The Texas State Aquarium announced today that it has been selected as the No. 4 aquarium in North America by USA TODAY, as chosen by online voters.
The Texas State Aquarium, the largest in Texas, was nominated by a panel of experts in March for the 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Aquarium in North America. It was also included along with 20 other leading aquariums that, according to the publication, “represent the best in North America for their high-quality exhibits and visitor interactions.”
The local aquarium was the only one in the state nominated for the award.
The top 10 winners in the category Best aquarium were:
- Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Gatlinburg, Tenn.
- The Florida Aquarium – Tampa
- Audubon Aquarium of the Americas – New Orleans
- Texas State Aquarium – Corpus Christi
- Mystic Aquarium – Mystic, Conn.
- Newport Aquarium – Newport, Ky.
- North Carolina Aquariums – Multiple Locations
- Vancouver Aquarium – Vancouver
- Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga, Tenn.
- Aquarium of the Pacific – Long Beach, Calif.
A panel of experts worked with USA Today editors to choose the initial 20 nominees. The top 10 winners then were selected by popular vote.
The local aquarium has been nominated for USA TODAY’s ranking of top aquariums several previous times. It most recently won the No. 7 spot in 2017.
The TSA’s top-four selection comes following its growth into the largest aquarium in the state when it opened its Caribbean Journey experience in 2017.
In recent years, the TSA has been increasingly active in conservation efforts both in Texas and beyond, including funding research in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and treating sick and injured sea turtles at its Wildlife Rescue Center.
“We’re honored and humbled to be named as one of the top aquariums in North America, and the number one aquarium in Texas,” Texas State Aquarium president and CEO Tom Schmid said in a prepared statement. “We’re thankful for this recognition; it’s important that our guests know that when they visit the Texas State Aquarium, they are supporting STEM education, conservation research, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. We are much more than just a great aquarium attraction.”