Smithsonian Aquarium, Fort Pierce
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The Smithsonian Aquarium in Fort Pierce is in a gorgeous location! Here, little docks jut out into the Indian River Lagoon, which is a stunning turquoise hue. There are little islands set out before you and happy people driving their fishing boats around. A beach of fine white sand makes a wonderful place for kids to play, chase seagulls, and splash in the river. Elderly residents of Fort Pierce take long walks here along the paved path that winds its way along the waterfront, enjoying schools of dolphins that arch up in pursuit of fish. It is wonderful! There is a playground with many fun features and a water view! Large trees provide shade. The aquarium itself is small but lovingly cared for by friendly volunteers. You can discover many things here, where shelves show you shells, sand dollars, crabs, sea horses. Three tanks show the wildlife under the water in the lagoon. The furry sea grasses are interesting. One large tank shows you the lovely corals and bright fish found in the Atlantic Ocean off Florida. A small beautiful tank shows a Nemo fish and blue sea star in gorgeous corals from the Indo-Pacific. This reminded me of Australia!The touch tank is a fun area. Here you can see a horseshoe crab doing his funny sideways moves. You can poke your finger into a hole where little shrimp will come along and clean your finger for you. It tickles! There are squishy sea cucumbers, conch shells which flip themselves back over if you turn them upside down, and sea urchiins. The touch tank is very nice- probably the best I've seen at an aquarium. Make sure you talk to the volunteers because they will offer up lots of interesting information that will enrich your visit.
Behind the aquarium is the St Lucie County Regional History Center, a fantastic history museum that is very inspiring.
Afterwards, have lunch in downtown Fort Pierce and walk over to the Manatee Observation Center to see if you can spot any manatees from their lookout tower.You have to drive quite far through some ugly town areas to get here, but if you're already in the area, it's a great place to visit.
While in Fort Pierce, you must go to the Heathcote Botanical Gardens, a tropical paradise with themed gardens and lovely flowers everywhere!
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Smithsonian Aquarium is located at 420 Seaway Dr, Fort Pierce FL 34949, call (772) 462-3474.Exit Highway 95 at Orange Ave and head toward the ocean for five miles. Turn left on Indian River Dr. Turn right on Seaway Dr and once you cross the bridge, the aquarium is on your left. There is a large sign and a left-turn lane. Open Tues-Sat 10-4, Sun 12-4, and from Jan-Mar on Mon 10-4. Closed on Jan 1, Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thurs in Nov), and Dec 25.Cost is $4, children aged 4-17 and seniors $3. First Tues of the month admission is free.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.