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Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

You may not expect to come across an abundance of sea creatures when visiting land-locked Tennessee, but you’d be surprised to discover the vast diversity of sea dwellers found within the walls of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Offering everything from touch tanks to up close and personal animal encounters, the whole family will find something to enjoy at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies!

Top Exhibits at the Aquarium

From penguins to sharks to tropical rainforest dwellers, there are a variety of animal encounters to be had at Ripley’s. The Penguin Playhouse is a favorite, where visitors can watch these adorable creatures swimming, playing, and eating. Tunnels and pop-ups allow you to get a closer look at their antics. If you opt for a penguin encounter, there’s even the chance to pet a penguin and take home a photo to capture the memory!

Embark on the adventure of a lifetime aboard one of the Aquarium’s glass bottomed boat rides, which are conveniently offered every 20 minutes. On these excursions you can enjoy a panoramic view of sea creatures swimming just below you. It’s never felt like a closer encounter with predators of the deep, all the while enjoying the safety of a glass barrier!

There are hands-on opportunities located throughout the Aquarium. Stroke the smooth skin of a ray as it glides by or interact with moon jellies alongside the help of the Aquarium’s friendly educators.

Tropical fish, sharks, and poisonous dart frogs are a few of the other creatures you’ll come across as you gaze through the tanks at the Aquarium! In fact, the Shark Lagoon offers the experience of being underwater without getting wet, as you travel along a glidepath as sharks, tarpons, sea turtles, giant stingrays, and sawfish swim all around and above you! If you truly can’t get enough of your shark encounter, consider booking a Shark Sleepover where you camp out all night in the shark area of the aquarium!

Planning Your Excursion to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is open Monday through Thursdays from 9am-9pm and Fridays through Sundays from 9am-10pm. Parking is available in the city-owned parking garage directly behind the Aquarium. Tickets can be purchased in advance via the Aquarium’s website. To contact the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies staff, call 888-240-1358 or email aquariumofthesmokies@ripleys.com.

Still in search of Gatlinburg accommodations? Browse our listings which will put you in close proximity for enjoying attractions such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! Be sure to book one of our best Pigeon Forge holiday rentals! Also, check out our Pigeon Forge villa rentals, as well as our Pigeon Forge weekly rentals!