Aquariums in Hawaii

Jellyfish on display at one of the aquariums in Hawaii.

Jellyfish at the Maui Ocean Center. one of the newest aquariums in Hawaii.

Why See the Aquariums in Hawaii?

The Hawaiian Islands are a tourist’s paradise for both indoor and outdoor activities. On such activity is observing marine life. Do you appreciate marine life and want to know where the aquariums in Hawaii are?  If so, read on.

Whether in the water or admiring behind the glass, there is a wealth to learn about Hawaii’s ocean life. While visiting Hawaii, travelers would be remiss to skip one of the many world-class aquariums in Hawaii.

Maui Ocean Center

A popular attractions, the Maui Ocean Center is the largest tropical aquarium in the western hemisphere. Here, there are over 60 exhibits, encounter pools as well as a tunnel where visitors can walk through. Through the 240 degree tube, you can admire vibrant native Hawaiian sea creatures. Also, there is a 750,000 gallon shark tank where over 20 menacing sharks course through the waters. The center has everything from vividly glowing jellyfish to sea and eagle rays, coral, urchins and more. For young ocean enthusiasts, the Maui Ocean Center also hosts sleep-overs for kids. Here, young viewers can observe marine life during the night.

Waikiki Aquarium

In the Waikiki Aquarium, visitors can wander through exhibits and learning centers right along the ocean. The aquarium offers a wide range of sea life that live on Hawaiian reefs. Such reef life includes eels, turtles, seals, sharks, rays, triggerfish, seahorses and more. Tour the coral and clam farms and mammal exhibits to get acquainted with some of Hawaii’s most interesting sea creatures. Kids can participate in group activities, workshops and classes among others events.

Oceanarium at the Pacific Beach Hotel

Experience an unforgettable meal under the sea. At the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki, you can dine in a restaurant surrounded by over 400 fish and 70 species of marine life. The three-story aquarium contains over 280,000 gallons of water that wrap around the restaurant. Expect the unexpected when the schools of fish disperse and a beautiful mermaid swims toward the glass. The mermaid shows occur twice every evening while guests enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Sea Life Park

One of the popular aquariums in Hawaii. Sea Life Park offers sights and events that will keep you fascinated. You can enjoy a dolphin jumping exhibition as well as the Hawaii Ocean Show. They feature entertaining performances by dolphins, penguins, sea lions and more. There is also a lagoon where visitors can feed sea turtles and see rare seabirds. Enjoy a cup of coffee next to at the Sea Lion Café where sleek creatures swim and dive in an adjacent pool. The newly upgraded 300,000 gallon Hawaiian Shark Tank showcases sandbars, hammerheads and black tips.

Ocean Rider Seahorse Farm

For those particularly interested in seahorses, this is an absolute must-see. Located in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island, the Ocean Rider Sea Horse Farm has nearly 30 species of seahorses. They raise seahorses from infancy and supply them to aquariums all over Hawaii. They offer several tours a day. Here, visitors can hold and feed the seahorses of all ages and types. This can include adult females, baby seahorses and pregnant males. Also, the farm sells a wide variety of seahorses for anyone who wants them for their home aquariums.

Dolphin Quest

The Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort in Waikoloa on the Big Island hosts a marine life show. Here, you can dine over an lagoon with numerous friendly, well-trained dolphins. There are even live dolphin shows for dinner, wedding receptions and family reunions. For a closer look, guests can also opt for a live dolphin encounter where they get to wade through the shallows and meet one of these amiable animals.

If you’re on an island without aquariums, you can always enjoy sea life by snorkeling, snuba and scuba diving. By doing so, you can witness marine life up close. Or simply fly to another island by booking one of our interisland flights; so you can explore the aquariums yourself.

Awards & Affiliations

Hawaii's Best 2023
American Society of Travel Agents
Authorized Disney Vacation Planner