Aquarium of the Americas and IMAX
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Aquarium of the Americas has beautiful tanks in a dark, claustrophobic space where the crowds prevent you from enjoying the sealife. The best part- which you should head straight to- is Parakeet Pointe, an outdoor exhibit where you can feed gorgeous, colorful parakeets with sticks of birdseed. You pay about $1.50 per stick but they last a while and it's a blast to feed the birds! The parakeets hop on the stick, or on your handbag, or even on your back or hand! They feel kind of creepy when they grip onto you though none of the kids at the exhibit became scared. The outdoor areas of the aquarium are landscaped with lovely tropical plants. Make sure you walk around the treetop loop, a tropical jungle walkway beside a little waterfall in the Amazon rainforest area- it's fun to be up high. There are two sections to the aquarium and everyone heads for the tunnel first- so head the other way (to the right) and it won't be so crowded! The tunnel is a disappointment anyway because it's so much shorter than it looks in the pictures. There are some lovely tanks- seahorses, otters, catfish, rays, sharks, piranhas, penguins, and jellies. I came first thing on a weekday thinking I could avoid the crowds but there were masses of schoolchildren on summer camp excursions- it was way too crowded in this small space. There is an upstairs eating area where you can get an icecream and look out on the Moon Walk below. It's pretty to see the bridge over the Mississippi River from the large windows! This area is very noisy but pleasant nonetheless. Another absolute do-not-miss is the IMAX film "Hurricane on the Bayou," which you can see some times of year next door. This is the best IMAX film I've seen- definitely see this while you're in New Orleans! It will give you a flavor for the city, and also let you see Hurricane Katrina from the personal perspective of a small family living by the bayou. Aquarium of the Americas is at the foot of Canal Street, a major street and streetcar hub with plenty of good shopping. After your visit, walk over to Jackson Square and take in the wonderful sights.[continued...]
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Aquarium of the Americas is located at the foot of Canal Street, next to Moon Walk on the Mississippi River. You can take a streetcar down Canal Street to here for $1.25 each way. There are also plenty of parking lots behind the aquarium in the French quarter.1 Canal Street, New Orleans LA 70130, call (504) 581-4629.Cost for the combined aquarium and IMAX show is $29 for adults, $23 for seniors and children (aged 2-12). Just the aquarium is about $7 less- but don't miss the IMAX show! You can come back at another time for the IMAX show if you don't want to do it all at once. You can also buy IMAX tickets alone.
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Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.