South Carolina Aquarium
South Carolina Aquarium
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
Q: When did the South Carolina Aquarium open?
A: The South Carolina Aquarium opened in May of 2000 on the historic Charleston Harbor.
Q: How many people have visited the South Carolina Aquarium?
A: As of August 2005, over 3 million people have visited the South Carolina Aquarium.
Q: How many exhibits are there at the South Carolina Aquarium, and what can I expect to see?
A: There are over 60 exhibits located throughout the Aquarium that focus on five major regions of the Appalachian Watershed: the Mountains, the Piedmont, the Coastal Plain, the Coast and the Ocean. Our changing exhibit space currently features Camp Carolina, an interactive, immersion exhibit preparing and exciting visitors for exploring the outdoors of the upstate region of South Carolina. Our newest exhibit, Penguin Planet, will be opening March 21, 2009, and will feature 4 magellanic penguins. Explore our exhibits
Q: How big is the largest exhibit in the Aquarium?
A: The Great Ocean Tank is the largest exhibit in the Aquarium. It extends from the first to the third floor of the Aquarium, holds over 385,000 gallons of water and contains over 450 animals. Visit the Ocean Gallery
Q: Can I touch any of the animals at the Aquarium?
A: Yes, the South Carolina Aquarium has a new Touch Tank where you can touch horseshoe crabs, stingrays and many other marine animals. Visit the Touch Tank
Q: Do you have dolphins and whales inside the Aquarium?
A: No, it is against South Carolina law to keep dolphins and whales in captivity. However, Charleston Harbor has a large population of resident dolphins and the Aquarium's Riverside Terrace is an excellent vantage point to see these dolphins in their natural habitats.
Q: What types of interpretive programs are offered at the South Carolina Aquarium?
A: Interpretive programs are presented daily by the Education Department and are fun and informative for all visitors--whether they are visiting for the first or the thirty-first time. Learn more about our:
Daily Visitor Programs
Q: What kind of educational programs are offered to school groups?
A: Teachers can apply for their class to participate in the Aquarium's free standards-based structured school programs. Teachers can also pay for their class to participate in interpretive classroom programs.
Learn more about our school programs
Q: Does the Aquarium have a volunteer program?
A: The South Carolina Aquarium’s Volunteer program consists of over 350 diverse, enthusiastic individuals that help with everything from taking care of animals to talking with visitors about exhibits to working on graphic design projects.
Become a volunteer
Q: Can I plan a party or wedding reception at the Aquarium?
A: Absolutely! The South Carolina Aquarium loves hosting special events. We will work with you or your events planner to provide a wide range of special spaces, ranging from intimate galleries with mesmerizing aquatic creatures, to the Great Hall. We’ve also partnered with approved caterers and suppliers to ensure yours is a party not to be forgotten.
Plan your special event
Q: How many animals live at the Aquarium?
A: The South Carolina Aquarium is home to over 6,000 plants and animals including river otters, rattlesnakes, loggerhead sea turtles, alligators, Venus flytraps, great blue herons, owls, sea horses, jellyfish, pufferfish, moray eels, horseshoe crabs, starfish, sea dragons, sharks and many more.
Learn more about our animal collection