Visit the South Carolina Aquarium
In this post, we share everything you need to know about visiting the South Carolina Aquarium. A popular attraction amongst both locals and visitors, the South Carolina Aquarium is a great place to visit any time of year.
If you’re traveling as a family, read our post Charleston on a Budget for money-saving tips.
The South Carolina Aquarium is located in Downtown Charleston on the Harbor at 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29401. Check out the South Carolina Aquarium website for more details.
By car: If traveling by car, you can either take I-26 East, Highway 17 North (West Ashley), or Highway 17 South.
There is a city parking garage at 24 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401. Metered parking is located along Washington Street and Concord Street.
By CARTA DASH Trolley: Take Route 210 (Orange) and get off at the South Carolina Aquarium stop. This service is completely free to use and operates every day other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
Read our post on the CARTA DASH trolley to learn more.
- Adults – $29.95
- Children – $22.95
Hours: The aquarium is open for entry 9am-4pm daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day!
If you want to avoid the crowds, try visiting on the weekdays or before 11am or after 2pm.
Extending out on to the harbor, the aquarium has over 60 exhibits to learn about aquatic life from otters to turtles and of course, sharks! It’s an interactive experience where you can even reach in and touch the sea life.
Touch Tank – Get hands-on during your visit at the Touch Tank, which features a variety of species of invertebrates, like hermit crabs, whelk, sea urchins, horseshoe crabs, and Atlantic stingrays.
Great Ocean Tank – This two-story, 385,000-gallon tank is the flagstone of the aquarium. Come face to face with sharks and say hello to the 220-pound loggerhead sea turtle, Caretta. There are divers that put on daily dive shows with the animals.
4D Film – For those who want a little bit more, you can purchase additional tickets to the 4D experience. The National Geographic’s Sea Monsters 4D film feels as if you’re there 1000 leagues under the sea as it rocks your seat to escape the creatures of the deep.
Sea Turtle Hospital – Still want more? South Carolina’s only Sea Turtle Hospital is located at the aquarium and offers daily tours at 12pm and 2pm. Tickets sell out quickly so we recommend getting them in advance!
Reviews for the South Carolina Aquarium are generally very positive. It maintains a 4-star rating on TripAdvisor and is especially popular with families.
Though some found that the smaller size of the aquarium was disappointing and not worth the entrance fee, most were more than satisfied with their experience.
As one of reviewer points out, part of the fee goes toward the full-service turtle hospital which is a unique feature of this aquarium.