This facility allows visitors to explore many of the state’s ecosystems and learn about the animals that inhabit them. Highlights are alligators, American river otters, the 3,000-square-foot Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation Center, touch tanks, and the 285,000-gallon tank featuring the largest collection of sharks in the state and a replica of the USS Monitor, a Civil War ironclad that sank off Cape Hatteras in 1862. Educational programs are offered daily, and youth adventure camps are offered during the summer and school holidays. The aquarium can be rented for special events and weddings.
Address: 374 Airport Road, Manteo
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10.95 adults (ages 13 to 61); $9.95 seniors and military; $8.95 children (ages 3 to 12); free for kids ages 2 and younger