Visiting New Orleans for your next vacation getaway? One of the top things to do while in the USA is to visit the top-ranked Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. The specialty of this destination is to showcase the wealthy marine life found throughout North and South America.
The exhibits feature a Caribbean reef exhibit, a Gulf of Mexico exhibit, and an Amazon rainforest exhibit. It’s an incredible house of 10,000 creatures presenting more than 600 species. This makes it one of the top aquariums in the world.
Follow this guide to find all the good-to-know information about the place to plan your visit more thoroughly.
|Best Time to Visit||September to January|
|Suggested Visit Duration||2 to 3 hours|
|Visiting Hours||Opens Daily 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday|
|Ticket Prices||Starting from $22|
|Specialty||• The largest exhibit of Audubon Aquarium holds 400,000 gallons of water|
• It is one of the top five aquariums in the United States
• It has more than 600 different species
• Gift Shop, Café, and 4D theater facility available
|Address||1 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA (View on Maps)|
|Contact Number(s)||+1 504-581-4629|
|Links||Website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok|
The Audubon Aquarium was built in 1990 on the Mississippi Riverfront at the foot of Canal St. in New Orleans. It is one of the main attractions of the Audubon Nature Institute, founded in 1975.
It covers about 6 acres of property, emphasizing the aquatic life in the waters around New Orleans. The striking glass and steel building structure has attracted millions of visitors worldwide since then.
In 2006, it reopened with the fun addition of penguins. In 2011, Parakeet Pointe opened at the aquarium. It gradually developed with exhibits from the Amazon Rainforest to the Mississippi River and The Gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean.
The Geaux Fish exhibit opened here in 2013. Just a year later, it added the Great Maya Reef. The Audubon Aquarium is a part of the Audubon Nature Institute. It is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and education.
With all the additional attractions in the Audubon Society, like the zoo, 4D theater, parks, and gardens, the Audubon Aquarium has become a great place for all age groups. Audubon plans to expand its animal conservation project by building animal-holding buildings, shade structures, habitats, etc.
- The aquarium has over 10,000 animals belonging to 600 different species, like sharks, penguins, etc.
- The aquarium hosts daily shows and feedings at Penguin Feeding and Amazon Rainforest exhibit.
- The aquarium features a rare white alligator named Spots, who is one of only a few in the world.
- Visitors can witness the Gulf of Mexico exhibit, which is a 400,000-gallon tank that showcases marine life around the gulf.
- It is a leader in several marine conservation efforts.
There are some opportunities for visitors to get free admission to Audubon Aquarium. Some of the free conditions are:
- Orleans Parish Special Offers: Orleans Parish residents can receive free admission on the first Thursday of every month. They also get free admission into the zoo on the third Wednesday of every month. The SNAP participants who are Orleans Parish Residents can also enjoy complimentary admission to the Zoo and aquarium for up to five.
- Good Grades: Audubon Nature Institute offers free memberships for Louisiana students with good grades. Students need to have a 3.0 GPA or higher to get one-year membership.
- Memberships: The exclusive members have unlimited free admission to the zoo, aquarium, Butterfly Garden, and Insectarium for an entire year.
Get added to the membership program of Audubon Nature Institute here.
Visitors can buy entry tickets and other attraction tickets available on Audubon Nature Institute premises online or on the site. Its attractions are open daily except Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The opening hours on special days, holidays, and special event days may differ. Make sure to check with the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas before visiting. The general admission ticket prices are:
- Adults: $30
- Kids: $22
- Senior citizens: $25
General admission prices for Audubon Aquarium and Zoo combo tickets are:
- Adults: $40
- Seniors: $33
- Kids: $30
Get more information here about the ticket purchase and know about other offers.
Buy a combined entry pass to make switching between different parks within its premises easier. Purchase a skip-the-line admission in advance for less hassle. Some other specific offers are:
Military and Frontline Hero Discounts: It offers free general admission for military members. Up to four immediate family members qualify for 50% off admission fees. Carry proof of occupation to get a 20% discount on concessions, gift shops, and memberships.
