Key West Aquarium in Key West , FL

Mallory SquareKey West , FL 33040
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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
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    Obie Y
    Orlando, Florida
    "CFCA Annual Trip to Key West - See the Key West Aquarium"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed November 10, 2019 NEW
    Every year the Central Florida Corvette Club makes a caravan to Key West Florida to relax and enjoy the sights. The Aquarium is where you begin the trolley tour .
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    Bryan I
    Arlington, United States
    "Wonderful representation of sea life around Key West"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed November 07, 2019 NEW
    Visiting this aquarium afforded us the opportunity to experience close up some of the sea life that lives in the waters around Key West. The guides did a wonderful job educating everyone on the fish, turtles, and birds that live at the aquarium. It is well worth the price of admission to go. We purchased our ticket as part of a package that came with the Conch Tour Train.
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    Austin, Texas
    "Sweet, little aquarium with wonderful staff"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed November 06, 2019 NEW
    Loved spending time in the aquarium. Enjoyed watching the feeding in the outdoor tank with the large turtle. It was so fun watching the turtle chomp down on the squid, which he appeared to love, then turn his head away when offered the fish. Looked like a picky child. :) We also liked walking around checking out the tanks in the wall. The reason for the 4-star rating is the tanks were cloudy and it would have been helpful to have placards to explain what's in the tank. The screens above the tanks were either not working or took too long to come to the descriptions of what was in the tank. Nice stop but probably won't go back again.
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    TripAdvisor user image
    "Go at feeding times"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed November 04, 2019 NEW
    This little aquarium is adorable and breathtaking. It is amazing how much they have to offer in such a small location but the tour guides are amazing and so are the sharks, Great place to take young ones and old ones too!
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Key West, Florida
    "Great staff, tired facility."
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed October 30, 2019 NEW
    This aquarium is probably the first tourist attraction built in Key West, and the facility is a bit tired. However, the staff are extremely welcoming and knowledgeable, and made the visit very worthwhile.
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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.