The best place to start exploring Seattle is no where but the Seattle Waterfront. This is where a number of attractions were located within walking distance. The bad thing about this place is that parking is so exorbitantly expensive. We paid something like $15 for parking for the a good part of the day.
Since the Seattle Aquarium opens early (at 9:30AM), we decided to start off with this place.
The Seattle Aquarium is located at Pier 59 on Seattle’s Waterfront. It had recently underwent some expansion but despite the expansion one could complete the tour within 1-2 hours max.
Entrance is $15 for an adult and $10 for children. We went in using CityPasses.
I would say that the Seattle Aquarium is designed with the elementary school children or younger in mind.
Other than the colorful fishes, there are quite a bit of corals. The only thing that came to my mind is that while corals are beautiful, they are also very fragile and extremely sensitive to environmental changes. Once destroyed, it will take forever to recover, if at all. With all the climate changes these days, I won’t be surprised that over the next few decades, these beautiful corals will be decimated if nothing is being done to protect them.
I had a good time taking pictures … much to the chagrin of the boys. I can see that the aquarium was boring them. Being boys they wanted a more action packed vacation, like roller coasters and such.
The best part of the Seattle Aquarium was the Underwater Dome. This is one of the largest exhibits in the aquarium and is a spherical undersea room with 360 degrees view into a huge tank.
There is also a live tidepool exhibit with includes touch zones. You get to touch the starfishes. The boys, despite their constant bravado, were too chicken to touch it.
There is also an outdoor exhibit which I felt was very well designed despite the lack of space to create a more natural environment for the marine mammals. You could view the sea otters and seals on the surface or from beneath the surface.
It was an interesting trip. I guess we had been spoilt by much bigger aquariums that we find this aquarium a bit too unexciting. Being a foodie, what is foremost on my mind if seafood … now, that is more exciting.