Key West Aquarium in Key West , FL

Mallory SquareKey West , FL 33040
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from Key West Aquarium
The Key West Aquarium is Key West’s first attraction and was built by the WPA during the Depression. The facility took two years to complete and opened on February 18, 1935. It was the first aquarium in the world to use the open air concept allowing for natural sunlight to illuminate the concrete marine displays. One of its original purposes was a marine repository for other aquariums from around the country.

In 1943 the US Government leased the Key West Aquarium to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard who used it as a rifle range. In 1946 the Aquarium was returned to the city of Key West and restored to its former glory. In the 1960's the roof was added to the once opened air aquarium to cut down on algae in the exhibits. More modern methods of illuminating the tanks were slowly being developed and with it came the end of the open air aquarium.

Today, the Key West Aquarium is home to sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical and other various fish found in the beautiful waters of Key West. It is actively involved in conservation of the delicate eco- system of the Florida Keys.

Aquarium Highlights:
  • Daily shark and turtle feedings and the Touch Tank offer guests hands on experience with the sea life of the surrounding waters.
  • The Aquarium features a wide variety of fish including grouper, moray eels, barracuda, tropical fish, tarpon, parrotfish and much, much more.

    Operating Times: Daily. 10 am to 6 pm - 365 days a year.
    Duration: self guided
    Parking: Parking is available at Mallory Square or The Westin Parking garage.
    Age Requirements: Children prices are ages 4-12 yrs. of age. Children 3 yrs. and younger are free.

    Shows & Feeding: 11AM, 1PM, 3PM & 4:30PM
  • Tripster Customer Reviews

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    TripAdvisor Reviews
    TripAdvisor user image
    "Small Aquarium"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed May 17, 2019 NEW
    The Aquarium is small and some of the viewing tanks had long sand filled bags on the buttom of the windows like they are trying to stop a leak of water. The tampa Aquarium is so much bigger and better. We will not be going back to the one in key west.
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    TripAdvisor user image
    "Cute little aquarium"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed May 17, 2019 NEW
    I stopped in to visit the aquarium while wandering around Key West. I watched the Loggerhead Turtle info session- very interesting! The exhibits were nice, with many local species on display.
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    "Aquarium review"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed May 10, 2019 NEW
    Small aquarium but some nice displays and good way to get out of the heat for a little bit. This is not a big time consumer by any means and can be done in half hour maybe an hour tops.
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    Estero, Florida
    "Expensive "
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed May 01, 2019 NEW
    They charge 16 dollars per person to get in and maybe you will spend 30-40 minutes in the aquarium. The do have some shows if your timing is good line feeding sharks etc and of course the fish are beautiful. They let you out into a tourist type souvenir store so there is a method to the madness. I think if you have kids this is a pretty good activity but it is expensive.
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    Overland Park, Kansas
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed May 01, 2019 NEW
    Fun Anyone would like this. Easy for handicapped to go and visit. As an aquarium it is average. Not expensive
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Key West Aquarium

    Where are you located?
    The Key West Aquarium is located on the world famous Mallory Square, home of the nightly Sunset Celebration. We are at the corner of Front St. and Whitehead St. in historic Old Town Key West. Our address is #1 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040.

    Do you have parking?
    Parking can be difficult in Old Town. However, there is plenty of metered parking on several blocks around Mallory Square. There is a parking garage at the Westin Resort one block over. There is also a Park and Ride garage located on the corner of Caroline and Grinnell Street where you can park and use the city bus to get downtown.

    What do you do during the guided tours and feedings?
    Our guided tours and feedings are 30 to 40 minute walking tours of the aquarium. It is led by our guide that feeds many marine animals while educating our guests with interesting facts and the history of Key West.

    Can I take photographs and/or video?
    Absolutely. Photographs and video are always welcome.

    How much time should I expect to spend in the aquarium?
    The average time our guests spend at once is 45 minutes to an hour.

    How large is the aquarium?
    Since the aquarium was first opened in 1935, it is a smaller, historical aquarium. It is one story and is wheelchair accessible.

    Are you closed for holidays?
    No. The aquarium is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We reserve the right to close early should special circumstances arise. We immediately inform our guests if there is any change in operation hours.

    Are you pet friendly?
    Yes! Dogs are welcome anytime as long as they are on leashes. The aquarium reserves the right to request the removal of any animal displaying aggressive behavior or for excessive noise.

    Can I bring drinks and food inside?
    Yes, food and drinks are allowed inside the Aquarium.