The National Aquarium Baltimore offers a fin-tastic undersea spectacle. Its vibrant and enchanting marine landscape is thriving with life. You’ll be mesmerized not just by the aquatic creatures, but by birds and other species too!
Nestled in the heart of Baltimore and teeming with life, the aquarium invites you to uncover the magical and marvelous mysteries of the ocean.
This nifty guide covers everything you can do, see, and eat in and around the National Aquarium Baltimore.
National Aquarium Baltimore: A Safe Haven for Marine Life
Have you wondered about one of the best things to do in Baltimore? The National Aquarium Baltimore is one of the top three aquariums in the nation and the largest paid attraction in Maryland with over 1.5 million visitors annually.
It features thousands of reptiles, birds, amphibians, mammals, and fish of different species. They live in award-winning habitats that are made to resemble their natural environments.
The non-profit aquarium was the crowning glory of the Inner Harbor redevelopment project. Mayor William Donald Schaefer conceived and championed its proposal during the 1970s. In 1979, it was given a “national” status by the United States Congress. The National Aquarium Baltimore opened its doors to the public two years later on August 8, 1981.
Its first expansion, the Pier 4 Pavilion, was opened in December 1990. In 2005, the aquarium was expanded by 65,000 square feet. This was done to accommodate the new exhibit, “Australia: Wild Extremes.”
By 2013, the National Aquarium Baltimore was housing around 1,700 animals from the National Aquarium Washington DC when it was closed to the public. The Inner Harbor institution has been the sole National Aquarium ever since.
The Aquarium has a rich history of regional and global conservation efforts that protect marine life and enhance the co-existence of aquatic beings and humans. The institution advocates at local, state, and federal levels for policies that combat climate change, reduce pollution, and save wildlife and their habitats. Their research and education efforts have also helped encourage environmental awareness among the younger generations.
Hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the mid-Atlantic have benefited from the Aquarium’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts. The National Aquarium Baltimore thus actively works at improving the health of the ocean and its inhabitants through its conservation, research, education, and advocacy efforts.
Getting Tickets to the National Aquarium Baltimore
General admission tickets to visit the aquarium are priced as follows:
- Children (0 to 4 years) – free
- Youth (5 to 20 years) and Seniors (70+) – $39.95
- Adult (21 to 69 years) – $49.95
You can also avail of Baltimore Aquarium’s discounts to visit the institution at a lower price. They have a variety of weekly and monthly special offers such as Half-Price Friday Nights and First Sundays.
Baltimore Aquarium Address
The National Aquarium Baltimore is located at Inner Harbor, a bustling, historic seaport. It used to be a significant center for commerce and shipping in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, it’s a major hub for entertainment and cultural events.
The Aquarium’s address is 501 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202. It can be easily accessed by all modes of transportation as it is in the heart of Baltimore.
There are three options for Baltimore Aquarium parking: the LAZ Inner Harbor Garage, Parkway Lockwood Place Garage, and Harbor Park Garage. They are located a maximum of 0.3 miles away from the aquarium.
As official parking partners, they offer discounted rates for guests and members who are visiting the National Aquarium. You can also receive an early-bird parking discount if you park in these garages before 9 am.
You can also reach the aquarium by rail through the following stops:
- Amtrak: Penn Station 1500 N Charles Street
- Light Rail: Convention Center and Camden Yards Light Rail Stops
- Metro Subway: Shot Tower/Market Place Metro Subway Station
- MARC Train: Camden Yards and Penn Station MARC Train Stops
The CityLink Yellow, Navy, and Brown lines as well as LocalLink 54 and 65 also ply the area. Additionally, you can use the Charm City Circulator’s Orange Line to get to the aquarium.
Another option is to bike to the Aquarium. There are bike racks installed outside, next to the USS Torsk on Pier 3.
Restaurants Near Baltimore Aquarium
Inner Harbor, where the National Aquarium Baltimore is located, is a lively neighborhood teeming with delightful establishments for delicious food and beverages.
Some popular restaurants in the area include:
- Rusty Scupper Restaurant and Bar
- Kona Grill
- McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
- South Street Cafe
- Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse
Gunther and Co. is also a favorite among locals and worth checking out!
For more seafood restaurants in Baltimore
Baltimore Aquarium Shows
The Aquarium has several different shows held on a daily basis. Some allow the audience to interact with the animals for an unforgettable experience.
The Dolphin Show is worth noting as you get up close with a colony of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. You also get more insights into their playful natures and see how these intelligent animals are trained.
Baltimore Aquarium Map
Considering how large the aquarium is, it’s good to have a map to navigate its different areas.
Where to park in the Baltimore Aquarium?
There are several parking options available around the aquarium. You can also enjoy discounted rates if you park at one of their three partner garages which are a maximum of 0.3 miles away.
How much time will you spend at the Baltimore Aquarium?
The National Aquarium Baltimore is home to thousands of animals, with several habitats and zones as well as a variety of shows. You could spend a few hours here, or soak in all there is to see by staying the entire day—it’s completely up to you!
How big is the Baltimore Aquarium?
The aquarium has a Glass Pavilion for the Australia Wild Extremes exhibit which measures 64,500 square feet. Pier 3 has five levels while Pier 4 is a smaller building. Overall, it has a capacity of 2,200,000 gallons of water, with over 17,000 specimens across 750 species.