Does Colorado Have an Aquarium?

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A woman gazes up at a sea creature swimming down toward her in an aquarium.

Colorado is home to numerous tourist attractions, but one spot that often flies under the radar is the Downtown Aquarium in Denver. This aquarium is a must-visit for animal lovers and travelers of all ages. It has plenty of exhibits and activities to keep you entertained for hours.

Here’s why you should add the Downtown Aquarium to your list of Colorado must-sees. Spend the day “living” under the sea.

Does Colorado Have an Aquarium?

Colorado has a massive aquarium right in downtown Denver. Here you’ll find over 500 species of animals and one million gallons of water.

And while it is an aquarium focusing on sea life, it has plenty to explore on land, too. You’ll find fowl, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals as well.

You can also find another aquarium in a Denver suburb. The metropolitan area also has a zoo, botanical garden, and nature and science center to explore.

About the Downtown Aquarium

The aquarium in Denver, Colo., is more than just a place to see fish swim. This multi-level complex features a public aquarium with more than a million gallons of underwater exhibits. It houses over 500 species of animals, retail and dining establishments, and an upscale bar. 

The aquarium restaurant offers a variety of seafood specialties, steaks, chicken, salads, pasta dishes, and desserts centered around the 50,000-gallon centerpiece aquarium. Here you can explore and learn about marine life from around the world.

The Downtown Aquarium also hosts birthdays, weddings, corporate meetings, and more celebrations.

How to Get There

The aquarium in Colorado is located in downtown Denver just off of I-25 and 23rd Avenue on Water Street near the REI Denver Flagship store. The address is 700 Water Street.

From I-25 northbound, take exit 211 and make a right-hand turn. The Downtown Aquarium will be on your right. From I-25 southbound, take Exit 211 and turn left at the stop sign. The aquarium will be on your left. 

Exhibits

Downtown Aquarium has nine different exhibit sections and special experiences. The Shark Cage Experience is just one of the many special programs offered. You can get up close and personal with hundreds of fish and five species of shark.

Another great program is The Mystic Mermaids. “Mermaids,” or scuba-certified actors, swim among the sea life, teaching about caring for the environment. 

One of the nine exhibits features a wharf habitat with rough waters. Another has several reef ecosystems. Head to the beach exhibit to learn about beach life and the animals that thrive there.

The silhouette of a person looking at glowing yellow jellyfish.

And you can’t miss the shipwrecks and underwater abandoned-temple exhibits that many sea creatures call home. You’ll also find areas highlighting diverse ecosystems from the desert to rainforests and other ecosystems in North America.

And they’re not done yet. Along with those, the Downtown Aquarium also has a 4-D theater with rotating 15-minute interactive films. You can also hop on for a ride on the aquatic carousel or the Aquarium Express train ride.

How Long Does It Take to Go Through the Denver Aquarium?

Deciding on how much time you’ll need to explore this massive aquarium depends on how much you want to experience. Because of all the great exhibits and special happenings at this Colorado aquarium, we recommend you give yourself at least two hours. If you plan on dining or drinking while visiting, you’ll need more than 120 minutes. 

Our best advice is not to have a time limit at all. That way, you can explore to your heart’s content, and when you get hungry, you can eat and drink and then explore some more. 

Does Denver Aquarium Have Dolphins? 

Contrary to popular belief, this aquarium in Colorado does not have dolphins. However, with over 500 species of animals onsite, you might just forget about them with all that there is to do.

Other animals you can see include barracudas, sharks, sea turtles, river otters, snakes, parrots, and even a Sumatran Tiger.

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How Much Is the Denver Aquarium Per Person? 

Downtown Aquarium ticket prices vary, but on average, adults ages 12 to 64 can purchase a ticket starting at $25. You can get discounts for children and seniors and package deals that include the 4-D theater and other activities.

A young boy sits and watches a school of fish an an aquarium tank.

You can experience the 4-D theater without visiting the remainder of the aquarium. Tickets for that experience only cost $8.25 per person.

And don’t forget about parking. This aquarium in Colorado is in downtown Denver, so parking is not always readily available for free. However, Downtown Aquarium does have a large parking lot for patrons. And while it does cost a small fee, visitors coming in after 6 p.m. can get a discount.

If you plan on spending time exploring more of Denver, you can find discounted tickets for the Downtown Aquarium and other excursions by visiting CityPASS.

Where Else Can You See Sea Life in Colorado?

The best place to see sea life in Colorado is at the Downtown Aquarium. But Denver does have a couple of other places to explore underwater adventures while still on land.

SeaQuest Denver Aquarium is located in Littleton, a suburb of Denver. It has over 20,000 square feet of fun to explore sea life and many other animal species from five continents.

The Denver Zoo also has many exhibits involving sea life, as does the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The Denver Botanic Gardens also has abundant plant sea life.

Is the Aquarium in Colorado Worth Visiting?

An under-the-sea experience can be educational and exciting. So, if you want an educational day out with your family or to explore on your own, the Downtown Aquarium in Colorado is well worth visiting.

It has many opportunities to explore different animal species and get good food and drinks. It’s perfect for a day of adventure. 

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