If you’re looking for an aquatic adventure in the Lone Star State, check out our list of the best Texas aquariums. Featuring a massive selection of aquatic life from around the world, Texas aquariums offer visitors an unforgettable experience that is both educational and entertaining. From huge sharks to majestic dolphins, these aquariums provide a unique opportunity to observe creatures rarely seen outside their natural habitats.

Texas is home to excellent aquariums in Austin, Dallas, Corpus Christi, Houston, Grapevine, Galveston, and several other cities. The best aquariums in Texas offer interactive displays, educational programs, and stunning exhibits that will leave you with a newfound appreciation of the importance of aquatic life conservation. From large-scale public aquariums to smaller private ventures, here are some of the best aquariums in Texas that you need to check out!

Here is our growing list of the best aquariums in Texas.

Austin Aquarium

Austin, Texas

Stingray in the stingray feeding tank at the Austin, Texas aquarium

The Austin Aquarium is home to 35 exhibits and over 8,000 living animals. There is representation from habitats spanning from the Oregon shores to remote Indonesian islands. There are also a wide variety of special activities and events. You’ll see everything from alligators to zebra fish and the kids will love feeding the birds, stingrays, and sharks.

Texas State Aquarium

Corpus Christi, Texas

Dolphin show at Texas State Aquarium

Sitting on the edge of Corpus Christi Bay, the “Official Aquarium of Texas” is fantastic. There are three levels with educational exhibits teaming with a wide variety of fish. Catch one of the daily shows that are fun and entertaining, touch pools, gift shop, restaurant, and more. The 400,000 gallon saltwater exhibit that is home to the Atlantic Bluenose Dolphin show was one of our favorites.

Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park

Dallas, Texas

Up close at the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas

Part of what makes the Children’s Aquarium one of the best aquariums in Texas is that it’s designed with young kids in mind. This means there are exhibits at eye level, interactive kiosks, and touch pools.

In 7 different exhibits the kids will get to see a wide variety of aquatic animals. This includes both marine and freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. The kids can actually pet some very friendly sting rays as well touch horseshoe crabs, sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, slipper lobsters.

Sea Center Texas

Lake Jackson

Sea Center Texas aquarium

The Sea Center opened in 1996, and includes a visitor center with aquaria and exhibits of Texas marine life. See the largest redfish hatchery in the world, 36 one-acre fish culture ponds, an outdoor wetland exhibit and a youth fishing pond. The Center offers tours, such as a wetlands tour, Visitor Center tour, fish hatchery tour, story time, fishing, special events, and educational programs.

Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas, Texas

Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas World Aquarium is much more than a typical aquarium. It’s an interesting and very well done mixture of coral reefs and kelp forests from around the Pacific, for starters. There is also a diverse ecosystem in the seven story South American rainforest, penguins and Shoebill storks in the South Africa exhibit. In addition, you can see unusual reptiles and amphibians from Madagascar, and lots more.

Check out live feedings, interactive touch screens to enhance your education and understanding of what you’re looking at, live shows, a gift shop, and three restaurants.

Moody Gardens Aquarium

Galveston, Texas

Moody Gardens Aquarium

Moody Gardens is home to a 10 story Aquarium Pyramid that showcases the beauty of the ocean in four exhibits. Explore the North and South Pacific, South Atlantic, and Caribbean with 1.5 million gallons of water and more than 10,000 marine animals. You’ll also get to enjoy tide pools, Penguin Encounters, touch tanks, and unique viewing opportunities. There are also underwater classrooms and learning experiences for guests of all ages. There is also a Rainforest Pyramid that is home to a thousand species of plants and animals, a 4D movie theater, a lazy river, restaurant, paddleboat tour, and more.

Houston Downtown Aquarium

Houston, Texas

Fish at Houston Downtown Aquarium

Don’t miss out on this six acre entertainment and dining complex billed as an “Underwater Adventure”. Houston Downtown Aquarium has it all: 500,000 gallons of tanks filled with over 200 species of aquatic life from around the globe, an amusement park, and plenty of food. It even has a full service restaurant and bar where you dine with a huge aquarium in the center of the restaurant. There are 8 different exhibits ranging from white tigers to petting stingrays.

Explore our map of Texas aquariums to find more places to have underwater fun!

Simon Trask
Author: Simon Trask

Simon loves Texas and the Great Outdoors. From East Texas pines to West Texas mountains, he calls North Texas home but is always ready to float a river in Hill Country or go fishing on the Gulf Coast. Simon loves camping and road trips as well, whether it's cruising Highway 287, 82, 69 or 281, that's the true way to see what Texas is all about!

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