Get your fish on! It's time to choose the Best Aquarium in North America.
You have until MONDAY, AUGUST 18 at NOON to vote for your favorite aquarium, and you can vote once a day in this category.
To arrive at the nominees, our editorial team started with data provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.org), a trade association which holds its members to the highest of industry standards. They provided us with data including annual visitor count, square footage, total aquarium gallons, membership numbers, affordability of entrance fees, awards won and commitment to conservation efforts. We then weighted these factors and ranked the aquariums by consistent metrics.
While our 20 nominees came out on top, there were several highly worthy aquariums which just barely missed the cut, including Newport Aquarium; Landry's Downtown Aquarium in Denver; Aquarium & Rainforest at Moody Gardens in Galveston; North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher; and North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.
We also opted to exclude the popular SeaWorld facilities; Epcot's 'The Seas;' Busch Gardens at Tampa Bay; and Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. All fall outside the parameters of a traditional aquarium and we felt these would make for a confusing comparison for our readers.
Good luck to all the nominees. We can't wait to see which nominee swims to the front of the pack.