Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Attractions in Virginia Beach

See the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center during your Virginia Beach visit. Best Western Plus Sandcastle Beachfront Hotel is only a five-minute drive or 10-minute train ride away.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is both an aquarium and a marine science museum with over 800,000 gallons of fresh and saltwater displays.

In 2009, they underwent a $25 Million renovation designed by Chermayeff & Poole of Boston, to create four habitats: Malaysian Peat Swamp, Coastal Sahara Desert, Red Sea, and Indonesia’s Flores Island—doubling the number of species displayed in the aquarium.

Give yourself a minimum of two and half hours to see the two large main exhibit buildings here: the Bay and Ocean Pavilion and the Marsh Pavilion.

A one-third mile nature trail connects these two buildings near Owls Creek Salt Marsh—with the Adventure Park, an eco-friendly zip line and aerial experience above.

The 12,000 animals representing over 700 species here include cownose rays, harbor seals, loggerhead turtles—to name a few. Check out the Blue Crab Corner of this species that populated the Chesapeake Bay for centuries.

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Tickets start at $20.95.