pine knoll shores press room

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RALEIGH, N.C. —The North Carolina Aquariums are among the nation’s best according to a recent poll. The USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Award for best aquariums announced Friday the state’s aquariums were voted number seven in the country. 

 “This honor shows that our expert animal care, personal connections made with our guests, and our commitment to saving animals in the wild have made a positive impression on our visitors and communities,” said Maylon White, director of the North Carolina Aquariums.

The North Carolina Aquariums include multiple coastal sites at Fort Fisher, Pine Knoll Shores, on Roanoke Island, as well as Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.

The aquariums and pier are dedicated to connecting guests with the natural world and are leading attractions in the state, with a combined visitation of more than 1.3 million a year. In addition, the aquariums, each accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, are committed to saving animals locally and globally, with a focus on sea turtles, sand tiger sharks, and Carolina gopher frogs.

The top spots in the poll were Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (Tenn,) The Florida Aquarium and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (La.). The full list of winners can be found here:

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award aquarium poll launched in late March with 20 nominees from across the country, and ran for four weeks allowing the public to vote online once per day. The 20 nominees were chosen by a panel of relevant experts and editors from USA TODAY and 

For more information about the North Carolina Aquariums,



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