The Audubon Aquarium lets you buy gift cards and send presents to your loved ones. You can shop for the gifts over via its official website. Get special offers of shopping gift card certificates on reliable sites like GiftRocket and Giftly.
Some gift card ideas are giving membership cards, adopting an animal, shopping from Audubon Marketplace, a Golf Club certificate, or Tennis Courts gift card at Audubon Nature Institute.
The aquarium is home to several rescue dolphins and exhibits of indigenous and aquatic animals from North and South America. It also features a beluga whale and two false killer whales from SeaWorld.
It takes part in more than 25 conservation and study initiatives worldwide. Some of the most exotic animal encounters you can expect are:
Backstage Penguin Pass
Make an up-close encounter with an endangered African penguin at Audubon Aquarium with the Backstage Penguin Pass. This intimate experience with penguins is in a private encounter with an aquarium aviculturist.
It is a 45-minute session with up to 6 guests. They should be six years of age and older. The admission price is $100 per participant.
Maya Dive Experience
The Audubon Aquarium recently debuted the Maya dive experience program inside the exhibit. The divers can get up close with the colorful fish of the Great Maya Reef and experience the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The program is available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 10:30 a.m. The ticket price is $250 per person.
Meet a Sea Otter
Audubon Aquarium has introduced the new Meet a Sea Otter animal encounter program celebrating Sea Otter Awareness Week. This offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience with an up-close encounter with a Southern Sea otter.
It is a 30-minute session given behind the scenes. All participants should be 16 years and younger. Tickets cost $65 per person. This session is available on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 11:30 a.m. To know more, click here.
The Audubon Aquarium features many exhibits to showcase diverse marine life in America. You can buy one entry ticket to explore all the exhibits. The ticket price for these exhibits is under
- Adults: $30
- Kids: $22
- Senior Citizens: $25
The journey into the aquarium starts with a stroll through the Great Maya Reef exhibit. It is a 30 feet long acrylic tunnel penetrating an enormous 132,000-gallon tank. The tunnel is 4200 square feet in area and 16½ feet deep.
Next, you enter an ocean tank with shark feed and other small tanks of fish, reptiles, and amphibians found around the world. It also includes a two-story rainforest habitat.
Here are some of its major exhibits to explore:
Gulf of Mexico Exhibit
This exhibit features a replica of an oil rig. It showcases the diverse marine life of the Gulf of Mexico, including sharks, schools of fish, stingrays, and sea turtles thriving around the barnacled pilings.
This is the largest exhibit, measuring 17 feet deep, and holds 400,000 gallons of artificial saltwater. This exhibits the endangered green sea turtle, King Mydas.
Mississippi River Gallery
The Mississippi River Gallery at the Audubon Aquarium showcases the unique ecosystem of the Mississippi River and its surrounding wetlands. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits highlighting the river’s history, ecology, and cultural significance.
The gallery features diverse aquatic species, including alligators, catfish, and turtles, and allows visitors to see how the river changes as it flows toward the Gulf of Mexico.
The Amazon Rainforest exhibit at the Audubon Aquarium takes visitors through the world’s largest rainforest. Visitors can explore a replica of a flooded forest and observe various species of fish, turtles, and other aquatic animals in the Amazon River.
The exhibit also features exotic species like piranhas, pacus, and freshwater stingrays. Enjoy the Orinoco rainforest and climb into the Amazon “Treetop loop” for a bird’s eye view of the exhibit.
The Audubon Aquarium is also home to a colony of African Penguins, more than 20 in number. Visitors can observe the playful birds swimming and diving in a recreated South African penguin colony. African Penguins are adapted to surviving in warm climates. They have thick, water-resistant feather coverings that help them stay dry and warm in colder water.
The penguin feeding activity is held daily at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Great Maya Reef
The Great Maya Reef exhibit is a stunning recreation of the world’s second-largest barrier reef system. Visitors can explore the vibrant underwater world of the Caribbean and encounter diverse marine life, including sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and colorful tropical fish.
