Key West Aquarium in Key West , FL

Mallory SquareKey West , FL 33040
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The Key West Aquarium is Key West’s first attraction and was built by the WPA during the Depression. The facility took two years to complete and opened on February 18, 1935. It was the first aquarium in the world to use the open air concept allowing for natural sunlight to illuminate the concrete marine displays. One of its original purposes was a marine repository for other aquariums from around the country.

In 1943 the US Government leased the Key West Aquarium to the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard who used it as a rifle range. In 1946 the Aquarium was returned to the city of Key West and restored to its former glory. In the 1960's the roof was added to the once opened air aquarium to cut down on algae in the exhibits. More modern methods of illuminating the tanks were slowly being developed and with it came the end of the open air aquarium.

Today, the Key West Aquarium is home to sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical and other various fish found in the beautiful waters of Key West. It is actively involved in conservation of the delicate eco- system of the Florida Keys.

Aquarium Highlights:
  • Daily shark and turtle feedings and the Touch Tank offer guests hands on experience with the sea life of the surrounding waters.
  • The Aquarium features a wide variety of fish including grouper, moray eels, barracuda, tropical fish, tarpon, parrotfish and much, much more.

    Operating Times: Daily. 10 am to 6 pm - 365 days a year.
    Duration: self guided
    Parking: Parking is available at Mallory Square or The Westin Parking garage.
    Age Requirements: Children prices are ages 4-12 yrs. of age. Children 3 yrs. and younger are free.

    Shows & Feeding: 11AM, 1PM, 3PM & 4:30PM
  • Reserve Miami Customer Reviews

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    TripAdvisor Reviews
    TripAdvisor user image
    Key West, Florida
    "Great fun"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed January 19, 2019 NEW
    Meet Lola the sea turtle with a prosthetic fin, watch sharks feeding, learn about keys sea life. Great displays and staff
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Stephen L
    Danville, Pennsylvania
    "This is a great aquarium"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed January 15, 2019 NEW
    I loved the aquarium. There are lot of fish species presented that I've never hear of. The museum has a lot of information on the fish, where they came from and how Key West has species that aren't found anywhere else in the world. It is a great place to visit.
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Key West, Florida
    "Fun visit!"
    TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
    Reviewed January 15, 2019 NEW
    The aquarium is a fun stop while in Key West, and was one of the first tourist attractions in the area. Don't expect a world class facility, but especially if travelling with kids this can be a great way to see the marine life that call the Florida Keys home.
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Whitby, Ont.
    "Too Old"
    TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
    Reviewed January 11, 2019 NEW
    This really needs quite the update. This facility is really out of date. With the amount of people visiting Key West and spending time in Mallory Square it should attract more customers but it doesn't seem that way. Only a handful of us where there and not spending much time in there either. Very disappointed. The touch tank was really the best display and opportunity to learn about some of the urchins and hold them. T
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    TripAdvisor user image
    Troy, Ohio
    "Small but mighty!"
    TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
    Reviewed January 10, 2019 NEW
    We enjoyed our visit to the Key West Aquarium. Rae, the guide who gave the talks the day we were there was great. Very informative, interesting and valuable. The place is not huge but it has interesting exhibits and a hands on touch pool for the little ones.
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    Key West Aquarium is located at Mallory SquareKey West , FL 33040
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    Frequently Asked Questions about Key West Aquarium

    Where are you located?
    The Key West Aquarium is located on the world famous Mallory Square, home of the nightly Sunset Celebration. We are at the corner of Front St. and Whitehead St. in historic Old Town Key West. Our address is #1 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040.

    Do you have parking?
    Parking can be difficult in Old Town. However, there is plenty of metered parking on several blocks around Mallory Square. There is a parking garage at the Westin Resort one block over. There is also a Park and Ride garage located on the corner of Caroline and Grinnell Street where you can park and use the city bus to get downtown.

    What do you do during the guided tours and feedings?
    Our guided tours and feedings are 30 to 40 minute walking tours of the aquarium. It is led by our guide that feeds many marine animals while educating our guests with interesting facts and the history of Key West.

    Can I take photographs and/or video?
    Absolutely. Photographs and video are always welcome.

    How much time should I expect to spend in the aquarium?
    The average time our guests spend at once is 45 minutes to an hour.

    How large is the aquarium?
    Since the aquarium was first opened in 1935, it is a smaller, historical aquarium. It is one story and is wheelchair accessible.

    Are you closed for holidays?
    No. The aquarium is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We reserve the right to close early should special circumstances arise. We immediately inform our guests if there is any change in operation hours.

    Are you pet friendly?
    Yes! Dogs are welcome anytime as long as they are on leashes. The aquarium reserves the right to request the removal of any animal displaying aggressive behavior or for excessive noise.

    Can I bring drinks and food inside?
    Yes, food and drinks are allowed inside the Aquarium.