Portland Aquarium – Photoblog, Tour and Review

Hey I’m posting some photos and a video clip from my recent trip to Portland Aquarium.  I wasn’t even aware a public aquarium existed in Portland, but it’s a fairly new destination, opening in 2012.

Portland Aquarium Entrance Street Sign I wasn’t sure what to expect since reviews online seemed to be mixed, but my overall takeaway was that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would and stayed longer than I planned.  Part of what made it surprisingly fun was seeing how much the other visitors were enjoying it.  There were people of all ages…families, young couples, and of course plenty of kids.  The biggest hits with the kids were the Stingray pool, seeing the Nemo and Dory fish, the Koi pond, and the Lorikeet feeding area.  Below the video clip I’ll share more of my thoughts on the Portland Aquarium as part of the picture gallery tour.

Watch the Short Video Montage I Put Together…


Portland Aquarium Photo Gallery and Tour

Portland Aquarium LocationThere were lots of people there on the Saturday afternoon I visited, and the parking lot was fairly full, but there were still plenty of places to park.


Portland Aquarium Review and Photos

A nice coastal theme on the exterior.


Entrance to Gallery 1After waiting in line a bit to pay for admission I headed to Gallery One.



I didn’t see this castaway (or pirate?) the first time through, so I’m glad I noticed him my second pass through.  Nice touch.


Fish Tank in Gallery 1

A kid-level viewing port into the mysterious world of sea creatures.


Tropical Tank with Views on Three Sides

Some nice big tropical fish in this three sided tank just inside Gallery One.


Reef Touch Pool Inside Old Motor Boat

A beached and abandoned motorboat holds one of the first of several touch pools at the aquarium.


Reef Touch Pool Inside Old Motor Boat at Portland Aquarium

A boat load of interesting textures for little hands to experience in this tidepool habitat.


Green Moray Eel

Who doesn’t love a big ugly Moray Eel with blue beady eyes?


Cool Longhorn Cowifish

This little pucker lipped guy has a face only a mother Longhorn Cowfish could love.


Jellyfish Tank

This Jellyfish tank cycles through a rainbow of colors so I refer to it as the disco jellyfish tank.  Here’s hoping they’ll be Stayin’ Alive for a long time. (sorry)


the Disco Jellyfish Tank

The picture I didn’t get in Gallery One (but does show up in the video) was the Finding Nemo tank.  I heard several kids getting their parents attention with happy cries like “Mom, there’s Nemo!…oh there’s Dory!…Hi Dory!!!”.


Pacific Sea Nettle Tank at Portland Aquarium

These were the only two Pacific Sea Nettles I saw.  These were one of the main reasons I came and I would have loved to see a larger display of them.


Retro Deep Sea Diver Display

When you finish in Gallery One, take a selfie with this guy and then head up the ramp to Gallery Two.


Leopard Shark

I’m not sure but I think this guy is shooting me a look.  I’m sure he’s a really nice shark when he’s done doing his tough guy routine for the day.


Informational Dislplay Screens

There’s a good selection of these bright digital screens for displaying additional information, like this one for mister tough guy.


Shark Petting Pool

This is an accidental picture but I thought it looked kinda cool.


Stingray Petting Pool

The biggest room (Gallery Three, I believe) holds the Stingray and Shark touch pool.  The rule for touching is with two fingers only.


Stingray and Shark Pool

I was surprised how playful the Rays were and they really seemed to enjoy being petted and fed.  A very fun and interactive experience.


The Koi Pond and Touch Pool

The next Gallery has a blast of color and activity with this Koi pond and touch tank.  For the kids there’s a special windowed viewing port. (see video clip)


Iguana Guy

What can I say about this guy. He was a little hard to read.


The Lorikeet Feeding Area

The kids having fun feeding the Lorikeets.  Good picture opportunities here!  The staff seem really good about sharing knowledge and keeping it interesting for the kids.


Frog Just Hanging Out

There’s a small but interesting assortment of Amphibians and Reptiles.  Just enough to mix it up.


The Helpful Staff

An impromptu sharing session takes place when a staff member brings out a friendly Ball Python for a meet and greet.


A Friendly Ball Python Snake to Pet

You either love them or you hate them.  The gal here had some fun facts to share and was very engaging with those that wanted a closer look.


Family Picture Spot in the Shark Mouth at Portland Aquarium

There’s lots more here at the aquarium then I actually captured.  There was a birthday party taking place near the Stingray tank, a jungle gym for the crawly humans, a hurricane wind tunnel, a penny stamping machine, group seating areas and of course…


Something for Everyone at the Gift Shop

The gift shop for taking home a souvenir or two.  (Buy them first of course)


Plush Clown Fish Nemo Toy in the Gift ShopAnd that concludes the tour!


Entrance at Portland Aquarium

If you’re ever in Texas, the Portland Aquarium has sister sites in Austin and San Antonio.

If you’re into doing hours of research before making a commitment to your family excursions, you can read up on all the reviews on TripAdvisor here.  Otherwise, just go and make a good time of it!

Additional Info:

Portland Aquarium is about 10 miles south of downtown Portland at 16323 SE McLoughlin Blvd. in Milwaukie.

For the best ticket prices, buy them online and save $3.00 off per ticket!

Business hours as of this writing are 10am to 6pm, 7 days a week but check their website at PortlandAquarium.net for the most up to date information regarding hours, prices and other things like group rates and special events.

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