Discover Downtown: Audubon Aquarium of the Americas


Located on the Mississippi River in Downtown New Orleans, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is consistently top ranked, voted as one of the top five in the country in the USA Today “10Best” reader poll and ranked as one of the top things to do in New Orleans. The Aquarium transports visitors to an underwater world from the Caribbean, to the Amazon Rainforest, to the waters that give New Orleans its lifeblood: the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. With more than 3,600 animals from more than 250 species, including endangered species, such as African penguins, and rare animals, such as white alligators, the Aquarium offers you an experience you’ll never forget.

Shark Discovery, the new 13,000-gallon shark and ray touchpool, at Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is now open.

The new pool measures approximately 60-feet-long by 16-feet at its widest point–six times the size of the previous stingray touchpool at the Aquarium. A massive interactive LED screen running the entire length of the pool features a variety of sharks, rays, and fish to highlight the diversity of the ocean.

The habitat will be home to a number of shark and ray species, including white spotted bamboo shark, epaulette shark, southern stingray, coral cat shark, bullnose ray, blue-spotted stingray, and cownose stingray.

While this next exhibit is temporarily closed, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas offers an up-close encounter with an endangered African penguin. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an intimate experience with a penguin in a private encounter area. An Aquarium aviculturist will be with you to answer questions and guide you through the experience. Your ticket also includes admission to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas before or after your scheduled Wild Encounter!

Exterior of the Aquarium. Courtesy of


The month of December is Frontline Heroes Appreciation Month. Audubon will honor doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, and EMTs in Louisiana by offering them free admission. Click here for more information.

PLUS, up to four immediate family members of qualifying individuals will receive 50% off general admission on date of visit.

Orleans Parish residents receive free admission to Audubon facilities for themselves and up to four guests when they present a valid government-issued photo ID. Days rotate between the Aquarium and the Zoo. On the first Thursday of the month, Orleans Parish residents receive free admission to the Aquarium, and on the third Wednesday of the month residents receive free admission to the Zoo.

About Discover Downtown NOLA
Downtown New Orleans is home to a collection of neighborhoods including the Historic Lafayette Square, Warehouse District, Canal Street, Central Business District, Arts District, Gravier-Common, South Market District, Picayune Place, Riverfront as well as several industries such as Tourism, Hospitality, Sports & Entertainment, Culture, BioMedical, Financial, and Legal. Discover Downtown is an opportunity to spotlight all that Downtown has to offer for shopping, living, working and visiting.

About Audubon Nature Institute
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.

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