The St. Augustine Aquarium, St. Augustine, FL (2018)
Jonah 2:1: From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.
The St. Augustine Aquarium is something that we and many local families were really excited about coming to the area. Located really close to the St. Augustine Outlet Mall and not far at all from Nocatee, the boys and I headed out to experience Phase I of this new, local aquarium.
The plans for this local aquarium are super exciting! There will be several ways for families to experience aquatic life and learn more about marine ecosystems. But while only Phase I exists, it’s small but a mighty way to spend the morning!
This first phase consists of an 80,000-gallon tank, an interactive Shark & Stingray Cove and another hands-on habitat of smaller sea creatures for kids to feel. Kids can also dig for sharks teeth while they wait for the educational presentations to begin.
For the more adventurous, a snorkeling adventure including hand-feeding fish and rays is available as well as ziplining over the aquarium itself!
Our favorite part of this new local gem is the 80,000-gallon tank. The boys loved being at the low level of the tropical fish and especially the stingrays. “Look, mom! A ray!” The low entrance fee is worthwhile just to see the expressions on their face when they get that close to a stingray!
The Shark & Stingray Cove
We were excited to be there for a live feeding of the nurse sharks. For an additional $5, a child can purchase a ticket to get to feed the shark all by himself. It was so exciting and the boys loved giving the shark lunch.
Even if you don’t spend the additional money, the cove is still a really exciting experience to watch from afar and a great way to learn more about sharks. And while you’re waiting for the show, participate in the sand shark tooth hunt (if you find one, you can keep it!)
The kids had so much fun getting to put their hands into the habitat of a horseshoe crab as well as a hermit crab and feel a starfish. The staff were super kid-friendly and provided dedicated time with each child to talk about what they were experiencing!
In addition to these experiences, snorkeling and ziplining in Phase 1, the St. Augustine Aquarium offers birthday parties, events, summer camps and school educational trips. They also offer Sharky’s Snack Shack so you can grab a quick lunch during your visit.
We can’t wait to continue to support the St. Augustine Aquarium and will wait anxiously for the future phases!
Trek Difficulty Level: (1): From Nocatee, FL, the aquarium is literally less than twenty minutes away done 1-95S, located right near the St. Augustine Outlets. It is so easy to get to and parking is simple!
Trek Budget: $26; for a family of four with kids aged 3+, you can visit the Aquarium in under $30. Adult tickets are $8, children $5 and kids under 3 are free. The snorkeling experience is $35/per person and you can find out more about zipline pricing here.
3 Trek Must-Dos:
- Head out there any day this summer! Their summer hours are daily 10-5.
- Definitely pay the extra $5 to feed the sharks. You get two pieces of feed and each child really only needs one piece to get the full experience.
- Get a silly picture by the big shark tank. It’s a great photo op!
Landon’s Trek Tip: “Make sure to feed the sharks” (5.5)
Griffin’s Trek Tip: “Make sure to touch the fish” (3)