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Camping Near Aquariums Can Be Educational and Fun
By Rick Hazeltine
Kids always seem attracted to aquariums, whether they are five-gallon ones they can have in their room or the gigantic facilities that house thousands of plants and animals.
Nothing like an aquarium seems to spark a child’s imagination.
“Research shows that hands-on features — like opportunities to touch marine life — sustain interest, spark learning and create a fun visit for the whole family,” Angela Graziano, of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, told Parents magazine.
The magazine used that criteria is ranking the top 10 aquariums for kids. Visiting one of the nation’s best aquariums can be a fun and educational family activity when you consider camping locations for your next vacation.
Woodalls.com makes camping near the top aquariums easy with our online listing and ratings of campgrounds. Here are the top 10 aquariums for kids and information on camping locations near the attractions.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
One of the favorite activities at the aquarium located in Monterey, Calif., just south of San Francisco include the Touch Pool, where kids can see and touch many of the plants and animals that live in a kelp forest, including sea stars, abalones, sea urchins and kelp crabs.
Other popular spots for kids are the Kelp Forest Canopy Walkthrough, interactive games, the penguin exhibit and the water play area.
Marina Dunes RV Park
, rated 4W by Woodalls.com, is located in nearby Marina. For
other California camping locations near the Monterey Bay Aquarium
, visit Woodalls.com.
At 8 million gallons, this aquarium in Atlanta is the largest in the world. That means there is no shortage of kid-friendly activities. Ocean Voyager is the largest single exhibit in the world and was built specifically to house whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world. The 100-foot long underwater tunnel allows perfect viewing of the stingrays, hammerhead sharks and trevally jacks that call the aquarium home.
Georgia camping location closer to downtown Atlanta
, you can find plenty of options at Woodalls.com.
John G. Shedd Aquarium
Located in Chicago, the aquarium features an array of Waters of the World. Exhibit areas include Caribbean Reef, Amazon Rising’s flooded forest, the Oceanarium’s Pacific Northwest Coast and Wild Reef’s Indo-Pacific Reef. There is also the Polar Play Zone, one of the most popular exhibits for kids.
Illinois campgrounds near Chicago
, visit Woodalls.com.
New England Aquarium
Located in Boston, the aquarium has exhibits on the gulf of Maine, Atlantic Harbor seals and vibrant coral reefs from the Bahamas to Australia. Kids especially find the seadragons fun to try and find as they are experts in camouflage.
Children will also enjoy the Edge of the Sea touch tank. For a special treat consider the Trainer for a Morning and Play with the Seals programs.
Massaschusetts camping locations near Boston
, visit Woodalls.com.
This Tampa Bay aquarium features a Wild Dolphin Ecotour, which children and adults will find an experience to remember. Kids will also want to stop by the Explore a Shore, an outdoor water fun zone.
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, visit the Coral Reef Gallery that simulates an actual reef in the Dry Tortugas near Key West, Fla. Participants must be at least 6 years old and kids under 9 must be accompanied by a parent. Participation includes wearing a small SCUBA tank, regulator and flotation device. No prior diving experience is required.
Woodalls.com has awarded two nearby RV parks with its exclusive 5W rating —
Bayou Bay RV Resort
Lazy Days RV Park
Fortunately, there are plenty of options when looking for
Florida camping locations near the Florida Aquarium
Aquarium of the Pacific
The aquarium located in Long Beach, Calif., focuses on the Pacific Ocean with exhibits Southern California/Baja, the Tropical Pacific and the Northern Pacific. One of the most popular exhibits is the Sea Otter Habitat.
Another popular stop for kids is the Lorikeet Forest, where the colorful birds may land for a rest on your arm or head. Shark Lagoon is always a big draw, with 150 sharks, even some that you can touch.
California camping near the Aquarium of the Pacific
, visit Woodalls.com locations near Long Beach.
Atlantis Marine World
Located on Long Island, the aquarium is inspired by the mythical Lost City of Atlantis. The aquarium is one of the newest in the nation, having opened in 2000. The most popular attraction is the Sea Lion Show, but there is plenty more to see, including the Ray Bay touch tank.
During the summer, kids can participate in the Pirate Snorkel Adventure, where they will be fitted with a wet suit, life preserver, snorkel gear and, of course, an eye patch.
Cliff and Ed’s Trailer Park
Eastern Long Island Kampground
are both rated 4W by Woodall's.
Oregon Coast Aquarium
Newport, on the state’s coast, is home to this aquarium, which features Swampland as its newest exhibit. Swampland consists of three swamps — the Pantanal, mangrove and cypress. It also has a crawl-through tank where you can experience swimming with the piranhas. Another crawl-through exhibit simulates an alligator burrow.
Oregon camping locations near the Oregon Coast Aquarium
, visit Woodalls.com for plenty of options.
The chain of aquariums is more well known for their animal shows, but they also feature impressive aquariums. SeaWorld has locations in San Diego, San Antonio and Orlando.
Woodalls.com can help you find a camping location near any of the SeaWorld stops you plan to make. For
San Diego camping
Mission Bay RV Resort
is rated 3W. In
Tropical Palms Resort
in nearby Kissimmee has a 5W rating. In
, check out
Traveler’s World RV Resort
, a 4W facility.
Located in Baltimore, the aquarium’s most popular exhibit is its Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes, which features flying foxes, lizards and crocodiles. Kids will especially enjoy Our Ocean Planet: the New Dolphin Show.
Woodalls.com is a great source for finding a
Maryland camping location near Baltimore
Learn more about Woodall's exclusive 5W campground rating system