 by Brian

    Everything here is just so very nice. I loved it and I will definitely go again. A little small but in general you can't complain at all about anyting I really had a nice time. Very much worth the money

  • Mar 15, 2020 by Zoe Benfield

    This place is a beauty that must be experienced in person, so I tried to limit the pictures attached to my review. I saw some reviews complain that the aquarium is "small," but if you really enjoy looking at and learning about marine life, you could easily spend hours here. The experience was worth every cent of the ticket price. The aquarium is right on the ocean and you can tell the animals are well taken care of. Many are only in the care of the aquarium because they cannot be released into the wild. They have windows into the sea turtle recovery area so the people can look but it's set up to not be traumatic to the healing turtles or to get them used to people. You can also go through their records of every turtle rehabbed and released for the past several years (I think since 2007?). They have two impressive touch tanks-- one where you can touch rays and another where you can see and touch sea stars, tiny anemones, horseshoe crabs, and dogfish sharks who love to be pet. I would have paid the ticket price just to see their 33-year-old turtle Caretta in the flesh. She is so graceful and beautiful to look at, not to mention huge! Their three-story deep ocean tank is fun for the whole family. Even as an adult I found myself running up and down the stairs to see it all. The staff is very nice and interactive; it's obvious that they care that the guests have a good time and learn about ocean life during their visits. There are many opportunities in the gift shop to contribute to their sea turtle recovery unit!

  • Mar 09, 2020 by Jess Glass

    Really neat aquarium. I especially loved the turtle conservative area where we could follow along with the recovery efforts for rescued sea turtles. The hands-on area was also super cool. It's not a big place, and it's pricey, but it's a nice way to spend a few hours while in Charleston.

  • Feb 29, 2020 by Co Car

    Such a nice and beautiful aquarium! Really beautiful birds in the exhibit and a wide variety of fish. Turtle rehabilitation center is a must see, very cool and inspiring. So much to see without taking up your whole day. Friendly staff, very clean facilities. Nice gift shop!

  • Feb 27, 2020 by Krista Dezsi

    Very small aquarium but packed with some impressive aquatic life! The sea turtle rescue makes it worth while hands down. It only takes 1.5 to2 hours max if you do not watch the movies. I highly recommend going to one of the sea turtle talks with the lead vet, it was incredibly informative and my kids ages 15, 15 and 11 loved it. It was fun to see toddlers enjoying it in the crowd as well! Lots of giveaways and a great gift shop.

  • Feb 20, 2020 by Chris B

    What an awesome aquarium. Clean and fun. The staff is awesome!! My daughter loved feeding the sting rays. Very educational and fun selection of animals on display. They have a sea turtle rescue center ran out of it. So cool! A must stop when in charleston.

  • Jan 28, 2020 by Kristin Sindorf

    My kids absolutely love the aquarium! There are three touch tanks and several hands-on exhibits. The sea turtle hospital is really neat and interactive. There is a trading post where kids can bring stuff in and trade them for sea shells, sharks teeth, and other items. There are several different educational talks and demonstrations throughout the day as well. All of the staff and volunteers are very friendly and knowledgable.

  • Jan 18, 2020 by Mitch Dunn

    Absolutely love coming to the South Carolina Aquarium! There's always something for the when family. The kids are never bored or complain... In fact some visits could last multiple days if it were up to the kids. The facilities are always well maintained & the staff is super friendly. I definitely recommend visiting if you haven't. In addition to the aquarium... The views from the observation deck are breathtaking & there's so much to see in the vicinity. Absolutely chill & laid back for a perfect weekend!