With 62 live exhibits housing 10,000 animals and 5,000 plants indigenous to the state, the South Carolina Aquarium will celebrate its grand opening May 19 in Charleston.
"We are about to open a new stretch of Charleston waterfront that have never been open to the public," Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., said. "The South Carolina Aquarium will showcase the natural beauty of the entire state."
The journey into the aquarium begins in the 300-foot-long Great Hall. As visitors enter, the step onto the coast of South Carolina and get their first glimpse of live animals in the Carolina Seas Exhibit. The Mountain Forest exhibit depicts spectacular waterfalls that cut through steep rocky ravines and dense stands of trees. The Piedmont Gallery highlights the state's rolling hills, reservoirs and valleys, while the Shifting Shorelines show the dramatic changes in South Carolina's landscape over the last 100 million years.
The remainder of the state's animal and botanical life are on display in The Coastal Plain, Coastal and Ocean galleries, with much of it in interactive displays.
The new aquarium is located at the edge of historic Charleston harbor, at 57 Hasell St., easily accessible from the city's major thoroughfares. Two-thirds of the building projects over water; generous decks provide extraordinary views of the dolphins, ships and landscape of the Cooper River and Charleston Harbor.
There is ample parking next to the aquarium. In addition to the new Fort Sumter Tour Boat facility and the Charleston Maritime Center, the neighborhood hosts an IMAX theater, shops, restaurants and merchants.
For more information, call (843) 579-8660 or take a virtual visit to
the aquarium online at www.scaquarium.org.