Some of the best childhood memories most people continue to cherish throughout their lives are those revolving around visits to local aquariums.
While diving under the deep blue sea with breathing equipment is an experience second to none, not everyone has the skills, resources, or access to such incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
However, the other best way to witness and experience the magnificent wonders mother nature has hidden away deep inside its waters is by visiting a popular and well-managed wildlife aquarium.
Although visiting an aquarium does never let you touch the blue water; however, seeing a mighty shark swim around its glass tank almost feels as if you are submerged deep into the water with it.
It is because of this unique allure, unmatchable rush, and captivating excitement that people of all ages absolutely love visiting the local aquariums around them.
However, if you are someone who is in search of the best American aquarium out there, we highly advise you to make a trip to New York City’s largest and most incredible Long Island Aquarium.
Constructed on a massive area of 3.2 acres, the stunning Long Island Aquarium has a tremendous capacity of more than 1 million US gallons, which makes it the largest New York City aquarium to ever open in the last 35 years.
Apart from its primary attraction, the 565 animal species and the 5000 individual animals, the Long Island Aquarium is extremely popular across the country for its wonderful animal exhibits, beautiful tanks, knowledgeable staff, and unique wildlife species.
Where is Long Island Aquarium Located?
If you ever visit the Long Island Beach, make a plan to also visit the region’s most popular and frequently visited local aquarium.
Located on East Main Street, in Riverhead County, New York, the Long Island Aquarium is a tourist destination that is almost Impossible to miss. This is located on the East end of Long Island.
GPS Address: 431 E Main St, Riverhead, NY 11901
If there is one thing that New York City is globally known for, it is its incredible man made monuments and tourist destinations.
This tradition of constructing mesmerizing sites and world-famous attractions, the world has never seen before, is not at all recent; instead, it is a unique to this heritage that has been continuing since the very beginning.
One such tourist destination, designed and constructed by some of the best planners, architects, and builders in the city, the Long Island Aquarium is truly, to this date, the pride of New York’s Riverhead County.
Designed and constructed in 1999, the grand opening of the Long Island Aquarium was perhaps one of the most eventual occasions for local New Yorkers, back in the year 2000.
Although the 3.2-acre land was initially purchased in 1995, by the Town of Riverhead, for the purpose of establishing a rehabilitation center for the Peconic waterfront; however, due to insufficient funding, the area was later allocated for the construction of the Long Island Aquarium.
Formerly known as the Atlantis Marine World, the construction of the aquarium took an estimated 15 million USD, which were provided by the famous developers; Joseph M. Petrocelli and James J. Bisset.
However, later, by the mid of the year 2011, the name of this tourist destination officially got changed to Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center, after a further 24 million USD expansion.
Today, the Long Island Aquarium is one of the most well-known and frequently visited tourist destinations in Riverhead County, and is open to marine-life enthusiasts and visitors all year around.
Ten Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Long Island Aquarium
Some of the most interesting facts worth knowing about the Long Island Aquarium are as follows:
- According to the data gathered by the Long Island Aquarium management, almost 1 million people have visited the aquarium since 2000.
- If you feel that the entrance fee for the Long Island Aquarium is too much for you, wait for your birthday and book a visit then to gain free access to the world-class aquarium.
- Apart from preserving its own wildlife population, the Long Island Aquarium also propagates different fish and marine species for other local aquariums.
- The Long Island Aquarium is home to a 20,000 US gallon coral reef display tank, which is said to be Western Hemisphere’s most massive all-living coral reef display.
- The quality of fish fed to the seals and other marine animals at Long Island Aquarium’s tanks is ensured to be good enough to be served at a restaurant.
- Ever since the aquarium opened in the year 2000, a total five underwater weddings have been held at the Long Island Aquarium.
- Fresh water from the Atlantic Ocean is transported and fed into the Long Island Aquarium’s tanks to maintain and protect the natural habitats and ecosystems of the marina inhabitants.
- Apart from marine aquatic animal species, the Long Island Aquarium is also home to the world’s largest moth; the Atlas moth.
- The Long Island Aquarium is home to a 120,000 US gallon shark tank, which includes shark types like the Sand Tiger shark and the more docile Nurse sharks.
- The Long Island Aquarium alone has nearly 100 exhibits, most of which are open all year-round.
Animal Species You Can Spot at Long Island Aquarium
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Long Island Aquarium, some of the animal species you might come across are as follows:
- Different types of sharks
- Sea lions
- American alligators
- Different kinds of fish such as the clown fish, Flounder, Cuttlefish, Discus fish, etc.
- Electric eels
- Giant Pacific octopus
- East African Black Mud Turtles
- Many different kinds of moths and butterflies
- River otters
- Japanese snow monkeys
Things to do When Visiting Long Island Aquarium
- Shop a souvenir for yourself or your friends from the Long Island Aquarium gift shop.
- Get a chance to get your picture taken with a sea lion.
- Pet and feed stingrays
- Enjoy a healthy and delicious meal at the popular restaurants near the Long Island Aquarium
- Walk through the interactive salt marshes
- Attend a sea lion show at the Sea Lion Colosseum
If you ever find yourself in Riverhead County, do yourself the incredible favor by visiting the largest local man made destination; the Long Island Aquarium.
Not only will the visit allow you to witness some of the most incredible marine life habitats, but you can enjoy the unique opportunity of interacting with some of the native American animals.