South Carolina Aquarium maintains an impressive 4-star rating on TripAdvisor, especially with families. Many locals also mention it as one of the best things to do on a romantic Charleston date.

The aquarium hosts a cool turtle hospital where guests can learn about sea turtle rescue, rehabilitation, and release. Kids will love the chance to pet stingrays on an upper deck. Read this first!


The South Carolina Aquarium Charleston SC has thousands of animals and plants that showcase the region’s marine flora. From alligators, river otters, stingrays, and sea turtles to spartina grass, periwinkle snails, diamondback terrapins, hermit crabs, and striped pelicans, this aquarium has it all!

Guests can explore the mountain forest, piedmont, coastal plain, salt marsh, and ocean by walking through the different galleries. Kids will love the hands-on touch tank and 4D movie experience. The Aquarium is also home to the Zucker Family Sea Turtle Recovery Center, which allows visitors to learn about sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation efforts with the ultimate goal of returning healthy sea turtles back to the wild.

You can also take a behind-the-scenes tour and meet the aquarium staff. The aquarium’s annual event, Aquarium Aglow, is also worth checking out. This is a great mostly indoor activity for couples on a romantic vacation or a fun family outing. The gift shop has toys, stuffed animals, and souvenirs that will remind you of your trip to the South Carolina Aquarium Charleston.

Education Programs

Located in Charleston Harbor, the South Carolina Aquarium is a modern building that features replicas of environments and aquatic life throughout the state. The aquarium isn’t just a place to see fish in tanks, though; conservation and education are big parts of the attraction’s mission.

Guests can learn about the state’s ecosystems through the aquarium’s exhibits, which feature animals and plants from mountain forests, piedmont, coastal plains, salt marsh, Charleston Coast, and the open ocean. The highlight is the aquarium’s 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank, where visitors can pet sea creatures like stingrays or meet sharks and other predatory fish in a special touch tank.

In addition to the exhibits, the aquarium also offers daily educational programs that range from Great Ocean Tank dives to behind-the-scene tours of the Sea Turtle Hospital. The aquarium also provides job shadow opportunities that allow students to observe the responsibilities of an aquarist or educator. If a school can’t visit the aquarium, its Education Outreach program will bring artifacts and standards-based activities to the classroom. Visit another area in town here.

Special Events

South Carolina Aquarium also holds special events throughout the year to give visitors a chance to interact with marine animals and explore their natural habitats. They have a few programs geared for children that include learning and fun activities such as identifying hermit crabs, whelk, sea urchins, and horseshoe crabs in the touch tank or learning about loggerhead sea turtles at the state’s only full-service sea turtle hospital.

In the winter, the Aquarium is lit up for its annual holiday event called Aquarium Aglow. This elegant evening of celebration transforms the Aquarium into a magical experience with installations that range from warm and nostalgic to awe-inspiring and contemporary. Guests are invited to explore the galleries and enjoy beverages, including wine, beer, and food for purchase.

Weddings can be held at the aquarium as it is a one-of-a-kind location for a unique and memorable day. The aquarium’s in-house events team can assist with the planning of your event surrounded by exotic sea life and panoramic waterfront views.


South Carolina Aquarium inspires conservation of the natural world by exhibiting and caring for animals, excelling in education, and providing an exceptional visitor experience. Guests can touch Atlantic stingrays in the Touch Tank or take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sea Turtle Hospital. The aquarium also features a wide range of other exhibits that showcase native species.

The two-story Great Ocean Tank holds 385,000 gallons of water and is home to sharks, loggerhead sea turtles, and other marine creatures. Guests can also watch daily dive shows with the creatures and learn about conservation efforts at the Sea Turtle Hospital.

The facility can host weddings in its Aquarium Galleries and Harbor Overlook, which can hold 50 to 500 guests. The venue has an in-house team of event planning specialists and offers experiences that can enhance the day such as animal encounters or having scuba divers share personalized messages with couples. Other amenities include catering, bar service, dance floors, and a photo backdrop. Check Out This Info.


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