South Carolina Aquarium: Ideal Time to Go + 10,000 Amazing Animals to See

Trips to the South Carolina Aquarium are enjoyable for both natives and tourists. This expansive underwater display is open everyday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and may be incorporated into any schedule. In addition, there are a few touch tanks and twelve distinct exhibits that together host over 10,000 creatures. Though the majority are aquatic mammals, keep an eye out for your feathered companions as well.

When to Visit

Even though the aquarium is only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are some times and days when visiting will go more smoothly and with less crowds. There will always be busier moments throughout the summer than during the southern off-season. If you’re going during the summer, get there early to avoid the crowds. Additionally, getting there closer to the 3:30 admittance cutoff time will help guarantee less people.

If you’re a spring-breaker, a winter snowbird or a fall traveller, schedule a stroll to the aquarium when there aren’t as many people. throughout certain times, especially throughout the week, children are less likely to attend.


Numerous animal species are waiting to be observed and engaged with. A handful will be found inside touch tanks. There are twelve distinct exhibits within the aquarium, each containing a different species of animal.

Mountain Forest

You may see a bald eagle, “Liberty,” a stream full of fish, and waterfalls inside this display. Make careful to search for “Charlie” and “Beau,” the river otter house. Throughout the day, we can watch the couple swimming, napping, or having snacks.


With bass, crappies, and suckers, this display brings the foothills to life. An exact recreation of these animals’ natural habitats can be found inside the display.

Coastal Plain

This exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium illustrates the essence of a marsh at dusk. There will be longnose gars, rattlesnakes, and gopher tortoises to discover.

Saltmarsh Aviary

The Saltmarsh Aviary, one of the outdoor exhibitions, has a view of Charleston Harbour. There’s a 6,000-gallon aquarium with diamondback terrapins, burrfish, and other fish in it. In addition, tourists can see gulls and roseate spoonbills.

Touch Tank

This touch tank offers guests of all ages the chance to interact with horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, whelk, hermit crabs, and Atlantic stingrays. There will be volunteers or staff on hand to respond to any queries visitors may have.


Fish from the city’s shoreline are on show in this exhibit at the South Carolina Aquarium. See the giant grouper named “Mel” in the aquarium and the camouflaging southern flounders native to Charleston.


Standing two floors tall with a capacity of 385,000 gallons, the Great Ocean Tank is recognised as the deepest tank in the nation. See Caretta, the 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle at the aquarium, up close and personal as you stand inches from sharks.

Carolina Seas

This 15,000-gallon tank, which is the first exhibit viewers will see, is home to a diverse array of vibrant fish from different coral environments across the Eastern coast.

The Shallows

Located at The Shallows, visitors can engage in interaction with the gliding cownose stingrays or purchase a $5 feeding voucher to feed them food. Treat the rays every day from 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last.

Backyard Habitat

In addition to natural vegetation, the education gardens provide animal shelters. Visitors can get inspiration for designing gardens that will draw native birds, butterflies, and insects.


The South Carolina Aquarium is home to about ten thousand creatures.


This is where “Phoenix,” an American Kestrel, is kept following an incident with a live electrical wire. She couldn’t be returned to the wild after losing a talon and a toe, so she’s been living at the aquarium since 2009.

In addition, there are northern pintails, a bald eagle known as “Liberty,” and a barn owl called “Pippen,” which is named for Scotty Pippen, the star player for the Chicago Bulls.


There are suckers, bass, and crappies in the Piedmont show. Green moray eels, barracudas, cownose rays, Atlantic spadefish, and Atlantic Tripletail are also present. Porcupine fish, lionfish, grey triggerfish, and nurse sharks complete the fish species on display at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Additional Marine Life

This area is home to river otters, common octopuses, chain dogfish, Caribbean spiny lobsters, and green sea turtles. Visitors can also see moon jelly, purple sea urchins, loggerhead sea turtles, Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, and horseshoe crabs.

The gopher tortoise, sea stars, powerful red horsefish, and a few yellow rat snakes can be found in the exhibits. The South Carolina Aquarium also features slipper lobster, diamondback terrapins, and Eastern Indigo snakes, among other species.