Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in Downtown New Orleans and close to the iconic French Quarter, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is considered to be one of the finest aquariums in the U.S. Specialising in marine life from the Americas, the facility houses over ten thousand animals, covering 530 different species.
The aquarium is part of the Audubon family of museums which are dedicated to nature. These fine museums are located throughout the country and this particular facility in New Orleans is dedicated to marine life. One of its biggest features is the huge 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit. A home to sharks and rays and all sorts of creatures from the nearby Gulf, it’s an excellent introduction to the region and an interesting way to learn about the body of water that plays such a significant role in New Orleans’ way of life.
The penguin colony enclosure is another popular attraction and has recently been enhanced by the birth of rare African Blackfooted Penguins. The playful creatures are the type that prefer warmer waters and therefore do not require snowy conditions. While not a marine animal, the aquarium houses thousands of beautiful parakeets. Often found around tropical coastal areas, these colourful birds are as playful as the penguins and happily chirp away as visitors walk through the free-flight exhibit. For a unique experience, take a walk in the underwater tunnel and see the stunning coral reef in the Caribbean Reef exhibit. This is a great place to witness the fragile underwater ecosystem.
The aquarium is located at the end of Canal Street, near the French Quarter and faces the Mississippi River. It is a short walk from downtown however parking is available in nearby parking structures for those that drive. Streetcars also serve the aquarium on both the Riverfront Line and the Canal Street Line. Ferry service from Algiers and Gretna on the opposite side of the river bank is also available and serves the Canal Street Terminal near the Aquarium.