Have 1.4 Million Gallons of Fun at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg
Is there really an aquarium in the Smoky Mountains? Seems like a bit of an unusual place to have an aquarium, doesn’t it? Yes, there is an aquarium in Gatlinburg.
But Ripley’s Aquarium is not just any aquarium. In fact, it’s been voted the #1 aquarium in America by TripAdvisor. You and your family get to experience the mystery and adventure of the seven seas.
You can find all the creatures you’d expect, like penguins, stingrays, and sharks, amid the coral reefs. But you can also experience awe-inspiring adventures like the many winding underwater tunnels that let you visit sea creatures up and personal.
The food is delicious, but don’t get so distracted by it that you don’t check out all the aquarium has to offer.
What You Can Expect to see at the Aquarium
The aquarium is divided up into several different environments:
- Shallow lagoon
- Deep ocean
- Coral reef
- Amazon rain forest
If you’re brave enough, make sure you check out the deadly but amazing Gallery of the Seas exhibit. When you complete that adventure, relax by petting live stingrays in Stingray Bay. They glide by in the shallow waters, but don’t worry – petting stingrays is completely safe and harmless.
Besides having fun, you learn a lot too. Instructors stand by at each exhibit, answering all of your questions and giving you astonishing details about the realities of marine life.
Have you ever spent the night at an aquarium? Sounds impossible, but you can at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Families can camp in Penguin Playhouse, and for children brave enough, there’s the “Sleep with the Sharks” kids adventure and sleepover.
How to Get There
Traveling to the aquarium couldn’t be easier. The best way to get around town in general, and to get to the aquarium, is to use Gatlinburg’s trolley system (the depot is right next to the Aquarium). You can park at City Hall or any of the Welcome Centers for free, and then you just pay 2-3 dollars for an all-day trolley pass.
Gatlinburg is very compact and a busy tourist destination, so parking can be competitive at times. You’ll want to either take a trolley or walk for the easiest, most convenient experience.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers a great time for all ages. For more information on the aquarium and its adventures:
88 River Rd.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738