Downtown Aquarium is a public aquarium and dining complex located in Denver, Colorado. It houses over 500 species of animals, an Aquarium Restaurant for upscale-casual dining around a 150,000-gallon aquarium, the bar Dive Lounge, the Stingray Reef touch tank, the fully equipped Nautilus Ballroom and numerous other amusements ensuring family fun at its best.
A Million Gallons of Exhibits
The relation between freshwater ecosystems and the ocean is a major theme for the Downtown Aquarium, in which 1.25 million gallons of exhibits and ecosystems represent America and the rainforests of the world. Apart from that, the aquarium focuses on conservation, which is why it houses quite a number of endangered species. Moreover, it features mixed community aquaria and several interactive exhibits, such as the stingray touch-and-feed tank.
The vision of a public aquarium had already existed for a couple of decades, before the dream of one was pushed to fruition again in the early 90s. Many hours lobbying city governments in the area to commit land and money in order to build a public aquarium was spent. When two publicly financed aquariums were competing for the same sponsors, their boards of directors decided to join forces, becoming Colorado's Ocean Journey.
Colorado's Ocean Journey
A new aquarium was then built and opened in 1999. During the first years of the new millennium, Colorado's Ocean Journey had quite some financial problems and could not pay off their debts anymore. Eventually, Landry's Restaurant, Inc. purchased the facility in 2003, which in the two following years remodeled and renamed the whole building into Denver's Downtown Aquarium, an entertainment and dining complex.
How to get there
Coming Downtown, go west on 15th Street to Platte Street, where you turn left and continue past the REI Building. Platte Street turns into Water Street, where you will see the Aquarium on the left side.
From I-25 traveling north, exit 23rd Avenue (Exit 211) and follow the exit to the right, where you will immediately see the Aquarium on your right. From I-25 traveling south, take Exit 23rd Avenue (Exit 211), then turn left at the stop sign and cross over I-25.