Half of Hawaii’s beauty is its underwater world. Behold the chambered nautilus, nature’s submarine and inspiration for Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. You can see this tropical, spiral-shelled cephalopod mollusk—the only living one born in captivity—any day of the week here. Its natural habitat is the deep waters of Micronesia, but former aquarium director Bruce Carlson not only succeeded in trapping the pearly shelled creature in 1,500 feet of water (by dangling chunks of raw tuna), but also managed to breed this ancient relative of the octopus. There are plenty of other fish to see in this small but first-class aquarium, located on a live coral reef. The reef habitat features sharks, eels, a touch tank, and habitats for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and green sea turtle. The rotating jellyfish exhibit is otherworldly—it’s like watching alien life. The aquarium is small; you’ll probably need only an hour or less to see everything.
2777 Kalakaua Ave (across from Kapiolani Park)
Our Rating Neighborhood Honolulu & Waikiki Hours Daily 9am–4:30pm Transportation Bus: 2 and Waikiki Trolley’s Green Line Phone 808/923-9741 Prices $12 adults, $8 active military, $5 seniors and children 4–12 Web site Waikiki Aquarium