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
    "Fantastic experience."
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed August 22, 2019 NEW
    This is a great place to take kids of any age. The staff is amazing and extremely knowledgeable. Please do not miss this place when visiting Key West.
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    Natchitoches, Louisiana
    "Quick but very nice and a big variety of fish."
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed August 21, 2019 NEW
    The fish were beautiful and so fun to look at. Great Turtles. A quick tour but nicely done. Glad we went!
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    Lexington Park, Maryland
    "Would be fun for small children"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed August 16, 2019 NEW
    I love going to aquariums, and am sad to say that they Key West Aquarium was a let down. There are few tank. The information on what is in the tanks is not properly presented. So that was annoying and disappointing. Each tank has a screen over it with a very slow slide show that doesn't always present information about the animal in the tank. Wish there were just signs that I could quickly read, so that I could spend more time admiring the animal instead of looking at the screen. There are things to do like feeding the rays, feeding the sharks, there is a touch tank right at the begging with horse shoe crabs and more. The staff was nice and professional. The place was kept clean.
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    Houston, Texas
    "A little disappointed"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed August 14, 2019 NEW
    We visited at the end of the summer and it seemed a little underwhelming. It stated that you could feed the fish and see feedings and the whole time we were there there was only one feeding of the lion fish. We visited early afternoon about 1-2 pm. One positive is that the price of admission is good for two consecutive days but honestly there isn’t enough to see to come back a second day. They have a sea turtle exhibit outside and we noticed some of the railings that are right against the ocean were about to fall off. Would be very concerning if a small child didn’t know better and leaned over and fell in the ocean. I’m sure it has been fixed as we notified them right away after seeing it and they were going to close it off. There is lots of souvenir shopping right as you exit out of the aquarium. Overall it was okay but in my opinion lacking. I don’t think I visit here again.
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    Lake Worth
    "Not worth the money "
    TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
    Reviewed August 09, 2019 NEW
    A few tanks, expensive for seeing a few fish, 2 turtles, tarpon and a snake. Certainly not worth the price
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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.