Pine Knoll Shores Plan Your Visit


Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. including most holidays.
The Aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
The Aquarium closes early for the October Halloween event, Trick or Treat Under the Sea, and the December Santa-by-the-Sea event.


General Admission Prices 
Adults (Ages 13-61): $10.95
Seniors (Ages 62 and older): $9.95
Military: $9.95
Children (Ages 3-12): $8.95
Ages 2 and younger and NC Aquarium Society Members: FREE

taxes not included

 Buy tickets online!  Programs and Fees

What's Happening

Every day we offer fun and educational programs inside the Aquarium that are free with admission. We also offer special programs for a small extra fee like behind-the-scenes tours and outdoor programs. Check out our calendar to find out what's happening today at the aquarium. Don't forget to look at our special events page also.

Special Notes

Dairy Queen Closed until March 1, 2018

Our onsite Dairy Queen snack bar is seasonal and is closed for the season and will reopen the first week of march 2018. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Gift Shop CloseD for Renovations

Our Gift Shop is closed for renovations. The shop will reopen in late spring. We appologize for any inconvience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we upgrade our shop.

Ray Pool Renovations Until Jan. 29, 2018

Our Ray Encounters touch pool will not be available to the public this week. We are busy enhancing important infrastructure. The sting rays and juvenile nurse shark are all healthy and are situated behind-the-scenes during this process. Thank you for understanding and for your patience.



Five miles west of Atlantic Beach. From NC 58, turn onto Pine Knoll Boulevard at the stoplight, Milepost 7; turn left onto Roosevelt Blvd. Signs along US 70 and NC 58 point the way. Click here for a map. GPS: 34°41’58?N, 76°49’46?W 

Free Admission Days

The Aquarium admits all visitors free of charge on Veterans Day, Nov. 11 and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on the third Monday each January.


GROUP DISCOUNTS: Group discount rates apply to civic organizations and out of state school groups only. These groups of 15 people or more will qualify for 15 percent off admission, when the group registers in advance and purchases all tickets with one payment. A 25 percent discount is available for 50 or more tickets purchased in advance. Register online or call us at 252-247-4003 x290 or x225. 

NC SCHOOL GROUPS: North Carolina school groups, including North Carolina home-school groups, are admitted free if registered in advance. The Aquarium is a favorite field trip for North Carolina schools. Call to find out when school groups are expected if you want to time your visit accordingly. Teachers, these visits MUST be scheduled in advance. Allow plenty of time to enjoy the Aquarium’s five galleries, view the 40 exhibits, take in the daily free programs, stroll the boardwalk or venture along the nature trails. A visit to the Gift Shop and the on-site Dairy Queen® also deserve a spot on your itinerary. For more information or to register call us at 252-247-4003 x290 or x225.

Inside Information

The Aquarium's expansive galleries can accommodate large crowds. But, if you like things a little quieter, consider the first two hours in the morning and the last two hours in the afternoon, which are not as busy as mid-day. Summer is the busiest time of year. Fall, winter and spring are great times to visit.

  • Parking: Parking is free. If the lots are full, look for angled parking on the entrance road. Please park only in marked spaces. Bus and RV space is reserved in the far lot, to the left as you enter the grounds. Bicyclists, look for the bicycle rack near the entrance.
  • Accessibility: The parking lot, entrance, exhibits, restrooms and marsh boardwalk are accessible to wheelchairs. Parking for visitors with mobility disabilities is near the entrance. Wheelchairs for loan: The Aquarium has five wheelchairs available for use at no charge. Check one out at Visitor Services by providing a photo ID such as a driver’s license. 
  • Strollers: Strollers are permitted. The Aquarium offers strollers for use at no charge on a first come, first served basis. Check one out at Visitor Services by providing a photo ID such as a driver's license.
  • Food and Drink: Please remember, ONLY our animals get to eat inside the Aquarium – no food or drink allowed indoors. Enjoy your refreshments on the snack bar’s adjacent deck, or relax on one of the picnic tables on the far side of the main parking lot. Tables are available first-come, first-served. The on-site Dairy Queen is closed for the winter and will reopen in March.
  • Smoking: Smoking must be confined to the designated smoking area, clearly marked near the entrance.

  • Pets: Leashed pets are allowed in the parking area and on the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Trail. Comfort and emotional support animals are not allowed inside the Aquarium per ADA and AZA regulations, only trained service animals are allowed in the Aquarium. Please inform Visitor Services or a Security staff member if a trained service animal will be assisting you during your visit.
  • Flash: Built-in flash devices on still cameras are permitted. However, flashlights, laser pointers and video lights are not. They can startle Aquarium animals, endangering them and the divers that might be in the exhibits. Please keep these and any other lighting devices off as you tour the Aquarium.
  • Commercial photography and filming: The Aquarium’s Public Relations department must approve of videotaping or photographing on Aquarium grounds for commercial use or student projects. Auxiliary lighting, power cords, cumbersome equipment or other trip hazards are not permitted during operating hours. Contact Public Relations for complete guidelines and restrictions. Wedding photographers should check with the special events coordinator.

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