Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, has been named one of the “Top Ten Best Aquariums” as part of the 2019 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards. It is the only aquarium in New England to secure a spot in the top ten.
Nominees were chosen by a panel of experts which included editors from USA Today, editors from 10Best.com, expert contributors, and sources from other Gannett media properties. Finalists were chosen by an online public vote that took place over the course of four weeks.
“We are thrilled that Mystic Aquarium has been chosen by voters as one of North America’s leading aquariums for USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice awards,” said Dr. Stephen Coan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mystic Aquarium in a press release. “Our team works tirelessly to provide the best experience possible not only for our guests, but for our animals, and this recognition serves as validation for all we do every day in conservation efforts, educational programming and scientific research around the world. We are thankful to all of the voters who helped Mystic Aquarium achieve this great honor.”
Mystic Aquarium enjoys the privilege of caring for one of the most unique and diverse group of animals including the endangered African penguin, California sea lions, sharks and rays, and many, many more. It is one of only two facilities in the United States to care for Steller sea lions and one of only three with Northern fur seals. Mystic Aquarium is home to the only beluga whales in New England. All the amazing species ambassadors foster meaningful and engaging connections with children and families with the fundamental goal of educating and inspiring future generations as stewards of our ocean planet.
The Aquarium also boasts an impressive selection of exhibits like Discover Long Island Sound, an immersive experience that highlights the Aquarium’s local estuary through digital interactives and a touch experience with native invertebrates; Jurassic Giants, an indoor dinosaur-trail lined with 12 animatronic dinosaurs; and Our Blue Park, which takes guests on a photographic journey of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
Closely aligned with the pillar of its mission of conservation, education and research, earlier this year, Mystic Aquarium unveiled new dynamic exhibits that highlight those efforts, including Plastic Free Seas, to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans, as well as the interactive Wild Arctic exhibit, an augmented reality experience.
Mystic Aquarium and the Rhode Island Department of Human Services also recently announced that Rhode Island Electronic Benefit (EBT) cardholders can simply show their EBT card and valid, matching personal identification to receive complimentary admission to Mystic Aquarium. In addition, Feinstein Junior Scholars cardholders receive free admission with one accompanying adult up to three times per year.