The construction of this island landmark began in 1933 during the Great Depression as part of the Works Progress Administration program established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was the brainchild of Dr. Robert O. Van Deusen - former director of the Fairmount Park Aquarium in Philadelphia. Today the Key West Aquarium is home to a diverse collection of marine species, including sharks, turtles, stingrays, tropical and other various fish found in the beautiful waters of Key West. It provides a fantastic educational opportunity for family travelers, and can help inspire the minds of visitors young and old by allowing patrons to learn about a broad spectrum of life beneath the ocean's waves, how these creatures evolved and the programs currently in place to protect wild habitats from being destroyed by the growth of modern industry.
The aquarium is open everyday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. It is located at 1 Whitehead Street on the northwest tip of the island, right across the street from Mallory Square. Parking facilities can be found adjacent to the aquarium on the northeast side of the building, though a small fee will be assessed upon entry. Tickets can either be purchased in advance on the aquarium's website for a discounted rate or in person at the on-site box office for the full price.