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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    Wellington, Florida
    "Small But Impressive"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed September 13, 2019 NEW
    It might be small but the sea animals they have there are very impressive. We watched and participated in a shark feeding and also saw a turtle feeding. Lots of fun fish to see. My 2 year old had a great time!
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    Beloit, Wisconsin
    "Small but mighty"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed September 13, 2019 NEW
    Really enjoyed our time here. The touch tank was great and it was fun watching the nurse sharks feed. Feeding the fish was fun also. The staff is great, very knowledgeable and friendly.
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    Patricia K
    Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
    "Small but very nice and informative."
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed September 09, 2019 NEW
    Great place to visit. Not that big but has alot of interaction and nice exhibits. Great staff they are very knowledgable.
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    Washington DC, District of Columbia
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed September 07, 2019 NEW
    This aquarium is very much on the small side and I was disappointed in that the water in the tanks seemed really dirty. The aquarium opened right on time at 9am but they don’t have rest rooms so I had to go next door. The ticket is good for two days and you can go in and out as much as you want. But there isn’t much to see. The sharks were interesting but the outside tanks were so murky I could barely see the turtles. Plus the tank with the Rays is cordoned off for tours/feeding only. The feeding times are 12pm and 2pm but I didn’t have time to come back. Not that I really wanted to.
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    Arlington, Texas
    "Very cool break from the heat"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed September 07, 2019 NEW
    We decided to take a break from the midday heat after lunch and visit this Air Conditioned place. We got to hand feed the stingrays, pick up a huge hermit crab and a Conch. They had a variety of sea life in several different sections. All very cool and colorful. I even saw a huge deep water version of a pill bug. Definitely worth the money for a nice break from the heat. I really spent as much time in the seashell gift shop at the exit. Way cool seashells I have never seen before.
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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.