The 30 feet long tunnel-submerged Maya City can give you a glimpse at the underwater world of the ancient and flooded metropolis featuring mysterious ruins and surrounding exotic sea creatures.
A significant attraction here is The Jelly Gallery. This is a specially designed eight Jellyfish exhibit known as Kriesels. The name comes from its cornerless exhibit design with circular water flow.
The intelligent design keeps the jellies in the exhibit’s center and away from the wall. This is because their soft body would not get injured bumping into the corners and the walls.
Undersea Explorer VR Experience
Get an immersive experience of swimming with all the oceanic species with the Undersea Explorer VR Experience exhibit. You just have to wear the headset and sit back in the motion seat in the VR theater.
This operates with 360-degree 3D VR technology, with a marine biologist taking you on the live action. You can explore the nurturing grounds of the humpback whales and swim with the mother humpback and the newborn calves.
Moreover, you can dive with tiger sharks and great hammerheads in the turquoise waters of Tiger Beach.
The Audubon Aquarium features many facilities to stay connected with its conservation programs. You can join its Virtual Community to learn more about the realm, Zoo facility, and other animal attractions.
You can check out your favorite animal movements on the Facebook Live Series website. Make your learning more interesting by taking quizzes and watching behind-the-scenes videos. Check out for more information.
The Audubon Aquarium encourages animal conservation awareness by presenting various learning opportunities. Here are some of its aspects:
You can send your kids who are nature enthusiasts and encourage them to be more active towards preserving nature into Audubon summer camps. The camps engage them in science investigations, zoo explorations, special animal experiences, and nature-themed arts and crafts activities.
Audubon Aquarium avails various resources for educators to encourage young minds to nature and animal conservation. Besides its virtual community connection, teachers can get activity backpacks on various animals and birds.
Get your kids to learn about interesting insect activities using educational resources from Harry’s Big Adventure. Visit to learn more.
The aquarium facilitates bookings for various event programs. From private to corporate events, everything can be arranged at these venues. Here are some examples:
The aquarium is an ideal location to host corporate events. Some of the facilities to expect:
- Plan your corporate events with perfect venue options, discussing with the manager.
- Give an unforgettable experience to guests by celebrating company events with a one-of-a-kind backdrop of exotic fishes and mystical Jellyfish.
Audubon Aquarium is also an ideal wedding venue. The venue comes with the following:
- Breath-taking aquatic life provides a magical setting for couples to exchange their vows.
- The venue can accommodate indoor and outdoor ceremonies and receptions with customizable packages.
All Kinds of Parties
The aquarium is the perfect place to host any kind of party. Here is what you can do:
- Host from birthday celebrations to holiday parties.
- Guests can explore the exhibits while enjoying delicious food and beverages.
- Event planners can work with hosts to create a personalized and memorable experience.
Contact their event experts at +1 504-224-7430 and go to their website to fill in their inquiry form for more details.
Dining at the Aquarium
The Audubon Aquarium presents dining options for its visitors. Visitors can taste authentic, delicious food while exploring the attraction sites. Here we mentioned a few available dining options.
Aqua Grill Café
This cafe is a good dining option for visitors who enjoy light snacks. Some popular snacks include sandwiches, hamburgers, chicken tenders, and special chicken Caesar Salad.
This air-conditioned cafe offers quick grab-go snacks such as Chicken tenders, burgers, wraps & Salads. The cafe offers Wi-Fi facilities and indoor and outdoor seating facilities by maintaining all the social distancing premises.
Cypress Knee Cafe
Explore some traditional Louisiana dishes at Cypress Knee Cafe. This zoo dining is located at the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit and opens on weekends only. The cafe offers freshly made Louisiana home cooking like Po-boys, etouffee & Gumbo.
This cafe is located inside the zoo entrance by the Flamingo Exhibit. Visitors can enjoy their meals next to the fine-feathered Flamingos. Some food specialties of this cafe are Nachos, hot dogs, peanut butter sandwiches, etc.
