Visitors to the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher discover more than they can imagine. Stunning exhibits showcase a variety of aquatic environments from freshwater streams and swamps to reefs and open ocean. Take a journey down the Cape Fear River to the coastal waters as you travel through the aquarium. Begin an adventure along the winding waterways and garden of the freshwater conservatory and experience a Piedmont waterfall, bays, and swamps. Continue to explore marine environments from salt marshes and tidal pools to a two-story, 235,000-gallon open ocean exhibit featuring sharks, stingrays and eels. Visitors experience close encounters with assorted wildlife along the way. Meet Luna, a rare albino alligator. Talk with divers swimming among sharks and eels. Get up-close with a loggerhead sea turtle. Play on Adventure Reef. Find fossils in Shark Tooth Creek. Touch sea stars, horseshoe crabs and even a live shark! Daily animal feedings and fun activities, classes and programs educate and entertain, as well. Located just off the beach, south of Kure Beach (15 miles south of Wilmington) on U.S. 421, the facility is one of North Carolina's most visited attractions. The aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. Admission costs $10.95 for ages 13 to 61, $9.95 for ages 62 and older and the military, and $8.95 for children ages 3 to 12. Children 2 and younger are free.
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