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Aquarium of the Americas, New Orleans

1 Canal Place
French Quarter
New Orleans , Louisiana
Tel: 504 565 3033's insider take:

At the end of a mighty river and near the rich fisheries of the Gulf of Mexico, New Orleans is a natural place for aquatic exploration. This state-of-the-art aquarium, built on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, features waterbound creatures from every corner of the globe—green anacondas and much-maligned piranhas from the Amazon, playful sea otters in a simulated kelp forest, emperor penguins from the Antarctic, and Caribbean stingrays, to name a few. The Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which mimics an oil rig substructure, has plenty of native fish species—graceful pompano, sand tiger sharks, glittering tarpon—circling in a hypnotic aquatic ballet. The complex also features an on-site IMAX theater for huge-screen wildlife and undersea documentaries.—Pableaux Johnson

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.