5 Reasons to Visit The New Orleans Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

reasons to visit the New Orleans Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Photo: By MusikAnimal [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons+

Right across from the Mississippi River at downtown NOLA, there’s a large open area that holds one of our favorite establishments in the area. It doesn’t matter whether you’re six or sixty; the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is one place that can spike your childhood curiosity about creatures of the deep. This attraction was a true surprise here. It’s normal to think that this is probably just another aquarium to see, but the Audubon Nature Society has done an incredible way of showcasing so many different exhibits here. You’re going to want to get lost, find your way, and then get lost again in this wild imaginative adventure.


# 1 -The Great Maya Reef

It’s easy to say what our favorite part of the aquarium was. The Great Maya Reef is probably one of the first pictures you’d see if ever you search the aquarium online. It’s a short walkway in the museum that has an overhead aquarium. You can see all the creatures in that aquarium swim above you, and it’s such an incredible experience. The submerged culture setup is definitely engaging and smart.


# 2- The Gulf of Mexico

The next aquarium exhibit, the Gulf of Mexico, is equally as impressive. It’s the largest exhibit in the establishment, holding at much as 400,000 gallons of water. It features fish you would normally find at the Gulf and an oil rig replica setup that’s similar to what you would actually find if you were to go deep into the Gulf.


# 3- Amazon Rainforest

Our next favorite stop at the Audubon Aquarium is the Amazon Rainforest. This was a complete surprise to see and experience. Apart from the amazing build and creative aspects of the area, the coolest part of the Amazon Rainforest is the temperature. That part of the museum is actually temperature controlled to replicate what temperatures are like in the actual rainforest during the dry season. No matter what the temp is like in NOLA, you’ll feel the humidity, moisture, and constant warmth in this indoor rainforest replica. You can see visit some of the animals in the exhibit, but the best part was going through the man-made treetop loop that allows you to see the rainforest with a birds-eye view. Just make sure you keep an eye out for the free flying birds that call this entire exhibit home. If you can spot the elusive Peruvian Meadowlark or the Yellow-rumped Cacique, then you’re lucky. Otherwise, you can enjoy seeing the piranhas and the stingrays in close reproductions of their natural habitat.


# 4 – Mississippi River Gallery

When you’ve had your fill of the Amazon humidity, head back indoors to see everything else that’s on the second floor. That includes a small exhibit of penguins, sea horses, sea otters, frogs, parakeets, and a few more. Make sure you walk by the Mississippi River Gallery, where you can see the types of fish and other creatures that live in that huge body of water you can experience right outside the museum doors. The second floor even features a small eating area for a short break. You have choices of either pizza or other grill items and ice cream to satisfy any sugar cravings.


# 5 – Entery Giant Screen Theater

Finally, when you’ve explored the aquarium to your liking, head on over to the Entery Giant Screen Theater, a truly one-of-a-kind experience you’re not going to want to miss. This theater is not some low-tech visual experience you can easily dismiss. It features a 4K digital projection that you’ll soon appreciate after you see everything so up close and personal. Your trip to the Audubon Aquarium will definitely not be complete if you skip the theater. The shows change periodically, but we recommend setting aside at least an hour or so for you to sit through an entire show.


Wrapping it up at the New Orleans Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Once you’re done with the theater, we highly recommend going back to visit the museum shop. They have some really interesting and unique products that you’ll enjoy looking through. You can also support the Audubon Nature Institute by making a donation to their cause. By the time you’ve spent an entire day there, you’ll be convinced that the organization is doing something right. We wouldn’t blame you if you decide to do one more tour of the aquarium at the end of the day. The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is just one of those places you’ll find difficult to leave

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