The Denver Aquarium: Visit the Ocean Close to Home
Do you love the sea and all the creatures that make their home beneath the waves? You can spend a couple of hours with starfish and sharks, eels and otters and many other residents of water world at The Denver Aquarium, where the ocean comes to the Rockies.
The Denver Aquarium is the largest between Chicago and California, with more than a million gallons of underwater exhibits in its main building of 100,000 square feet. The aquarium's 7,000 animals and 700 different species draw Denver natives and visitors alike.
The green sea turtles — not usually found in aquariums far from the coast — are a rare attraction. So are the alien-like lumpfish from the Pacific Northwest. Then there are the tropical species, such as the colorful clownfish: this is definitely the place for finding Nemo.
The aquarium is actually much more than just a place to look at fish. It takes visitors on a journey from the land to the sea, passing through different geographic zones along the way.
While tigers and sharks are kept a safe distance away, kids can still get a thrill through a close (but safe) encounter with dangerous-looking Sting Ray in the aquarium's Touch Tank. Who wouldn't get a thrill out of petting these almost alien-looking beings that glide through the water with their tails ready to whip out and sting?
Kids love the aquarium, which caters to them and offers packages for birthday parties. As for the adults, they can sit down for drinks in the Dive Bar Lounge and relax any time they're ready.
The whole family might enjoy a meal in the restaurant, where tables encircle the aquarium's main tank. Not everyone will want to eat seafood while watching the eels darting about, but the displays are wonderful and the fish seem happy.
The aquarium can be a little hard to find and is on the expensive side, with paid parking and an admission of $13.75 for adults. After 6 p.m., the price drops to $9.95 and is a pretty good deal for a different kind of evening getaway.
Posted on March 25, 2009 by David Zindell