Places to Go (Vacation) - Petting Stingrays & "Saving" Turtles at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (Outer Banks, NC)


By the last day of our vacation I had grown somewhat tired of the beach (so. much. sun.). Thus we planned an outing. Unfortunately, most of the Outer Bank's major attractions are located at the south end of the peninsula, approximately an hour from our rental house in Corolla. Luckily, the drive went smoothly and eventually we arrived at our destination - the North Carolina Aquarium.

Upon first arriving, we learned that our National Zoo memberships entitled us to discounted ticket prices (I forget the total amount of the discount), making us all very happy. Then we started exploring - the aquarium is small but really well done. The otters and albino alligator kept both children and adults entertained for quite awhile, until we finally arrived at the turtle rescue center - an interactive exhibit where children "diagnosis" rubber turtles in trouble and then rehabilitate them for the wild. The exhibit even includes child sized lab coats. We spent A LOT of time here (so many rubber turtles need saving!!) and I must say, it was one of the best kid-based exhibits I've ever come across.

After saving the turtles, we pet stingrays in the museum's touch tank. I especially liked that the tank was deep, so we had to wait for the rays to come to us. And then we spent some time checking out the sharks, as a presentation at the aquarium taught us some info about how sharks operate in the wild.

This summer the museum also hosts an outdoor exhibit full of animatronic dinosaurs, complete with a dinosaur dig sandpit. In addition to the dinosaurs, the grounds of the museum are absolutely lovely with gorgeous water views and nature paths.

All in all, a fantastic destination. We stayed for over three hours and the kids still didn't want to leave.


If you're looking for other things to do in the Outer Banks, here are some of our adventures from past years:

* Roanoke Island Festival Park
* Estuarine Nature Walk (Corolla, NC)


I'm a little addicted to green screen photos, despite their crazy marked up prices. Maybe because we have so few pictures of me. Then again, maybe I just love the cheese factor.


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