Inside the zoo section, visitors can also look for food trucks located in multiple locations during special seasons. You can also spot a Roman Candy stall next to the butterfly garden.
The Audubon Aquarium offers catering services for parties and events. They provide catering services like on-site catering, off-site catering, Kosher catering, and eco-friendly catering.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas offers a great shopping experience for visitors with its popular shopping center “Ocean Treasures.” It offers a great variety of merchandise and souvenirs.
Get any unique items to take home or treats for the species while participating in backstage programs.
Rescue & Conservation
The aquarium is committed to taking initiatives & efforts to maintain sustainable wildlife. Some of the top Conservation programs the aquarium implements are:
It makes a partnership with the San Diego Zoo Global to sustain the declining zoo animal populations. Audubon Zoo is taking the step to maintain the declining lion habitat.
It contributes to holding the quarantine enclosures for maintaining the marine collection. They rescued marine animals through CWN. Audubon is committed to taking the initiative to maintain sustainability by utilizing responsible business practices.
The Audubon Aquarium map features an Amazon rainforest exhibit, a Shark Discovery touch pool, sea otters, sea horses, an Aqua grill & dining area, a lobby overview, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and many more.
Visitors can follow the path from the first to the second floor by following the map online.
How to Reach & Parking
The Audubon Aquarium of America is located in Downtown New Orleans. You can reach this place by car, public transportation, or foot.
By Car: If you are coming from the west, follow the path to Poydras Street from Interstate 10 East. Continue following this road on Poydras for approx. 1 mile and then take a left turn to s. Peters Street. Now make a right turn to Canal Street, and you are there!
If you are coming from the east, follow the path of Canal/Superdome from Interstate 10 West. Take a right turn onto the canal and reach its foot, and yes, you are there.
By Public Transportation: You can take the RTA’s Riverfront Streetcar line. It can be accessed by RTA’s 5: Marigny-Bywater, 10:Tchoupitoulas, 16: South Claiborne, and 55:Elysian Fields bus lines.
By Foot: If you are already in Downtown New Orleans, it is within walking distance from the popular nearby locations.
The aquarium does not offer any parking to visitors. However, you can explore nearby parking avenues to park your vehicle.
You can book affordable parking through a reservation app named SpotHero with 50% off. The discounted parking is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Discounted parking is subject to change without notice during major holidays.
If you plan to spend a night in Downtown New Orleans, some selective hotels near the aquarium exist. Check out these five best options for you.
La Quinta Inn & Suites (24-Hour Airport Shuttle Service)
Distance: 0.56 miles
This full-service hotel features an onsite restaurant, outdoor pool, fitness center, banquet & meeting facilities. Internet access, 24-hour airport shuttle service, and Stay & Go parking rates are also available in this hotel.
Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans (Modern Amenities)
Distance: 0.66 miles
Receive free Wi-Fi, a gym, an outdoor pool, a restaurant, a bar/lounge, a full-service spa, Valet parking, meeting facilities, and many more.
Holiday Inn French Quarter-Chateau Lemoyne (Family-Friendly)
Distance: 0.89 miles
The hotel welcomes you with the New Orleans historical charm & boutique ambiance. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi & meeting facilities with parking and an outdoor pool.
New Orleans Marriott (Best Comfort)
Distance: 0.49 miles
Visitors get a free Wi-Fi facility, bar/lounge, restaurant, and outdoor pool. This hotel also offers a 24-hour fitness center, snack bar/deli, etc. The property is just a few walks away from public transportation.
The Royal Sonesta New Orleans (Best Luxury)
Distance: 0.78 miles
The luxurious hotel also offers a 24-hour fitness center, helpful staff, and more. Public transportation is just 3 minutes from the hotel.
Visitors can prefer the following options to taste some delicious food.
Observatory Eleven (Best Bar)
Distance: 0.1 miles
This is a premier circular bar with 2,300 square feet of lounge space. They specialize in curated cocktail menus containing classic & craft cocktails. Visitors can enjoy lunch, dinner, and drinks.
