Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg

#1 of 355 in Parks in Tennessee
Must see · Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
Explore the wonders of the underwater world at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. The world-class aquarium offers an array of interactive exhibits, with over 10,000 sea creatures of over 350 diverse species. Stand on the moving pathway as it takes you through the aquarium's underwater tunnel to admire giant sea turtles and 3.7 m (12 ft) sharks. Enjoy a hands-on experience in the tide pool exhibit, where you can handle horseshoe crabs and stingrays, or stay for a diving and feeding show with the dolphins. Check the aquarium’s website before your visit, as discount tickets are often available. Make Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies a part of your Gatlinburg vacation plans using our Gatlinburg trip itinerary planner.
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Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14,830 reviews
  • We love the aquarium! We've gone several times in the years we have traveled to Gatlinburg. This here we went on Thanksgiving Day and it was decorated nicely for Christmas and playing Christmas music....  more »
  • I love this aquarium there is always something new to see depending on what time of year you visit. This visit they had their Christmas decorations up and it was beautifully done as always.  more »
  • This place is always great. Living not too far away we visit every few months. The kids love touching the jelly fish and horse shoe crabs. The signs give plenty of detail but not too much so that it's a chore to read all the information about what you're looking at. The shark lagoon area now has a glass bottom boat you can pay to ride in if you really want a unique view of the sharks and fish in there. I love this place and will keep coming back with my kids.
  • I’m visiting from Florida and decided to add this to my list of things to do. First impressions were that the facility was clean, staff was friendly and there was a lot to see and do. I was visiting with my toddler and I absolutely loved the flow of this facility. It’s basically a walk through where you can enjoy 10,000 exotic species, then you go through a unique tunnel aquarium where you can view sea creatures all around you, then there’s a play area for toddlers, and touch tanks and you continue walking until you end up at the beginning. The flow of the floor plan is a great way to prevent high traffic areas. I also thought the play areas were neat. There were different levels of the play area, but you could only enter and exit the play area on the floor that you entered, so the you’re not getting separated from the kiddos. Perfect for toddler parents! There’s also food available for purchase, educational events, penguin encounters, camps, sleepovers, birthday party packages and much more. The pricing is affordable and I think it’s wonderful that Tennessee residents get to take advantage of a resident discount. There was also a glass bottom boat tour available. From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem worth it. There’s a section where you can learn about the facility operations and see what takes place “behind the scenes.” Although I enjoyed my experience, there were some tanks that were too small for the creatures that tugged on my heart strings a bit. I’m rating 4 out of 5 stars for the cleanliness, creative experience, professional staff and location. I would definitely recommend for a fun, family-orientated and educational experience.

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