Standing seven stories high and capped by a glass pyramid, this is widely considered to be the best aquarium in America, with 17,000 creatures of over 750 species, a rooftop rainforest, a central ray pool and a multistory shark tank. There's also a reconstruction of the Umbrawarra Gorge in Australia's Northern Territory, complete with 35ft waterfall, rocky cliffs and free-roaming birds and lizards.

Transfers & Ground Transport activity

Baltimore Arrival Transfer: to Washington DC


The largest exhibit contains eight bottlenose dolphins kept in captivity, though at press time the aquarium was exploring the possibility of retiring them to an oceanside sanctuary (freeing them to the wild is not an option, since they lack survival skills). Kids will love the 4-D Immersion Theater (admission costs an additional $5). There are loads of unique, behind-the-scenes tours, as well as dolphin and shark sleepovers. Go on weekdays (right at opening time) to beat the crowds.