North Carolina Aquarium - Roanoke Island

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Manteo, North Carolina

North Carolina Aquarium - Roanoke Island Manteo Reviews

jdsgos jdsgos
24 reviews
Oct 04, 2007
Since everyone was cooped up in the house for the week. Some of us decided to get away for the day. Joss had decided to take Amelia (she's so cute) to see the aquarium in Manteo. Asked if I'd like to tag along, and of course I said sure.

The aquarium is located on Roanoke Island, near the "Lost Colony" site. Now if you have never heard of the Lost Colony, its a pretty interesting tale. It involves a colony of settlers that settle in the area during the late 1500s. Supplies ran low, some of the colonists decided to leave by ship to get more supplies. Only to return a few years later to find the entire colony had vanished. There were no signs of war, no signs of blight, nothing....just gone. With the only clue being the word "croatan" engraved in a tree. To this day no one has figured out where they went.

Okay, back to the aquarium. Now I love aquariums, I firmly believe that every major city needs one. You can tell as you drive up that this aquarium would be on the smallish side. Not very big as compared to Tampa's or Boston's. But then again it was very cheap. The cost was eight dollars per person and kids get in free under 12. You pay and then go through a set of double doors onto the lobby (for lack of a better word). Maps and information are displayed in this area. And at the end of the lobby, there is a wall of water. Basiclly a bronze colored display with water running down the wall. Amelia liked it :-)

The aquarium is pretty much laid out as a path. Just follow the path from one display to the next. You start off with a few displays that show off the ecosystem of the area. Both coastal and inland marshes. There is a mixture of fresh water and salt water tanks. Actually all of them were pretty nice. One of the biggest display is the shark tank. The sharks themselves weren't very big. Three or four sand tiger sharks about 6 feet long. Thats not big to me, cause I am use to the size of sharks we get off the Florida coast. Same for the alligator display. These guys were only a few years old, about 4-5 feet long. Nothing like the 13 foot or bigger bull gators in the Everyglades :-)

The were tanks more tailored for the kids. Lots of sea horses on display and a petting tank for rays. No need to fear, I saw that all the rays had had their barbs removed from their tails. Harmless to pet, along with the horse-shoe crabs. Then there was the hermit crabs display. Some of the kids seemed to like those too. There were tanks with eels, puffer fishes (always a favorite) and even some lobsters. I was surprised at the lack of a coral display. There weren't even any clown fishes (you know, the finding nemo fish). Apparently behind the aquarium, there is an osprey nest way up high with its very own osprey cam.

The only bad thing about this place was the qaulity of volunteers that they have. To say that they lacked knowledge of the stuff on display would be too nice. That and they were grumpy towards the younger crowds. I'm not talking about little kids running around and making alot of noise. But people in the 20s asking some very simple questions. Since I was only there for the day, I'd never see them again so why bother complaining.

The aquarium was a nice distraction. Its centrally located to other things to see and near by shops. It was cheap and entertaining. And the candy stand at the end of the aquarium can settle any sweet tooth :-)
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