North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, Manteo

#1 of 34 in Things to do in Manteo
Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
The North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is located on the Outer Banks and educates visitors on the state's many ecosystems and the animals inhabiting them. This journey begins with Seven Rivers and ends at the Graveyard of the Atlantic. This 285,000-gallon exhibit houses the largest group of sharks in the state and features a replica of the USS Monitor, a Civil War ironclad which sank off the coast of Cape Hatteras in late December 1862. Alligators, turtles, fish, and the ever-popular North American river otters are featured in Wild Wetlands.

The Sea Turtle Assistance and Rehabilitation (STAR) Center is a 3,000 square-foot facility allowing staff and volunteers to maintain an excellent level of care for sick and ailing sea turtles. Visitors have the opportunity to see the turtle patients through viewing windows on the holding tanks and hear their recovery stories from the people who help them every day. When they are fully rehabilitated, the sea turtles are released back into the wild, some with satellite transmitters to track their movements. After learning about sea turtles at the Center, diagnose and care for a replica of an injured sea turtle in the interactive and hands-on exhibit Sea Turtle Rescue.

Touch a stingray, a white-spotted bamboo shark, or a sea star in Sea Senses. Free programs are offered every day, and, for an additional fee, guests can see and learn even more about our animals during a behind-the-scenes tour or participate in a camp or other special activity. Stroll along the educational soundside pier, a popular location for wedding ceremonies. The Aquarium is equipped to host receptions and other special events, even underwater weddings. Open-water certified divers can participate in our Aquarium Shark Dive program and get up-close and personal with our sharks in the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit.
Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Manteo trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.
Create an itinerary including North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island

North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,514 reviews
  • We chose to visit due to bad weather (cold and windy). We didn't have high hopes as it's not the largest looking facility but we were thoroughly entertained and pleased with our visit. It has many.....  more »
  • My wife and like to visit zoos and aquariums and this is a nice aquarium to visit with a nice variety of sea life to view. This is not a very big place but it was laid out well and worth a visit...  more »
  • We LOVE this place!!! Our favorite part is the sting rays.... you get to pet them! Everything in the aquarium is beautiful. Staff are very friendly. The sea turtle sanctuary is awesome as well. You can really get close, no touching, but really see them up close. The dinosaur trail is also a must. Little ones really enjoy it. All in all, it’s a good activity when it’s too hot, rainy, or just need to relax.
  • Absolutely! Hidden gem. Shark tank appears much bigger than VB Aquarium's. Clean. Informative. It kept my attention and that of a 7 yr old. We both agreed it was very fun. Good parking. Good restrooms. Food available. Just a nice place at a good price. We will be back and bring others with.

Plan your trip to Manteo

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.