Drago’s Seafood Restaurant (Home of Charbroiled Oyster)
Distance: 0.2 miles
Here you can enjoy fresh seafood, American cuisine, Cajun & Creole, etc. They also offer some gluten-free and vegetarian options. They offer private dining, takeout, a parking feature, a full bar, and more.
Miss River (Best Local Cuisine)
Distance: 0.1 miles
Miss River is a great restaurant with 20 years of experience in local culture and cuisine. It is a perfect place to take a break for lunch, brunch, dinner & drinks. They provide validated parking, street parking, valet parking, and more.
Chemin A La Mer (Best Seafood & Soups)
Distance: 0.1 miles
This luxurious restaurant is open from 8 a.m. and serves guests breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. The specialties of this restaurant are seafood and soups.
The Steakhouse (Best American Food)
Distance: 0.2 miles
This family-friendly restaurant offers various cuisines but specializes in American food. They offer a variety of seafood, authentic local dishes, and vegetarian and gluten-free options on lunch and dinner menus.
There are many attractive sites near this destination. Here we share some of the most thrilling options to reach.
National World War Museum II
Distance: 1.0 miles
This is the top attraction site nearAudubon Aquarium, on many people’s bucket lists. This museum asks the visitors to take the powerful, inspiring journey of the freedom fighters who fought for democracy. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New Orleans Museum of Art
Distance: 4.1 miles
This is the oldest fine Art institution in the South. Anyone who enjoys art and culture can visit this place. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Sculpture Garden is open all seven days a week.
Besthoff Sculpture Garden
Distance: 4.0 miles
This breathtaking place is surrounded by 11 Acres. Here you can find almost 100 pieces of Art collections; each has uniqueness. In summer, this is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. & in winter, this is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New Orleans City Park
Distance: 3.5 miles
This is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, spread across 1,300 acres. This is the home to the largest Grove of mature live oaks. Here you can find the New Orleans Botanical Garden, Arboretum, Couturie Forest, and New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Cabildo & The Presbytere
Distance: 0.8 miles
The Cabildo & Presbytere were built in the late 1700s and functioned as the spaces for the Louisiana court. Now, these museums showcase the history of New Orleans. Visitors can see the war paintings, historical treasures, and Gras’s Art crafts here.
Working at the Aquarium
To apply for a job/internship program, visit their career page on the website and search for positions. Here are some internship programs you can join.
- They offer internship programs for students who want to make their careers as marine mammals.
- They also provide internship job opportunities for those who want to get involved with their team and support them in maintaining sustainable marine life.
It is a non-profit organization, so they ask for support through donations.
Interested organizations & individuals can visit their website and complete the donation request there.
You can also call or mail them with the detailed organization’s name, contact information, and event date with a brief discussion.
The Audubon Aquarium offers some great attractions and is home of different fascinating creatures. It is counted as one of the most impressive aquariums in the Americas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Audubon Aquarium?
The aquarium is located at the Mississippi River adjacent to the French Quarter, New Orleans.
Is it free?
No, it is not free. Prices can vary. Visitors can choose tickets for individuals and groups. The sale of tickets starts at 4 p.m. each day. To get special discounts, choose the membership.
How much are the tickets?
The price for tickets depends upon the age group. It ranges from $22-$30.
How long to spend at the aquarium?
It takes almost 2 to 3 hours to visit the complete aquarium. If you visit the zoo, it takes approximately 3 to 4 hours.
Where to park?
Visitors can park their vehicles near Audubon Aquarium. You can access parking lots that allow you to park at a discounted price.
How much is parking?
The aquarium does not offer any private parking space. However, you can find multiple paid parking locations around the place.
Is the aquarium worth it?
Yes, it’s worth visiting this place. You can book a specific membership package to get more discounts. Here you can spot amazing species, for example, White alligators, African Penguins, and all.
Other Nearby Aquariums
A word from FIA
In conclusion, the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans is the worthiest destination for anyone who wants to enjoy nature and its species. Its exotic animal encounters make it a must-visit for families who want to experience the wonders of marine life.
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