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It comes as no surprise that Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies was awarded a 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. TripAdvisor, a popular travel review website, awards companies a Certificate of Excellence based on the consistent number of positive reviews. Having served over 15 million visitors, the aquarium in Gatlinburg has proven it is a magnificent place to experience the wonders of aquatic life.
Swimming through the tanks, visitors to the Gatlinburg attraction will find a variety of vibrantly-colored ocean animals. From the distinctly-striped clownfish to the tanks of electrifying jellyfish, guests can explore exhibits that showcase beautiful creatures swimming through a total of 1.4 million gallons of water!
One of the most popular areas of the aquarium is the Shark Lagoon. Visitors ride on a 100-yard glidepath as they move through the lagoon. Completely surrounded by 12-foot sharks and gigantic sea turtles, visitors like the path because they have the opportunity to look up on the fish and the water environment as opposed to looking down into the tank.
Another popular activity area is Touch-A-Ray Bay where everyone can touch the rays as they glide through the water. There are divers in the area, so they can answer your questions and help you conquer your fear of the stingrays.
At the awesome penguin exhibit, Penguin Playhouse, penguins speed through the water and spend time on land. While crawling through tunnels, the interactive exhibit allows visitors to observe the water and land environments of the penguins.
Spending the day at the aquarium can make visitors a little hungry. When lunchtime rolls around, take a break and grab some snacks or lunch meals from the Feeding Frenzy Restaurant. Grab a table near the snack bar and watch stingrays swim while you eat! Make sure you pick up a show schedule at the beginning of your visit, so you can plan to catch a diver show while you eat!
Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg is open daily. The aquarium is open from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends. Tickets do not have to be purchased in advance and are available at the aquarium entrance.
After making plans to visit this Gatlinburg attraction, make sure you check out the other great attractions in the area by taking a look at our ‘What to Do’ page. There, you will find a list of most popular shows and attractions in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. See you in the Smokies!