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U.S. Travel Diaries - A memorable visit to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL

Chicago is one of the best metros in the world and is one of the most livable places particularly for Indians in the U.S. The cosmopolitan city is located on the shores of Lake Michigan in the mid-west region in Illinois state.

Most of the Indians have similar likes and interests. There are good number of Indian tourists in some spots only and not all. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is one such attraction which is visited by good number of Indian tourists.
Shedd Aquarium

About the Aquarium

John G Shedd Aquarium is located at 1200 S, Lake Shore Drive in the Museum Campus. This is one of the top attractions of Chicago that is enjoyed the most. This is one of the world's largest indoor aquarium with wide variety of fish from almost all parts of the world. It is a permanent salt water fish collection. This places is enjoyed the most by Indian children. You can find good number of Indian families moving around in the aquarium in the weekends. The are five exhibits important inside the aquarium.
  1. Amazaon Rising

    Visitors will get to see anacondas, piranhas, stingrays and many more in this zone.

  2. Caribbean Reef

    This is enjoyed very much by children. Visitors can spend some time at the 360 degree underwater reef community and watch the divers feeding the aquatic animals / sharks during the feeding time. Visitors can enjoy seeing the animal-care staff interacting with the dolphins and whales while they dive. This is one of the most attracted event where you can spend some time with you children.

  3. Abbott Oceanarium

    Here visitors will experience the coastal ecosystem where they get to see beluga whales, pacific white-sided dolphins, sea otters, sea lions and a host of fishes and invertebrates.

  4. Polar Play Zone

    This zone is a special attraction for children. Here they can enjoy the polar atmosphere like exploring the icy caves and waddling like penguins.

  5. Waters of the Wold

    Visitors can go around this zone to find tiny 'mantella' frogs, giant octopuses etc

  6. Wild Reef

    Here both the adults and children can enjoy. One can find different species of fish, marine mammals, birds, snakes, amphibians and insects in this zone.
Till June 13th, the aquarium remains open from 9 a.m to 5 p.m on week days and from 9 a.m to 6 p.m on weekends. And from June 13th to Aug 21, it remains open till 6 p.m on all days. There are city pass available online at discounted rates. But it is not recommend particularly for Indian tourists / visitors as they may not like to visit certain places mentioned in the pass. It is better to buy tickets for places of one's interest than going to the places as per the city pass.

There is also a Total Experience Pass which includes access to all the exhibits / zones in the aquarium. You can even enjoy the 4-D experience.

However, parking is not easy at this place. There is limited street parking on the Solidarity Drive and the pay-to-park boxes operate all days from 8 a.m to 9 p.m.

It is better to go to Chicago downtown in Metro train and then take a cab to avoid parking problem. To can stay inside the aquarium for the whole day and walk along the different exhibits for a wonderful experience of the aqua-life. And Indians particularly South Indians, you need to comprise with the food. You don't get any Indian stuff inside the aquarium cafeteria.

As one moves inside the aquarium only, one can visit this place in spring also. But you cannot enjoy the Lake Shore as it will be windy at times and you get chilled.

On the whole, visitors / Indian tourists can have a wonderful / memorable experience at Shedd Aquarium. It would be one of the most memorable visits for them in Chicago.

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