The Texas State Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Lone Star State, educates and engages guests with immersive exhibits featuring more than 400 species and other unique experiences—all included with admission.
From its beautiful beaches to its famous fishing scene, the Coastal Bend is a favorite getaway for traveling Texans, but for most out-of-town visitors, the Aquarium is their main reason for making the trip to Corpus Christi…and for good reason. Rain or shine, the Aquarium offers opportunities to get up-close and personal with wildlife from the Caribbean or Texas’s own “backyard,” the Gulf of Mexico, and plenty of chances to not only have fun, but to learn and be inspired.
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Without a doubt, the most popular animal residents of the Aquarium are its four bottlenose dolphins, Shadow, Kai, Liko, and Schooner. Guests can wonder at the high-flying aquatic acrobatics of these intelligent marine mammals and see the unique bond these dolphins share with their trainers. An underwater view gives guests an opportunity to get an even closer look at the dolphins, and many guests even enjoy “racing” the dolphins as they cruise past the window.
While dolphins may take center stage, even more exciting animals are waiting in the wings. As they explore captivating indoor and outdoor habitats, guests will encounter sea turtles, sharks, seahorses, birds, and hundreds of other species from land and sea.
In Gulf of Mexico, they’ll virtually journey past coastal habitats with shorebirds, baby alligators, and seahorses and travel further and further out the sea, venturing through coral reefs, bays and estuaries, and even beneath an offshore oil rig, before reaching the deep ocean where jellies, octopus, and other strange creatures live. Interactive experiences and photo ops keep visitors engaged along the way, from coming face to face with a sandbar shark to posing within the massive jaws of the prehistoric Megalodon. Visitors can continue their adventure through the Gulf in the Aquarium’s outdoor Boardwalk Gardens and find a playful otter, a rescued eagle, an alligator, and other critters. Several sea turtles—also rescued from injuries they received in the wild—make their Aquarium their home, and they may even swim closer to get a closer look at their human visitors. In the shaded Eagle Pass, guests can witness the behaviors of mammals and rescued birds.
The Caribbean Journey, the Aquarium’s newest experience, transports guests from the Gulf to the tropical seas and jungles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Guests cross under a waterfall to enter a subtropical rainforest teeming with life, including flying birds, flamingos mingling in a lagoon, and even a sleepy sloth. Through their jungle trek, guest will get a peek at the surface of aquatic habitats, before finally “diving” below the waves for a fish’s-eye view. In this underwater wonderland, dozens of colorful fish swim through a vibrant coral reef exhibit and the mysterious Blue Hole habitat. But the Caribbean Journey’s crown jewel is it’s 400,000-gallon H-E-B Caribbean Sea, featuring the longest aquarium display window in North America. Guests can soak up the sights of sharks and stingrays as they glide by from just inches away, or even venture through the underwater tunnel to replicate the experience of diving of Caribbean shipwreck.
Once you soak up the Aquarium’s exhibits and presentations, even more complimentary experiences await. During the summer months, the H-E-B Splash Park, a zero-depth water playground, offers gallons of fun for younger guests. Just don’t forget your swimsuit!
An Aquarium visit is a day many families and friends will remember for a long time…but these guests aren’t just making memories; they’re making a difference. That’s because every ticket to the not-for-profit Texas State Aquarium contributes to its wildlife rescue, conservation and animal care programs. The Aquarium contributes to a meaningful scientific research projects, raises awareness for ocean conservation issues, and as a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium, provides world-class care for its animals. Guest admission also contributes to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of hundreds of wildlife each year, including pelicans, hawks and falcons, and endangered sea turtles.
The Texas State Aquarium is open daily throughout the year. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.texasstateaquarium.org