Public aquariums let visitors gain a better understanding of the natural beauty and the ecological complexity of our oceans without having to don unflattering wetsuits. Today's Groupon lets you learn about the Pacific's underwater depths while retaining your modesty: for $10, you get one day's general admission to the Seattle Aquarium (up to a $19 value). This ticket is valid for children and adults.
The Seattle Aquarium is the seventh-largest aquarium in the country and one of Puget Sound's most visited landmarks. With 11 current exhibits, this ode to the ocean provides enough otter ogling and starfish studying to fill a leisurely afternoon. Some of the exhibits include: Windows on Washington Waters, an alliterative journey through the coastal ecosystem of the Puget Sound; Life on the Edge, where visitors get to experience tide pools up close and to pet the furless coats of starfish and sea anemones; Pacific Coral Reef, a 25,000-gallon tank filled with a man-made reef; Ocean Oddities, an exploration of rarely seen, strangely beautiful fish that describe themselves as "having good personalities" in classified ads; and Marine Mammals, an exhibit of otters and seals that requires observers to sign liability waivers in case they die of cuteness overload. Several times each day at designated exhibits, naturalists are scheduled to give short, informative talks to provide visitors with a better understanding of the lives and the ecosystems of some of the aquarium's animal tenants. If all the oceanic education causes a powerful hunger for food or for shopping, the aquarium has a café and a gift shop where these needs can be met.
- The aquarium's main focus is on the water worlds of the Puget Sound region, but there are also fascinating exhibits of sea life from around the world, including a beautiful coral-reef tank. The star attractions, however, are the playful river otters and sea otters, as well as the giant octopus. – Frommer’s
- A beautiful aquarium with excellent exhibits--I was very impressed with the displays… – naomish, TripAdvisor
Not only is the Seattle Aquarium the ninth largest of its kind in the United States—with more than 22 million visitors since its opening in 1977—it is also an integral center for marine conservation and education. The exhibits display stunning creatures of land and sea, and staff biologists study the aquatic tenants to conduct critical research on giant Pacific octopuses, sixgill sharks, sea otters, and other indigenous animals.
Though the Seattle Aquarium is an advanced center for research, it isn’t all serious business and otters wearing lab coats—it also hosts numerous interactive exhibits and displays to please young and old alike. The Marine Mammals exhibit puts visitors up close with sea otters, playful river otters, harbor seals, and fur seals. The Pacific Coral Reef exhibit displays visually stunning and vibrant tropical fish, and the 120,000-gallon Windows on Washington Waters exhibit provides a floor-to-ceiling view of hundreds of Puget Sound fish, including salmon, lingcod, rockfish, and wolf eels.
The Seattle Aquarium also stays actively involved with the community. The aquarium’s biologists partner with local divers to take an annual octopus census, and each year the center trains more than 150 volunteers to teach visitors about the ecosystems of local beaches.
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