353 Harbor Dr.
Duluth Minnesota 55802United States
Midwest Living Recommends
This high-end aquarium in Duluth's Canal Park provides a hands-on education about the Great Lakes' wildlife and the environment it depends on.
The Great Lakes Aquarium is the kind of attraction that elevates a trip to splash around in Lake Superior into an educational experience that's interesting enough you barely notice you've been learning the whole time. And that goes for kids of all ages. The aquarium, located on the Superior lakefront of Duluth's Canal Park next to many other attractions, is a high-end destination full of high-tech displays and interactive exhibits. Throughout the multistory building, exhibits reinforce the interconnectedness of all the Great Lakes, reminding visitors of the key role humans play in keeping the Lakes healthy. Fortunately, the exhibits are designed in such a friendly, hands-on way that the message consistently feels helpful rather than preachy. Highlights include an enormous model fish swimming overhead in the lobby next to a wall-size fountain representing various symbols for water throughout history. Inside the aquarium, visitors can pet a stingray or sturgeon, get at eye level with a wide variety of fish species, float a toy boat through a massive water-table replica of the Great Lakes system and watch otters frolic in their re-created habitat. Large windows, sidewalks and interpretive signs connect your aquarium experience to the Duluth harbor right outside. Admission is $15.50 for adults and $9.50 for kids.