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Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium in Tennessee

If you and your family love exploring the exciting creatures and mysteries of the seas, head over to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Open daily from 9am to 9pm, the location features underwater adventures, including everything from moving glided paths to interactive exhibits for an immersive experience perfect for the whole family.

The Gatlinburg Aquarium also offers guests a team of experts who provide education and entertainment throughout, whether you are marveling at the sharks or gazing at the colorful exotic fish.

Have you ever wanted to pet an adorable penguin or take a dip with a stingray? Ripley’s Gatlinburg Aquarium is known for their Penguin Encounter, a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor habitat where guests ages four and up can pet a penguin and take a photo with one.

For those who want a more close-up encounter, put on your bathing suit and check out the Splash with the Stingrays area at Touch-A-Ray Bay. If turtles are more your speed, Feed Sally the Sea Turtle every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Ripleys Aquarium Gatlinburg Glass Bottom Boat
What separates you from 12-foot sharks in the Shark Lagoon? Only about three inches of glass. Besides the mesmerizing predators, the daily trips on the indoor Glass Bottom Boat Adventure put you right in the middle of more than 8,500 aquatic inhabitants, including colorful fish and gorgeous coral reefs, while the Adventure Crew shares their knowledge about each species.

Shark Encounter Gatlinburg Ripleys Aquarium

Sometimes the best way to learn about sea animals and their habitats is to view them from the experts’ perspective. That is why the aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee offers behind-the-scenes tours for guests to experience everything as the staff does.

This includes how the team monitors water quality and cares for the aquatic creatures as well as where each animal’s food is prepared.

Conservation is important for our planet and its inhabitants on both land and in the sea. Educators, scientists, and animal experts ensure that the aquarium is a reliable, educational resource that provides a safe place for every creature in their care.

They also promote research for ensuring each species thrives and are a Green Power participant, supporting locally generated renewable resources.

The Ripley’s aquariums are fully accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, guaranteeing they meet the standards for animal management and care.

The location is also a successful breeding program for seahorses, cuttlefish, jellies, white-spotted bamboo sharks, corals, and a long list of others. They are staffed for animal husbandry, where marine biologists and aquarists culture live foods such as single-cell algae and brine shrimp.

The husbandry team is also responsible for managing new species gathered from the ocean to make sure careful handling happens during the transition from their natural habitat to their new home.

When you are in the area, the aquarium is conveniently situated near cozy accommodations such as the Cabin Bella Vista. About a mile away, the three-minute drive makes a day trip to the sea animal experience easy.

If someone in your party is having a birthday while you are staying, the aquarium offers special events to celebrate.

For more information on the Gatlinburg Aquarium, head over to Ripley’s website Call (865) 430-8808 or (888) 240-1358 for more on Gatlinburg Aquarium coupons, or drop them an email at