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
    TripAdvisor user image
    "Stingray/lion fish/shark feeding"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed June 18, 2019 NEW
    While a bit small, this aquarium is awesome and really emphasizes humanity's impact on the environment. They also offer several unique experiences like stingray/lion fish/shark feeding throughout the day. I believe Brianna was the name of the educator who was our guide that day. She was very knowledgeable and personable with kids and adults alike. The activities were very experiential and hands-on. There was a 'touch-tank' right in front where you can interact with sea urchins, starfish, and horseshoe crabs. You also actually feed the stingrays yourselves! They also have rehabilitated turtles in the back. These guys really care about being stewards of the ocean and educating others. Very fun, unique, and worthwhile experience for anyone!
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    San Francisco, California
    "Small but worthwhile"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed June 15, 2019 NEW
    I spent a lot of time at the aquarium as a kid, it's always fun to visit while we are in Key West, it well represents the sea life surrounding the Keys.
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    Mollie E
    Springdale, Arkansas
    "Cute attraction"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed June 07, 2019 NEW
    Knowing it is an older attraction, you can tell everyone loves where they work. They also truly care about all of the sea creatures. Everyone was very knowledgeable.
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    Newton, New Jersey
    "Small but lots to learn"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed June 06, 2019 NEW
    The aquarium is small but the admission price reflects this. We saw the shark feeding and the sea turtle talk. Spike the sea turtle was the star and played with some of her toys. There is plenty to see and read. The touch tank is interesting for all ages. If you like animals, take an hour and visit! The staff are happy to answer questions and talk about the great things the aquarium is doing.
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    Gina O
    Lafayette, Indiana
    "Ok, too small"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed May 29, 2019 NEW
    I took my 10 year old son to this aquarium. It was not very big. Not a lot of exhibits. However, he did get to feed the nurse sharks and pet a sting ray. The shark instructor was very informative. Maybe too much for small children though. Overall, nice for a small aquarium, but a little over priced for what you get to see.
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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.