A Thursday morning downpour became the perfect excuse to pop over the Ohio River and visit the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky. Located inside Newport on the Levee the aquarium is built right alongside the river and offers some great views of down town Cincinnati.
With 70 exhibits including the largest Jellyfish gallery (a huge hit with me - they memorize me and I could watch them for hours) in the Midwest, there's also 14 galleries and 5 seamless underwater tunnels. The aquarium takes you around the world with exhibits showing the creatures of the Amazon, to rain forests, otters, coral reefs to frogs, a great penguin exhibit and the huge Mighty Mike - America's largest American gator outside of Florida. He was HUGE.
After you weave yourself around the exhibits and all the children, you hop you an elevator to to the top of the shark tanks - one of the countries largest open air tanks. Up top you have the chance of traversing a rope "Shark Bridge" over nearly two dozen sharks alongside shark rays, sting rays and more than 300 fish as they swim beneath you. The 75 foot long shark bridge at the Newport Aquarium is the only one like it in North America. Constructed with more than 4 miles of rope, it's pretty sturdy and there's safety netting under which somewhat restricts your view of the tank below, so seeing those sharks is a little tricky, but a fun experience all the same.
We sadly got around the whole aquarium a lot quicker than I had expected, even with all the crowds - summer, school trips and rainy weather does that to indoor places. But for $23 each, I was expecting a little more for what became just an hours visit - that and we were extremely spoiled when we visited the Shield Aquarium in Chicago. Still I left happy seeing jellyfish and penguins.
Where's your favorite aquarium?
Fancy a trip? You'll find the Newport Aquarium at;
One Aquarium Way
Newport, KY, 41071