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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    Traverse City, Michigan
    "Don’t waste your time"
    TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
    Reviewed January 15, 2020 NEW
    Waste of $18 ridiculous fee. Sharks in a little pool, old building. No restrooms. The 2 ladies working were nice
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    Short Hills, New Jersey
    "A small aquarium not worth it."
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed January 05, 2020 NEW
    It is not a big aquarium like any other aquarium by the sea. Very small and not that interesting at all.
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    Mundelein, Illinois
    "Cruise port"
    TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
    Reviewed January 03, 2020 NEW
    This is the smallest aquarium I’ve ever seen. It does have an interactive station in the front where you can touch sponges and starfishes. They also have sea turtles and sharks. It’s almost not worth the stop but if the money goes to the care of the inhabitants then it’s worth it!
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    West Hartford, Connecticut
    "Michael Brown"
    TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
    Reviewed December 28, 2019 NEW
    It's a fish store not an Aquarium. Its neat that its there but seriously it is 1 room..thats it.max 20 minutes to walk through. Shipwreck Museum was much better. Went with wife and 2 daughters ...nice people but dont waste your time
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    Louisville, Kentucky
    "Surprisingly good"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed December 22, 2019 NEW
    Yes most of the tanks are small and old, and the aquarium itself is pretty old. However, the reef-type fish were extremely interesting with nice surroundings in their tanks and looked healthy to us as experienced snorkelers. There was an impressive number and variety of species nicely distributed among the many small tanks, along with interesting information on computer monitors nearby. There were three large pools with what looked like one more under construction. The largest pool had community of larger game fish with one big turtle. Another large pool had maybe 10 good-sized sharks and rays which we watched being fed. If you ask, you may be allowed to feed a piece of fish or two to them. There was also a "petting pool". We went there on the end of a tour expecting not much and wound up staying a very pleasant 45 minutes or so. Not too crowded either. You can get up close and really see what the animals are doing. A friendly place that provides quality information without giving itself airs.
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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.