Plan Your Visit

Explore all our tips to make the most of your Aquarium experience.

 

before-visit

Best Times to Visit

If you ask us, any time is a great time for a visit! You’ll find smaller crowds on weekdays before 11 a.m. or after 2 p.m. During busier times, like weekends and holidays, it’s a good idea to buy your tickets online so you can skip the ticket line when you arrive.

Buy Tickets Online – Skip the Line

Purchase Tickets

Visiting with Young Children

The Aquarium is great fun for children of all ages. Here are a few tips for those visiting with babies or toddlers:

  • Our 4-D Theater incorporates sensory effects such as water spray and seat vibrations. Before you enter the theater, ask yourself if your child is up for the experience.
  • Mini-gascar is a dedicated space designed just for toddlers. Pint-sized visitors can safely jump, climb and play while mom and dad take a seat. Mini-gascar is located on the first floor within the Madagascar Journey exhibit.
  • A quiet, private nursing room is located on the first floor across from the gift shop.
  • Changing tables are located in the restrooms on the first floor, across from the Aquarium Gift Shop.
  • Strollers are welcome inside the Aquarium and are also available to rent for $1 (free for Members) at the Welcome Desk located in the Great Hall.

Convenient Parking

A parking garage run by the City of Charleston is located at 24 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401, a short walk from the Aquarium.
Metered parking is located along Washington Street and Concord Street. Learn more.

during-visit

4-D Theater Experience

Have a seat in this unique theater and you’ll view a 3-D screen and feel special effects such as wind gusts, splashes of water and movement under your feet, all synchronized to family-friendly films. Learn more.

Sea Turtle Hospital Tours

Treat yourself to a truly unique tour of South Carolina’s only Sea Turtle Hospital. Take an up-close look at our current patients and discover the special care sick and injured sea turtles receive. Tours are offered every day at noon and 2 p.m.

Tour prices are in addition to the price of Aquarium admission. This popular tour sells out quickly. We recommend buying tickets in advance of your visit.

FIN-tastic Photo Opportunites

Take home a family photo you’ll treasure forever from SharpShooter Imaging. Taken on the way in, you can take home your keepsake print on your way out. If you realize you need an extra, you can order a print online when you return home. You’ll be handed a business card after your picture is taken – it will have the PhotoCard Number you need to order your print from home.

Shop the Aquarium Gift Shop

Our gift shop is swimming with goodies for the whole family. Sea Turtle Rescue apparel, super soft stuffed animals, aquatic themed jewelry, and art are just the beginning. Take home a little treasure; give a little support to our animals.

Snack at the Sea Turtle Café

Fuel up at the Sea Turtle Café which serves up snacks and favorites like pizza, sandwiches, ice cream, chips, and cold drinks.

If you’re arriving with a school group, we’ll be happy to help with lunch plans by providing bag lunches. We’ll need at least one week to prepare for your group.
Bag Lunch Menu and Order Form

Roaming Animal Interpretive Programs

Baby alligators, snakes, bird feathers, shark jaws…you never know what you’ll see our staff members showing off as you journey through the Aquarium.

Watch for Dolphins from the Harbor Deck

The Aquarium is located along the Cooper River in downtown Charleston. Our decks provide spectacular views of the Charleston Harbor. Spend 10 minutes enjoying the view, watching boats or ships and you’re more than likely to spot dolphins swimming.

after-visit

Volunteer at the Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium has more than 350 volunteers who help with everything from animal care to sharing fun facts with visitors about exhibits to working on graphic design projects. Learn more.

Host a Party, Wedding or Bridal Event at the Aquarium

Charleston’s most visited attraction is also a beautiful and inspiring place for events of many sizes. Visit our events page for details on making your event unforgettable.

Become a Member

South Carolina Aquarium members receive exclusive benefits, special discounts and invitations to exciting programs and events, including new exhibit previews and our annual 4th of July celebration. Learn More.

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

Stay in touch and be on the early bird list for news, updates and special events, like sea turtle releases, when you sign up for our e-newsletter.

Swim in our Social Media Circles

Give us two fins up

Review your visit to the South Carolina Aquarium on Tripadvisor.