The Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, MS
Updated: Apr 7, 2021
If your travel plans bring you to the Mississippi Gulf Coast you should consider spending an hour or two at the Mississippi Aquarium located on Beach Boulevard in Gulfport.
Opened in August 2020, the Mississippi Aquarium exists to tell the story of all of Mississippi’s aquatic resources from the Delta to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Their mission is “to be a premier institution delivering an awe-inspiring entertainment experience which supports animal research and conservation, inspires learning and instills a passion for the aquatic world.”
Awe-Inspiring Entertainment Experience
The aquarium consists of exhibits that are located both indoors and outdoors. Once you step through the entrance gates you will first encounter the crocodile habitat and river fishes exhibit. From there, your next stop will be inside to explore Aquatic Wonders, a 3-story building consisting of a touching pool, a large 360-degree tank in the middle of a spiraling walkway, a 360-degree acrylic tunnel and multiple large viewing windows of the main aquarium tank.
While in Aquatic Wonders you will get a chance to touch and feel stingrays, sharks and other invertebrate sea creatures in the touching pool. There are staff members available to answer questions and give talks throughout the day.
Feeling a little more adventurous? For an additional ticket add-on of $79.95, guests can participate in a guided underwater experience where they can get up close with the fish, stingrays, sharks, and more.
Once you have concluded your visit in the Aquatic Wonders step back outside where you will encounter the North American Sea Otter habitat. These little critters love to see the guests and the guests enjoy watching them play and swim in their pool.
Continuing on, you can visit the bird aviary where you will enjoy seeing and getting up close to some of the most beautiful birds around.
Beyond the aviary enjoy the beautiful and smart bottlenose dolphins as they love to show off for their visitors. Here the marine biologists will give talks throughout the day as well.
Getting a little hungry during your visit? Stop by the outdoor Pelican Pointe Café to grab a bite to eat. Upon exiting the aquarium don’t forget to stop off at the “Gulf Shop” to purchase a souvenir to remember your visit.
The aquarium is really a great value. Tickets for general admission range from $24.95 - $29.95, depending on age. Members of the military receive a 10% discount with their ID. Memberships are also available. There is an on-site parking garage that visitors can utilize for an hourly fee.
In closing, one can easily experience all that the Mississippi Aquarium has to offer in about two hours. Therefore, it is definitely worth checking out if your travel plans include visiting or passing through the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, I would not drive to the coast just to visit the aquarium. I’m hopeful over time they will expand to add more exhibits and shows, but in the meantime, this is a nice addition to the MS Gulf Coast.
Experience More at the Gulf Coast
To complete your Mississippi aquatics experience while visiting the Gulf Coast, be sure to check out the Institute for Marine Mammals Studies, also located in Gulfport. Check out my review of IMMS.
Note: COVID protocols are currently in place at the Mississippi Aquarium. You are encouraged to purchase your tickets online and select your entrance time in order to help facilitate social distancing.
(This is not a paid endorsement. This is my review of my family’s visit where we paid admission the same as everyone else. All pictures are my own.)