The 2 Best Aquariums in Louisiana

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Olesia Bilkei/

Written by Jude Speegle

Updated: October 5, 2022

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In Louisiana, there’s the bayou, Cajun food, and Mardi Gras. It’s no wonder it’s so heavily populated when so much richness comes from this state. Located in the heart of the state, there are two separate aquariums you can find; one in New Orleans and one in Shreveport by the border.

The Pelican State is known most of all for the effects Hurricane Katrina had on it back in 2005. The hurricane caused immense flooding and water damage. Louisiana is bordered by the ocean and is full of lakes and swamps, a special type of habitat.

The two aquariums available to visit in Louisiana are:

  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
  • Shreveport Aquarium

Now that we know a little bit about the state, let’s get swimming in these great aquariums.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Best Animals For Kids

Visit hundreds of colorful parakeets at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas.

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Location1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Animal to SeeSea Otters
Known ForParakeets

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is found in good old New Orleans, a city famous for its music and food. Run by the Audubon Nature Institute, this aquarium opened its doors in 1990.

In 2005, the aquarium was damaged by Hurricane Katrina, causing a massive loss of life. They reopened in May of 2006. 

Unlike other aquariums, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas isn’t focused just on local marine life but on aquatic creatures from all across the nation.

More than 10,000 animals make their home at this aquarium, with 530 separate species. 

  • Shark Discovery- A 13,000-gallon shark and stingray touch pool fills out this exhibit. It is six times the original touch pool that was located within this aquarium. Sharks are integral to the success of oceanic ecosystems. Many species can be found within, including the spotted bamboo shark, coral catshark, and many types of stingray.
  • Penguins- African penguins fill this exhibit with their fun and humorous antics. More than twenty penguins call the aquarium their home, many of them born in the aquarium itself. There are live penguin feedings to witness, and you can watch them waddle around and play in their environment.
  • Gulf of Mexico- As the name suggests, meet the aquatic creatures found in the Gulf of Mexico and learn who makes their homes there and how they all intermingle. A replica of an offshore oil rig is set within the 400,000 gallons of saltwater, showcasing a common scene found among the waves.
  • Sea Otters- Watch Clara and Ruby, two rescued sea otters, play and forage. A beautiful waterfall and two pools are available for the animals to frolic in, along with a hefty and healthy diet of all of their favorite expensive foods. These include shrimp, clams, and mussels. They open these with rocks to get at the goodness inside.
  • Seahorses- Check out the seahorses and sea dragons in this exhibit, who live in the well-kept tank gracefully swimming around.
  • Mississippi River- Spot the unique white alligator that calls this exhibit home, along with all sorts of fish that you would find thriving in the Mississippi River.
  • Jellies- Jellyfish are kept safe by being in cylindrical carousels known as Kriesels. These keep jellyfish safe from hurting themselves against any corners and objects. Out in the ocean, they swim in widespread parts of the ocean, not often hitting things. There are eight different Kriesels to view in the aquarium.
  • Great Maya Reef- This is built to resemble an underwater Mayan city. It’s a beautiful background for the massive amounts of tropical fish that live within. They swim, touching fins and tails to buried treasure and sunken objects.
  • Parakeet Pointe- Enjoy this outdoor aviary where all the budgies, or parakeets, you can imagine swirl in a big colorful flock, hoping to catch a tasty treat from you, perhaps.
  • Amazon Rainforest- Look down on the Amazon Rainforest and discover the animals that live deep within the lush canopies. A beautiful waterfall is home to all sorts of fish, including stingrays and piranhas.

No matter what you’re looking for, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has something fascinating to offer up, if only you’re willing to look.

Shreveport Aquarium

moon jellyfish

The Shreveport Aquarium has moon jellyfish you can touch.

Shreveport Aquarium
Location601 Clyde Fant Pkwy, Shreveport, LA 71101
Animal to SeeGray Reef Sharks
Known ForOcean Tunnel

There are 3,000 animals to observe at the Shreveport Aquarium in Louisiana, with a 30,000-gallon ocean tunnel and all sorts of saltwater fish, including the kind you would find in the state.

There are multiple galleries to visit and quite a few inclusive activities and exhibits, so be ready to spend time exploring and learning about marine life.

  • Stingray Interactive Experience- Touch and feed stingrays up close and personal, learning about them and what they like to eat to survive, and just how friendly they can be.
  • Interactive Tide Pool Experience- Get to caress marine life in their natural habitats like sea anemones, sea stars, and shrimp, and learn all about what makes them tick and what they eat for lunch.
  • Mine for Treasures- Once at the bottom of the ocean, Louisiana is now a treasure trove of shark teeth, fossils, and more. Get digging and sifting, and see what you can uncover.
  • Observe Shark Feedings- Get to know the specific and unique ways various types of sharks feed and what they enjoy eating the most. The sharks aren’t fed every day, so if it is something you want to see, be sure to check the Shreveport Aquarium website.
  • Touch a Moon Jelly- Feel the soft and squishy bodies of moon jellies without fear of getting stung, and tell your friends all about it. 
  • Snapping Turtle Feedings- Alligator snapping turtles are always hungry and ready to tear into their lunch, so make sure to catch a feeding with them while at this aquarium.

After all is said and done, if you have visited these two aquariums, then you have seen what Louisiana has to offer on the subject.

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About the Author

Jude is a writer both by trade and by heart. They have been writing since a very young age and have eight years of professional writing experience. Passionate about animals, Jude has three birds and three cats.

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