As of September 30, 2013 the National Aquarium in Washington DC Has Closed
What do a Boneytail Chub, an American Alligator, an Eastern Hellbender, and a Giant Pacific Octopus have in common? They are a few of the magnificent creatures housed in Washington’s National Aquarium.
The National Aquarium contains more than 1,500 specimens of over 250 different species of aquatic life, organized into four galleries. The largest of these is devoted to some of the stunning aquatic ecosystems protected in America’s National Marine Sanctuaries and National Parks: the swamps of the Everglades; the cool, nutrient-rich waters of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary; the tropical reef in the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary in American Samoa; and the extensive coral reefs of Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, among others.
The American Freshwater Ecosystems Gallery highlights creatures from freshwater environments all around the United States, from the cichlids of the Rio Grande to the carnivorous plants of northern bogs, from the declining Eastern Hellbender (a nearly 30-inch salamander) of the eastern states to the endangered Boneytail Chub of the Colorado River system. In the Amazon River Basin Gallery you can admire piranha, freshwater stingrays, and emerald tree boas from one of the most diverse aquatic ecosystems on the planet. Finally, the Amphibians Gallery is home to salamanders, newts, frogs, and toads, highlighting their amazing adaptations and biology.
The National Aquarium is small in comparison to other aquariums, so be aware when planning your day that it may take less time than you expect. Also be prepared to pay with cash or check, as the National Aquarium is not able to accept credit cards. If you can, plan your visit for 2 p.m. to catch the daily animal feedings and aquarist talks. The aquarium also hosts other events. Check the calendar before your visit at www.nationalaquarium.org.
Parking: The National Aquarium does not run its own parking garage, but there are private lots nearby.
Metrorail: Blue and Orange Lines to the Federal Triangle stop.