What to Know Before You Go: Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg

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People watching fish at aquarium in Gatlinburg

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is an entertaining experience for every member of the family. Families will enjoy wandering through the exhibits and exploring the thousands of fish and ocean animals that swim through the tanks at the aquarium in Gatlinburg. Before you take a trip to the Ripley’s aquarium, there are a few things you should know in order to make the most of your experience!

Where is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies located?

The Ripley’s aquarium is located on the Gatlinburg Parkway, at traffic light #5. For visitors utilizing the Gatlinburg trolley system, the aquarium is one of the many drop off and pick up locations in Gatlinburg.

What clothes are best for the aquarium in Gatlinburg?

Comfortable and casual dress is important at the aquarium. Tennis shoes are not required, but it is important to wear shoes that are comfortable for walking through the aquarium.

How much does it cost to visit Ripley’s Aquarium?

When you buy tickets through Visit My Smokies, you can save $4 per ticket! Click here for prices and to purchase your tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg.

What is the cost of parking at the aquarium?

There is a city-owned parking garage located behind Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg. The maximum cost of parking in the garage is $6 per day. There are other parking areas throughout Gatlinburg, but the most convenient location is the garage directly behind the aquarium.

How long does it take to tour the aquarium?

The aquarium requires at least two hours to make it through each of the exhibits. Some families will only spend a couple of hours while others spend the entire afternoon. The time you spend at the aquarium also depends on whether you plan to enjoy a diver show or stop for a snack at Ripley’s Feeding Frenzy snack bar.

The aquarium is open daily, from 9 a.m-10 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on weekends.

Which exhibits are the most interactive?

In particular, families will enjoy riding the glidepath through the Shark Lagoon where they become surrounded by ocean animals like 12-foot sharks and gigantic sea turtles. Also at the aquarium, groups will like spending time at Touch-A-Ray Bay where they will have the opportunity to touch stingrays. Still yet, one of the most popular exhibits is Penguin Playhouse. At the penguin exhibit, guests can crawl through tunnels to explore the water and land environments of the penguins.

For a list of attractions and other interactive activities in the Smoky Mountains, like the aquarium in Gatlinburg, take a look at the ‘What to Do’ tab on our website. Those who visit the website will find information about the best places to stay and things to do!

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