Playful sea lions and smiling whales await you at Mystic Aquarium Mystic CT. Smiling whales? Well, they look like they're smiling to me! They are actually called Beluga whales, and they will captivate you with their graceful spins and turns as they swim over to greet you. That in itself is worth a visit!
The Beluga whales are one of the first attractions you'll notice as you enter the aquarium. Their "home" is a huge tank carved into rock with large windows for viewing. There are different levels which allow you to see them as they surface, or you can step down to the windows to get up close and personal!
After spending time with the whales, you'll want to make your way into the Main Gallery. One of the first things I noticed upon entering this indoor aquarium was the feeling of peace and serenity. You're greeted by soft music, somewhat New Age in tone, making you feel as if you're floating beneath the water's surface. The lighting is dim (give yourself a moment to adjust if it's a very sunny day!), enhancing the multicolored lights within numerous tanks along circular corridors.
From here you are free to wander through each display of aquatic and marine life. Follow the graceful ballet of the jelly fish; observe manta rays as they speed through water like starships through a galaxy; become mesmerized by the numerous species of vibrantly-hued fish floating in a world of their own. Want to know the difference between a loggerhead turtle and a leatherback turtle? Don't hesitate to ask one of the friendly and knowledgeable staff members on hand as you enjoy a self-guided tour of the facility.
While you're visiting Mystic Aquarium Mystic CT, stop by the Nautilus Live Theater where Dr. Robert Ballard's ocean explorations are broadcast live from the E/V Nautilus. As a fan of the television series Seaquest DSV in the early 1990's, I looked forward to the end of each show as Dr. Ballard detailed historical and atmospheric information regarding the world's oceans. He is most well-known for discovering the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in 1985.
The Unique Architecture of Mystic Aquarium's Ocean Exploration Center
Next, follow the gangway over the pool to the Ocean Exploration Center. Here you'll find an unusual exhibit of the Titanic at the bottom of the sea. Or, visit the 4-D Theater for the ultimate cinematic experience. Round out your day with a stop at the Aquarium Gift Store and grab a bite to eat at the Penguin Cafe. No, you don't have to be a penguin to enjoy a meal here—they serve people, too!
Have you been nose to nose with a Beluga whale or encountered the playful sea lions in action? I'd love to hear your favorite aquarium experience!