The National Aquarium In Baltimore Showcases The World's Oceans

Although it is called the National Aquarium, this Baltimore institution aims to make people aware of the value of water habitats all over the world. When it comes to conservation, there is no national bias. You can see blue poison dart frogs from the rain forest, jellyfish from Asia and bottlenose dolphins from the Atlantic. You can't do it all in just one visit, so focus on a few exhibits you would like to see, and soak up the full experiences of those.

The Dolphins

The biggest attraction at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland has got to be the bottlenose dolphins. They are a perky, playful and sometimes moody bunch. But no matter what mood they are in, they are always fascinating. The National Aquarium does have shows a few times a day, but you get a much better show sitting in front of the observation tanks. This is where you can see the gang underwater and they can see you. For an extra $200, you can even have a personal meeting with the dolphins, where they come up to you for petting and then you witness a training session.

And The Other Critters

It is next to impossible to tear this writer away from the dolphins once she is at the National Aquarium, but there are other creatures worthy of admiration and conservation. They are more than just fish and dolphins. In fact, the National Aquarium is home to over 10,500 creatures and over 560 species. They have numerous birds, reptiles, amphibians and pygmy marmosets (which look to cute to be real - but they are).

The exhibits tend to be grouped habitat by habitat, instead of creature by creature. For example, instead of seeing all of the lizards they have in one place, you see all of their Australian creatures in their Australian exhibit. This lets you see how all of the creatures interact with their particular environment. Conservation isn't just about saving the creatures - it's also about saving the land and water they live in. The National Aquarium tries to mimic the creature's natural home in the best ways they can.

The National Aquarium also puts its money where its mouth is. They are huge sponsors of local clean up and environmental projects around the endangered Chesapeake Bay, which is right at Baltimore's doorstep (so to speak). Although the National Aquarium is a non-profit organization, they do help out when and where they can. They have taken in donated animals and fish. They have funded scholarships for Maryland schoolchildren. And, in two days in December, the admission price is just one dollar.