Everything You Need to Know About Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Did you know that you can go on a deep sea adventure in the Smoky Mountains? When you visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you’ll be able to observe sea life from all around the world right in Gatlinburg TN! From sharks to penguins and even jellyfish, there is so much to see. Here is everything you need to know about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:

1. What to Expect

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is literally teaming with life, with over 10,000 exotic sea creatures comprise more than 350 individual species. There are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg. Although Ripley’s Aquarium is hundreds of miles from the ocean, the scenic beauty and the abundance of water all around make the town of Gatlinburg a “natural” location for a world-class aquarium.

2. Don’t Miss Shark Lagoon

sharksTheir Shark Lagoon is one of the most impressive Aquarium experiences you’ll experience! Ride on the 340-foot glidepath of the see-thru clear glass tunnel that is located under the water.  Filled with thousands of fish of every shape and size, this is the largest and most popular exhibit.
As you wind your way through the acrylic tunnel you’ll come face to face with snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, a green sea turtle, giant stingrays, sawfish and very large sharks!  You and your family will marvel at the clarity of the water and the totally immersive environment. You will feel as if you were exploring the deep oceans and could almost touch the amazing sea life!

3. Get Up Close and Personal at Touch a Ray Bay

In this shallow lagoon, patrons can reach out and touch rays as they glide by. Their skin is smooth and touching them will not hurt you or the rays.  Rays do, however, have strong teeth in their mouths so touching them should be limited to their dark top-sides.  Aquarists are on hand to assure the safety of both our guests and rays and to answer any questions regarding these unusual creatures.

4. There is Even a Rainforest

poison dart frogThe Tropical Rainforest display recreates the primeval, lush world of the Rainforest where more than 2,000 species of fish thrive. Discover freshwater stingrays, cardinal tetras, four-eyed fish, poison dart frogs, zebra cichlids, armored catfish, piranhas, mudskippers and more.  The Amazon River, which moves over 4 million cubic feet of water per second, is filled with Piranhas, stingrays, armored catfish and lots of other exotic freshwater species. See them here for yourself!

5. Meet Some Penguins

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies also has a wonderful penguin exhibit that the kids love! Enjoy this playful colony of African Blackfooted Penguins in their new state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor habitat.  View penguins from above and below the water in this unique and interactive exhibit. Experience penguins swimming as you crawl through clear underwater tunnels. Pop up on the penguins’ private beach and get nose-to-beak.

Find out why you should visit Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg the next time you’re in the Smoky Mountains!

Now that you know everything about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, you can book your tickets for you next Smoky Mountain vacation. Check out all the other fun attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and start planning everywhere you want to visit!