So much has been said about North Carolina. From its vast coastline and beautiful beaches to buzzing mountains, the state is a perfect definition of beauty and beyond.

But wait a minute? Who knows about the conservation drive undertaken by the state? Scientists of all ages have done their bit and furnished the state with zoos and aquatic centers. The centers are rich in species under the extinction threat.

Here are eight notable aquariums to visit in North Carolina.

8 North Carolina Aquarium At Fort Fisher

The facility at Fort Fisher is more than an aquarium. It is the epitome of marine and nature conservancy. Located a short drive from Wilmington in Kure Beach, this aquarium is a perfect climax to the Cape Fear River adventure. One of the creatures unique to the facility is a rare alligator dubbed Luna, which is albino. Apart from the alligator, vacationers get a first-hand feel of sea stars, sharks, and eels. Behind the scenes tour of the facility is also provided on demand.

  • Address: 900 Loggerhead Rd, Kure Beach, NC 28449, U.S.

Related: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Aquariums

7 North Carolina Aquarium On Roanoke Island

North Carolina has never run out of tourist destinations, be it on the mainland or the island. The Aquarium on Roanoke Island has a huge history that dates back to the 70s. The facility is home to some of the planet’s most intriguing creatures. A notable component of the facility is its sea turtle rehabilitation center.

  • Address: 374 Airport Rd, Manteo, NC 27954, U.S.

6 Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium

Although aquariums are meant to conserve marine wildlife, there is also the aspect of tourism in them. Of all facilities in the larger Charlotte region, none beats the convenience associated with Sea Life Charlotte-Concord Aquarium. This aquarium is specifically designed to best serve the interests of kids aged between three and twelve years.

  • Address: 8111 Concord Mills Boulevard, Concord, NC 28027, U.S.

Related: 10 Must-See Aquariums In Canada

5 North Carolina Aquarium At Pine Knoll Shores

The Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores is the perfect definition of a well-thought conservancy and tourist destination. Part of the aquarium is a living shipwreck, which is a replica of a sunken submarine. The wreck is the bedrock of the aquarium’s tourist activities since it holds most of the creatures found there. The facility also incorporates a huge play area, making it a family-friendly destination. The spadefish gallery at one stretch aquarium represents the art of all life forms in the sea.

  • Address: 1 Roosevelt Blvd, Pine Knoll Shores, NC 28512, U.S.

4 Appalachian Rivers Aquarium

Aquariums don’t have to be housed in huge museums or structures. Compact ones too can do the magic. Appalachian River Aquarium is an excellent example to show size doesn’t matter. This conservancy is rich in inland aquatics unique to the locale. Appalachian houses some endangered water creatures such as the hellbender, which is an aquatic salamander. The compact nature of the aquarium means vacationers are exposed to numerous sea creatures within a short time.

  • Address: 117 Island St, Bryson City, NC 28713, U.S.

3 Greensboro Science Center

As the name suggests, this facility is more than just an aquarium. It is a combination of a museum, zoo, and aquarium all under one roof, making it an all-day tourism spot for families. From penguins to wild cats, vacationers are treated to some of the world’s rarest creatures. Although the zoo and museum are vital components of the facility, they still can’t outdo the aquarium. From the unique octopus design to incredible lighting inside the glass structures, vacationers have every reason to be here. The multi-colored artificial corals on the sides make it feel more like an underwater ocean experience.

  • Address: 4301 Lawndale Dr, Greensboro, NC 27455, U.S.

2 Ecological Marine Adventures Touch Tank Aquarium

Abbreviated as EMA, this aquarium is a fun-filled educational center for species unique to North Carolina. Although people know it as a conservancy, the facility was originally designed to educate people. Vacationers here have more direct interaction with the species protected in the conservancy. Entertaining guests is also top of the agenda in this aquarium as people interact with both endangered and dominant species. The facility is also home to fossils. Notable elements in this category are shark teeth, a rare feature in typical aquariums.

  • Address: 106 North Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC 28445, U.S.

1 North Carolina Estuarium

What is it about aquariums in the US that tourists from all over the world come to see? Is it their unique glass structures, the creatures, or the culture? The North Carolina Estuarium is more of a cultural exhibit than a conservancy. While most facilities focus on turtles and fish, this one is more into the insight of habitats around North Carolina. Whether the intention is to interact with marine wildlife or just the underwater plants, every vacationer will be treated to whatever they will ask for. The wide array of art available also speaks volumes about the facility.

  • Address: 223 E Water St, Washington, NC 27889, U.S.