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home : state news : e-state news May 21, 2019

5/7/2019 12:01:00 AM
North Carolina Aquariums Named Among Best

N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Jamie Kritzer, Public Information Officer

RALEIGH, N.C. —The North Carolina Aquariums are among the nation’s best according to a recent poll. The USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Award for best aquariums announced Friday, May 4 the state’s aquariums were voted number seven in the country.

 “This honor shows that our expert animal care, personal connections made with our guests, and our commitment to saving animals in the wild have made a positive impression on our visitors and communities,” said Maylon White, director of the North Carolina Aquariums.

The North Carolina Aquariums include multiple coastal sites at Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, on Roanoke Island, as well as Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

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The aquariums and pier are dedicated to connecting guests with the natural world and are leading attractions in the state, with a combined visitation of more than 1.3 million a year. In addition, the aquariums, each accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, are committed to saving animals locally and globally, with a focus on sea turtles, sand tiger sharks, and Carolina gopher frogs.

The top spots in the poll were Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (Tenn.) The Florida Aquarium and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (La.). The full list of winners can be found here:

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award aquarium poll launched in late March with 20 nominees from across the country, and ran for four weeks allowing the public to vote online once per day. The 20 nominees were chosen by a panel of relevant experts and editors from USA TODAY and

For more information about the North Carolina Aquariums, visit

About the North Carolina Aquariums

The North Carolina Aquariums are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and are dedicated to the mission of “Inspiring appreciation and conservation of our aquatic environments.” Each location is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher is just south of Wilmington at 900 Loggerhead Rd. Kure Beach. For more information, see or call 910-772-0500.

The North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is five miles west of Atlantic Beach at 1 Roosevelt Blvd., Pine Knoll Shores. For more information, see or call 252-247-4003.

The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is located in Manteo at 374 Airport Rd, Off U.S. 64. For more information, see or call 252-257-3493.

Jennette’s Pier is located on the Outer Banks at 7223 S Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head. For more information, see or call (252) 255-1501.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

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