My niece Alex and I had an incredible time in the Phoenix area in March of 2017. We had a great time running around South Mountain Park and the Open Air Farmers Market, but we especially enjoyed our visit to the OdySea Aquarium in Scottsdale. It is wonderful and full of wonder. 🙂 The last aquarium I had been to was the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, many years ago, so I was really looking forward to our visit. Since neither of us had been here, I did a little research on their website before we left. I found out that they had only been open since September 3, 2016, and was I was excited when I read about all their exhibits.
Here are just some of the exhibits and things to see while at the OdySea Aquarium:
- Aqua Lobby
- Rivers of the World
- The Otter Banks
- Tide Touch Pools
- Penguin Point
- Sharks of the Deep
- Reef Jewels
- Bizarre and Beautiful
- 3D Movie
- Living Sea Carousel
We knew we were in for an adventure as soon as we walked into the building. In the lobby is what they call the Aqua Lobby. where there are nine massive globe-shaped aquariums hanging from the ceiling. They state it’s an engineering marvel and the first of its kind. It’s so cool.
After having our pictures taken and looking at the hanging aquariums, we made our way into the aquarium itself. We hadn’t gotten very far before an employee told us to go check out the restroom. We thought it was strange, but did it anyway. When we walked in, we found out why. There is a HUGE shark tank in front of the sinks! We were in awe. So glad we didn’t miss this.
We left the restroom and started our adventure in the Rivers of the World. The first thing we both noticed was the cute yellow-bellied turtles. I also enjoyed seeing the Siamese Crocodile. They also had alligators. They also have piranhas in this part of the aquarium.
We moved on to the next exhibit, and my favorite of the OdySea Aquarium, the Otter Banks. This is the home of the Asian small-clawed otters. This was the first time I had seen the little ones. They are adorable, and I loved watching them play and wrestle with each other. I guess I have a soft spot for the otters, big and small.
The next thing we saw with the Tidal Touch Pools. Alex enjoyed touching some of the marine life in this huge 37-foot long touch pool. However, I think her favorite part was being able to touch the Sting Rays in Stingray Bay. They were very fast, but she was able to touch a couple and said they were soft but slimy, lol
Another exhibit we enjoyed was Penguin Point. They are also adorable and are apparently African black-footed penguins. We enjoyed sitting for a minute and watching them move around and interacting with other guests. It was a great exhibit.
After a little lunch break, we went back and took a trip through the Great Barrier Reef. It is actually a huge tunnel where we saw Nemo, I mean clownfish, lol. We were also able to see scissor tail Chromis, banded butterflyfish, and many more that I can’t remember or didn’t know. It was quite colorful and very beautiful. We both enjoyed it a lot.
We were still walking around and enjoying the aquarium when we started talking to another employee named Lindsay who asked if we had been to the Living Sea Carousel yet. As we hadn’t seen it yet, she told us it was something we couldn’t miss. So we headed there and it was actually the thing that both of us enjoyed the most and can’t thank her enough. It was incredibly fun and educational. It’s a 20-minute one-of-a-kind voyage that you have to experience to believe. I don’t want to give away too many details, just know that it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss on your visit to the OdySea Aquarium.
The last thing I wanted to mention about our visit was their daily program and activities. They had feeding times, Q and A times, and Meet an Animal Care Specialist. They give you a list when you walk in, but we forgot about it and sadly didn’t take advantage of these events. Something to remember for next time.
We had a marvelous time and I loved watching her expression as we rounded a corner and saw different animals. I thought it was interesting that we saw some birds. They were so beautiful. I can’t recommend this place enough when you are in the Phoenix area. Like I said earlier, it’s in Scottsdale which is just a short drive and definitely worth it. Here is a link to their website again with more information if you are planning a trip there yourself. We hope to make it back again on a future visit.
OdySea Aquarium Visitor Information
9500 Via De Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
Mon-Sat 9am to 7 pm
Sunday 9 am to 6 pm
Child (2-12) $27.95
Tucson and Areas South
Use interstate 10 West. Use the right lane to take exit 161 for AZ-202. Continue onto AZ-202 Loop East for 3.3 miles. Take exit 50A for AZ-101 Loop North. Continue onto AZ-101 Loop North for 17.4 miles. Take exit 43 for Via De Ventura. Turn right onto Via De Ventura and follow signs for OdySea Aquarium Parking.
Flagstaff and Areas North
Use interstate 17 South. Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 214C to merge onto AZ-101 Loop East. Continue on AZ-101 Loop for 20.2 miles. Take exit 43 for Via De Ventura. Turn left onto Via De Ventura and follow signs for OdySea Aquarium Parking.
Use interstate 10 East. Use the right lane to take exit 147A-147B for AZ-202 Loop East. Keep left to continue toward AZ-202 Loop East. Continue on AZ-202 Loop East for 8.6 Miles. Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 for AZ-101 Loop North. Continue on AZ-101 Loop North for 8.8 miles to exit 43 for Via De Ventura. Turn right onto Via De Ventura and follow signs for OdySea Aquarium parking.
Use US-70 West to US-60 West. Take exit 176B to merge onto AZ-101 Loop North. Continue on AZ-101 Loop North for 12.2 miles to exit 43 for Via De Ventura. Turn right onto Via De Ventura and follow signs for OdySea Aquarium parking.
OdySea Aquarium is wheelchair accessible. There are a limited number of wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-serve basis located at the Concierge Desk in the Aqua Lobby. Wheelchairs cannot be reserved.
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