Aquarium of the Americas
When the penguins came waddling home in May 2006 after an extended post-Katrina vacation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, New Orleanians took it as a sign of the city’s recovery. The Aquarium houses sharks, sea otters, and an entire Caribbean reef. The biggest draw, however, might be Spots, one of just eighteen white alligators ever found in the swamps of Louisiana. According to the Cajuns, white animals are lucky. Anyone who came face to face with Spots outside of a cage might disagree. The modern aquarium, which opened in 1990, is just blocks from the French Quarter, making it an ideal place to catch a few hours’ break from the heat.