Some of the best aquariums in the US are located in landlocked states. Ohio is one of the them with breathtaking views of aquatic life such as sharks, dolphins, whales, and countless fish. There are a few facilities that are strictly aquariums, but many in Ohio are also connected to zoos where you can tour both mammals on land and under water.
Below we will cover the state of Ohio and all the best aquariums you can visit with family and friends (most will be in Columbus, Cincinnati, and Toledo). There is a new world to discover under the sea and these places will give you a slight glimpse into just how magical it is.
Guide to visiting Aquariums in Ohio
Here are a few useful tips when planning your trip to an aquarium.
- Consider how you will get there. Many aquariums are easily accessible by public transportation. Parking is often limited so if you want to drive there you better make it an early morning.
- What time is best to go? Often going early when the facilities open will allow you to avoid any queues and long lines. Many of the mammals get fed in the mornings so it’s also an ideal time to see them in action.
- Go online to buy tickets. You will often find discounts to Ohio aquariums online. Sometimes you may even find discounts at local grocery stores.
- Research the exhibits at the aquarium. Most facilities have quite a few exhibits and demonstrations you can attend. See what times certain events are playing so you can plan accordingly. It’s not hard to get caught up watching marine life
- Pack a lunch. Some aquariums do offer restaurants and dining, but they can be overpriced and take time away from the reason you went there.
Due to being a landlocked state, Ohio had to come up with some pretty unique and fascinating aquariums to attract tourists and visiting in the United States. For the most part you will find these aquatic mammals combined with zoos as it’s easier to house and maintain the wildlife in one location. However, that just builds to the excitement as you can first explore the zoo whre you will see giraffes and monkeys before heading over to the aquarium to catch glimpses of sharks, penguins, and even manatees (sea cows of the ocean). Whichever you prefer Ohio boasts some amazing aquariums for you to explore.
Cities in Ohio that have Aquariums
As one of the biggest cities in Ohio, Columbus is home to one of the greatest zoos and aquariums in the country. It’s facility not only showcases animals from all around the world, but also acts as a conservation center and educational area for preserving habitats. On a hot summers day you can head on over to their amusement and waterpark called Zoombezi where they have a mixture of restored rides from when you were kids as well as action thrillers for the younger generation. There is so much to do in the city of Columbus, but this should definitely be on your bucket list.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium located in Powell, Ohio was nominated twice as the best aquarium and zoo in the US. With over 7,000 animals there is something for everyone to enjoy. The aquarium itself has several exhibits including sharks, manatees, coral reefs, and a huge collection of tropical fish. Once you are done viewing the marine life, make sure to visit the land mammals as the Columbus Zoo is well known for their demonstrations and events where you can interact with the animals.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden features many land mammals, but also a decent amount of aquatic life such as manatees, alligators, and snapping turtles. The zoo has been awarded with two different accreditations and voted the best zoo in the United States two different years. The aquarium itself hosts a 120,000 gallon tank where you can get a birds eye view as well as close up viewing of the manatee. This truly is one of the best attractions to go to if you are visiting the city of Cincinnati.
Two facilities are located in this city within Ohio. Greater Cleveland Aquarium boasts an impressive 55 exhibits including a 150+ foot ceramic tunnel where you can get panoramic views of sharks and a wide variety of aquatic life and plants. Set in a historical backdrop, you and your family can easily spend an entire day here enjoying the best marine life Cleveland has to offer.
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo offers a smaller aquatic center, but still well worth checking out. They renovated their primate and cat facility back in the 1980’s when the first aquarium had structural issues. There are 35 different exhibits to explore when you can view marine life such as giant octopuses and exotic fish.
Toledo Ohio is home to one of the greatest aquariums in the US. The facility has over 3,000 species of marine life with several exhibits and interactive experiences for you to enjoy. After viewing all the marine life you can check out the other regions of the zoo and land animals from around the world. The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium definitely needs to be on your list of things to do in Ohio.
Aquariums in Ohio Recap
Hopefully one of the above attractions will catch your eye as you go explore life under the water. Each aquarium is unique in the exhibits they offer allowing you to really enjoy all marine life and what they mean to our planet. From live coral reefs to thousands of tropical fish, sharks, eels, octopuses, and more, the intriguing nature of going to an aquarium never gets old.
Many of the facilities in Ohio are also constantly updating their marine life and tanks to showcase more sea mammals for you. So if it’s been a few years since your last visit, head back over and see what exciting new demonstrations they have in store. Ohio is a great state to get out with the family and make a day trip to the aquarium.
If you are traveling around the United States, here are some other amazing aquariums to check out.
Benefits for Visiting an Aquarium in Ohio
- Promotes Discovery in Youth – As the world opens up to the younger generation, it’s often forgotten about life under the sea. When you visit an aquarium it’s amazing to see how the eyes open up and wonderment begins as they explore a whole new world to them. Aquariums bring an exploration that most activities can’t to children. Through exhibits and demonstrations, Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo allow both adults and kids the chance to discover something new.
- Educational – To piggy back off discovery and exploration, it’s important to note that many aquariums not only in the state of Ohio, but all over the world are making efforts to teach the importance of saving marine life habitats. Many facilities offer conservation and preservation efforts in hope to help endangered life. Some even team up with local zoos to increase awareness of the issues many mammals are facing. This education is important for every human on the planet so we can keep aquatic life from dying out.
- Relaxation – There is a reason people by aquariums for their homes. Staring at tropical fish, sharks, eels, jellyfish, and more is an unbelievable way to going into a zen like state and forget about the hustle and bustle of the world. You can often see people’s stress levels fade away as they enjoy sharks and other marine mammals swimming over their heads in underwater tunnels offered at many aquariums in Ohio. It’s important to appreciate life on this planet as it can often be the perfect way to get away.
- Real Life Learning – Have you ever touched a shark, stingray, starfish, or even a simple crab? Visual and hands on learning can be one of the best educational tools for both children and adults. Aquariums have adopted this philosophy and now offer many hands on touch tanks where you can get to feel aquatic life instead of just seeing it.
- Family Time – These days it’s rare to see families spend a day together doing something everyone enjoys. However, at an aquarium there is nothing better than watching memories being made as the kids run around yelling at their parents to hurry up to the next exhibit. Sometimes you will even see parents yelling at their kids to start running in order to catch the next show. It’s a magical time at an aquarium and it’s the perfect place to have family bonding time.