Recently, we talked about Butterfly Wonderland, one of the many activities to be found at Salt River’s “Arizona Boardwalk.” This time, we’ll be discussing another, perhaps the most famous, destination at the Boardwalk: Odysea Aquarium!

Odysea Aquarium is a huge, multi-floor aquatic experience that showcases thousands of varieties of freshwater and saltwater creatures of all branches of the evolutionary tree. Every one of them lives in a self-contained ecosystem contained with some of the most interestingly-shaped tanks you’ve ever seen. Sometimes, you’re walking by curved glass walls with fish or penguins staring back at you. Sometimes you’re riding an escalator through a glass tunnel, surrounded by sea life all around you. Even the main bathroom is a display, giving a window to the big shark tank.

The stingrays are probably one of the biggest features of Odysea. In addition to several displays of many species of rays and skates, there’s an entire stingray petting zoo about halfway through the Aquarium’s journey. There you can reach into a large shadow tank (once your hands are sanitized) and pet the smooth backs of dozens of different varieties of stingrays. Don’t worry, none of the species of stingrays in the tank actually have any “sting” to them.

Each section of Odysea is a new and fresh experience with stunning displays of the beauty and power of the underwater world. It’s definitely something that everyone in the Valley should experience at least once.

Odysea is located at the Arizona Boardwalk in the Salt River Indian Reservation. Click here to learn more about the Aquarium and its seasonal activities.