The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located on the beach, along U.S. 421 just south of Kure Beach (about 15 miles south of Wilmington). Come to the aquarium and explore native North Carolina habitats from freshwater streams and swamps to reefs and open ocean. Discover more than you can imagine. Come face-to-face with Megalodon, a massive prehistoric shark in an interactive exhibit, "Diving with N.C.'s Fiercest Predator." Meet Luna, a rare albino alligator. Let stingrays swim past your fingertips in the touch tanks. Interact with divers swimming among sharks and eels in the two-story Cape Fear Shoals exhibit. See eye-to-eye with young bonnethead sharks, showy African pompano and sea turtles.
An Exotic Aquatics gallery includes non-native creatures like lionfish, Pacific coral reef fish and colorful poisonous dart frogs. The aquarium also exhibits four of the state's six venomous snake species: copperheads, cottonmouths, Eastern diamondback and timber rattlers, along with American Alligators.
The aquarium is open daily 9 AM to 5 PM except Christmas, New Year's and Thanksgiving days. All three North Carolina Aquariums offer behind-the-scenes tours and other programs for people of all ages to learn more about aquatic life. The variety at the Fort Fisher facility includes everything from short educational videos, featuring varied topics from sharks to shrimp, to camps and workshops. At 11 AM and 3 PM daily, aquarium staff feed different animals. Educators are always on hand to field questions. Some activities require reservations and a nominal fee, but others are free with aquarium admission.
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