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Downtown Aquarium

This multi-level aquarium in downtown Houston also has outdoor entertainment.

Downtown Aquarium has an astounding 500,000 gallons (2 million liters) of underwater habitats. See more than 200 types of sea-dwelling creatures, from zebra sharks to octopus and clown fish. Some come from local waterways, while others are from oceans all over the world. There are hands-on exhibits and the enclosures are well signed, so it’s educational as well as fun. 

Not everything at the aquarium resides in water. Surprisingly, a family of rare white tigers call the aquarium its home. They roam around an enclosure reminiscent of the ruins of an Indian temple, and are part of ongoing conservation efforts by the aquarium. Other enclosures with both land dwellers and sea creatures have been created to look like interesting ecosystems and archeological sites. Stroll through the Rainforest enclosure, home to snakes, frogs and tropical birds, as well as red-bellied piranha and venomous freshwater stingrays. At the Sunken Temple, get up close to tarantulas, puffer fish and a 20-foot (six-meter) python.

The Shark Voyage is a miniature train ride beneath a shark-filled tank. Board the train and ride it through the tunnel where white tips, sand tigers and zebra sharks prowl the waters.

The aquarium’s outdoor entertainment area has a carousel, Ferris wheel and drop ride, as well as carnival-style games. Buy an all-day Adventure Pass and hop on and off all of the rides as you please. You can also opt to pay per ride.

You could easily cover the sites at the aquarium in a couple of hours. If you plan to stay longer, stop at the in-house restaurant for lunch or dinner. It has its own indoor aquarium, housing thousands of tropical fish as well as the occasional diver. Seafood is the specialty, although the extensive menu caters to most tastes. Outside the aquarium, there are fast-food options to suit most palates and budgets. 

The aquarium is in the northern part of downtown Houston. It’s open daily, and free parking is available.


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Best Lodging Options Near Downtown Aquarium

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Club Quarters Hotel in Houston ¥8,330
Club Quarters Hotel in Houston

Club Quarters Hotel in Houston

720 Fannin Street, Houston, TX
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Houston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral, Discovery Green, and House of Blues Houston. George R. Brown Convention Center and Downtown Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Preston Station is 5 minutes by foot and Main Street Square Station is 6 minutes.

    Hilton Americas - Houston ¥18,609
    Hilton Americas - Houston

    Hilton Americas - Houston

    1600 Lamar Street, Houston, TX
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Houston, this spa hotel is steps from George R. Brown Convention Center and Toyota Center. Discovery Green and House of Blues Houston are also within 5 minutes. Main Street Square Station is 9 minutes by foot and Bell Station is 12 minutes.

      Hyatt Regency Houston ¥14,208
      Hyatt Regency Houston

      Hyatt Regency Houston

      1200 Louisiana St, Houston, TX
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Houston, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Discovery Green, Downtown Aquarium, and Toyota Center. George R. Brown Convention Center and Minute Maid Park are also within 1 mi (2 km). Main Street Square Station is only a 4-minute walk and Bell Station is 7 minutes.

        Magnolia Hotel Houston, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel ¥12,192
        Magnolia Hotel Houston, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

        Magnolia Hotel Houston, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel

        1100 Texas Avenue, Houston, TX
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Houston, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Christ Church Cathedral, Revention Music Center, and House of Blues Houston. Discovery Green and Downtown Aquarium are also within 15 minutes. Preston Station is only a 3-minute walk and Main Street Square Station is 9 minutes.

          Courtyard by Marriott Houston Downtown/Convention Center ¥9,428
          Courtyard by Marriott Houston Downtown/Convention Center

          Courtyard by Marriott Houston Downtown/Convention Center

          916 Dallas St, Houston, TX
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Houston, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of House of Blues Houston and Discovery Green. George R. Brown Convention Center and Toyota Center are also within 15 minutes. Main Street Square Station is only a 2-minute walk and Bell Station is 4 minutes.

            Hotel ICON Autograph Collection by Marriott ¥15,822
            Hotel ICON Autograph Collection by Marriott

            Hotel ICON Autograph Collection by Marriott

            220 Main Street, Houston, TX
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Houston, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Market Square Park, Downtown Aquarium, and University of Houston - Downtown. Minute Maid Park and Revention Music Center are also within 15 minutes. Preston Station is only a 2-minute walk and UH - Downtown Station is 5 minutes.

              Hotel Alessandra ¥19,627
              Hotel Alessandra

              Hotel Alessandra

              1070 Dallas St, Houston, TX
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Houston, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of House of Blues Houston, Discovery Green, and Toyota Center. George R. Brown Convention Center and Downtown Aquarium are also within 1 mi (2 km). Main Street Square Station is only a 2-minute walk and Bell Station is 4 minutes.

                The Lancaster Hotel ¥21,973
                The Lancaster Hotel

                The Lancaster Hotel

                701 Texas St, Houston, TX
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Downtown Houston, this historic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Minute Maid Park, George R. Brown Convention Center, and Toyota Center. Houston Museum District and Rice University are also within 6 mi (10 km). Preston Station is 5 minutes by foot and Main Street Square Station is 10 minutes.