If you are visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee than you might want to take a look at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
They are open everyday year round and the hours during weekdays are 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Friday and Saturdays they are open until 11 p.m.
The price of admission is as follows: adults are $21.99, children ages 6 through 11 are $10.99, and kids from 2 to 5 are just $4.99. You can purchase tickets online and save money.
There are also combo tickets available so you can add on other Ripley’s attractions on your visit.
The most popular exhibit at the aquarium is the Shark Lagoon. It is also the largest one they have. A moving 340 foot path guides you through a see through tunnel so you can view the various sharks they have for display. You can see sand tigers, sandbars, and even nurse sharks. You can also see other marine life as well such as giant stingrays, turtles, and tarpons. Did you know that tarpons can grow to be 6 and a half feet long and weigh up to 350 pounds?
There are also other exhibits there as well.
At the” rainforest” you can see red-bellied piranhas, various types of catfish, and brightly colored poison dart frogs.
Visit the “Ocean” to see a giant octopus which can weigh up to 33 pounds, living corals, and sea dragons which look like a plant drifting about under water.
The “coral reef” area looks real but it is really replicas of real reef. You can see lots of fish here such as butterflyfish, bluespine unicornfish, and the emperor angelfish that changes its colors as it grows through its lifespan.
The aquarium also provides lots of educational programs and you can touch horseshoe crabs and stingrays in the “stingray bay”. You can also view many types of stingrays here such as the spotted eagle ray that has distinctive white polka dots and the southern stingray which has as many as 6 venomous spines. Don’t worry though, the ones that are able to be touched are not dangerous and there is an employee there to help you and answer questions.
There are also interactive displays at the Discovery Center where you get to touch the horseshoe crabs.
The newest attraction is the “Penguin Playhouse.” Come enjoy watching these little guys as they swim around you as you crawl through viewing tunnels.
Ripley’s Aquarium is a lot of fun for the entire family, both young and old.
Buying tickets online does save a few bucks, especially on the adult tickets, and if you are thinking about doing other Ripley activities, than you might want to take a look at the combo tickets available to get the most bang from your buck.