Reasons to Visit the Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, MS

There are so many reasons to check out the newest aquarium in Mississippi during your vacation in “the Secret Coast,” AKA, Coastal Mississippi.

It honestly exceeded my expectations. The Mississippi Aquarium was larger than I anticipated, (I was expecting it to be much smaller) and it was done with such excellence.

This article contains affiliate links. Thanks again to Coastal Mississippi for hosting my visit.

 Reasons to Visit the Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, MS
campus at Mississippi Aquarium

Offering both outdoor and indoor exhibits, the Mississippi Aquarium is a great option for vacationing families during inclement weather or if you need a break from the sun.

indoor exhibit at Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport, MS

How Big is the Mississippi Aquarium?

The campus for the Mississippi Aquarium is 5.8 acres and has 80,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor exhibits to explore.

There are more than one million gallons of fresh and saltwater at the aquarium.

If it’s a nice day I would suggest starting with the outdoor exhibits and then working your way inside. There are 200+ species in 12 habitats and 50 species of native plants.

crocodile

When Did the Mississippi Aquarium Open?

The Mississippi Aquarium opened on August 29, 2020, which is also the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Bird Aviary

Walk Through the Bird Aviary

The Bird Aviary allows you to see a variety of bird species up close.

green bird in the Bird Aviary at Mississippi Aquarium

If you have questions about a specific bird that you see make sure that you inquire with a staff member nearby. They are a wealth of knowledge with lots of fun facts to share.

dolphin exhibit at Mississippi Aquarium

Watch the Dolphins From Above and Below

I love dolphins and it was so fun to observe them from two different perspectives at the Bottlenose Dolphin Habitat.

dolphin exhibit at Mississippi Aquarium

There are currently 4 bottlenose dolphins at the Mississippi Aquarium.

Swirl Habitat at Mississippi Aquarium

The aquarium is easy to navigate and ADA Accessible. Senior citizens and parents with strollers will also appreciate the gradual ramp that takes you down to another section of the aquarium.

Swirl Habitat at Mississippi Aquarium

As you walk down the ramp you’ll have an even greater appreciation for the Swirl Exhibit with 10,000 pilchards that are a type of sardine.

360-Degree Suspended Acrylic Tunnel

Walk Through the 360-Degree Suspended Acrylic Tunnel

In the main habitat, you can experience an incredible view by walking through a 360-degree suspended acrylic tunnel.

family in the 360-Degree Suspended Acrylic Tunnel

You’ll be treated to another perspective of the 30-foot long tunnel from another viewing area later on.

view of the 360-Degree Suspended Acrylic Tunnel
view of the 360-Degree Suspended Acrylic Tunnel

I really appreciated that the Mississippi Aquarium is designed in such a way that you don’t miss any of the exhibits.

The indoor building guides guests through each exhibit in one general direction so that you don’t miss a thing.

sea turtle at Mississippi Aquarium

Make sure that you are on the lookout for the green sea turtle who is a favorite of many of the guests.

North American River Otter at Mississippi Aquarium

Check the Daily Schedule & Programs

Learn more about the animals and aquatic life through narrated training sessions and educational chats led by staff throughout the day.

North American River Otter at Mississippi Aquarium

Make sure that you check the daily schedule with guest experience when you arrive so that you don’t miss out on any of the programs.

kids at Mississippi Aquarium

Summer camps and educations programs are also offered for guests at an additional fee.

Aqua Kids Post

Kids will be more enticed to engage with the exhibits by getting stamps on their Aqua Kids Card at stations located throughout the aquarium.

Invertebrate Touch Experience

Hands-On Exhibits at the Aquarium

There are two exhibits that curious kids and adults will enjoy.

The Invertebrate Touch Experience and the Shark and Ray Touch Experience.

Shark and Ray Touch Experience at Mississippi Aquarium

Both touch experiences allow guests to safely interact with a variety of aquatic life inside the tank.

Pelican Pointe Cafe at Mississippi Aquarium

Can You Eat at the Mississippi Aquarium?

Yes, there is a concession available with outdoor seating for guests at Pelican Pointe Cafe. The cafe is located between the River and the Aviary and has burgers, salads and more.

Outside food and beverages are not permitted inside the aquarium. You can bring a refillable water bottle and there are refillable stations in the Gulf Shop and on the first floor of the Aquatic Wonders Building.

SeaTREK Experience at Mississippi Aquarium
image courtesy of Mississippi Aquarium

Additional Unique Experiences Available at the Aquarium

If you are looking for a unique experience during your visit to the Mississippi Aquarium, there are several options to choose from.

For an additional fee, guests ages ten and up can try SeaTREK®, a guided underwater experience. Swimming skills not required for this up-close encounter with aquatic life in the ocean’s habitat.

There is also a Dolphin Experience, Penguin Experience, and a Backstage Tour. Each experience provides additional education and hands on opportunities to interact with marine life.

More Information on Ticket Prices

Check the Mississippi Aquarium website for admission prices and hours of operation.

fountain at Mississippi Aquarium

Where is the Mississippi Aquarium located?

The Mississippi Aquarium is located at 2100 E Beach Blvd, Gulfport, MS.

You can’t miss the 65-foot tall Sails entry fountain when you arrive at the entrance.

Where do you park for the Mississippi Aquarium?

We found street parking for free near the Mississippi Aquarium. There is also a parking garage nearby.

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