Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN

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Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN

The Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Aquarium is located too close to your Gatlinburg cabin rental to miss. It is a fun adventure for the entire family. There are many exhibits and activities for people of all ages.  Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the most visited aquarium in the United States. The aquarium features lots of aquatic friends that make it an attractive stop in the Smokies.

Ripley's Aquarium is a spectacular 1.4 million gallon aquarium featuring eleven-foot sharks and over 10,000 other exotic sea creatures from across the waters around the globe. Coined as one of the world's greatest aquariums, Ripley's is open 365 days a year for you to enjoy the fish any day you want! The aquarium is open from 9:00 AM until 9:00 PM throughout the week and from 9:00 AM until 11:00 PM on Friday and Saturday. 

Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies is an interactive aquarium that is sure to keep the whole family entertained. From penguin crawls to touch-a-ray bay to an underwater shark tank, all of the displays at the aquarium in the Smokies make it one of the world’s greatest.

Some popular aquatic encounters and displays:

         Ocean Display - This water tank holds 2 million gallons of water. Be on the lookout for Giant Pacific Octopus, Sea Nettle Jelly Fish, and Bat Stars in this tank!

         System Control Display - This display gives you a peek into the control systems that keep the aquarium running by pumping millions of gallons of quality tested salt water into the system’s pumps. Ripley’s claims that these systems filter more water in 1 day that the entire city of Gatlinburg!

         Coral Reef - The reef at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg features a wide range of colorful fish that come from the Pacific Ocean. The reefs are hand crafted replicas and are home to Clown Triggerfish, Emperor Angelfish, Blue spine Unicorn fish, Raccoon Butterfly fish, and more.

         Shark Lagoon - You can believe it or not, but there are sharks in Gatlinburg! The aquarium’s largest exhibit, Shark Lagoon holds thousands of fish. The tank can be viewed from the top and the bottom, literally. Visitors can ride a 340 ft. glide path that takes them right through the bottom of the tank. Tarpons, squirrelfish, giant stingrays, green sea turtles, sawfish, and huge sharks can all be seen here. Don’t miss the attack marks on the inside glass of the tunnel as you ride the glide path!

        Discovery Center - This is an interactive play area for all ages but children will love the center. Visitors can hold horseshoe crabs, play on an interactive playground, and learn fun facts at the Discovery Center.

       Sting Ray Bay and Touch a Ray - There are many rays on display at the aquarium and visitors get the opportunity to stick their hands in water as sting rays glide gently by. Don't be afraid though! Touching them will not hurt you or the animals. Spotted Eagle Rays, Southern Stingrays, and Cownose Rays can all be found here.

        Penguin Playhouse - The Penguin Playhouse is Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies’ newest addition. Visitors can duck through crawl spaces that give an up close look at the penguins that glide through the water.

Ripley’s offers classroom time where instructors stand at different tanks in the aquarium and offer information to visitors. Teachers love bringing their classes to the Ripley's exhibits and allowing them to have a first-hand look at all the exciting exhibits. There are also opportunities to swim with the sting rays and sleep with the sharks at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies!

The idea behind Ripley's started in 1890 when Robert Leroy Ripley was born in Santa Rosa, California. Robert led an interesting life. At age sixteen he played semi-professional baseball and sold local artwork. A couple of years later he began selling cartoons to Life Magazine. After injuring himself and ending his baseball career forever while trying out for the Giants, Ripley began to travel the world. Along his journey he wrote down interesting things he thought were fascinating. In 1933 he opened his first auditorium in Chicago, Illinois. Viewers from all around came to see the original displays. He continued opening auditoriums all over the world for the next ten years. He died on May 27, 1944. Many remember him by his famous museums, haunted houses, and aquariums that are worldwide. The Ripley’s Aquarium in Pigeon Forge greatly reflects Robert’s interests as well as his love for unusual things. He always gave credit where it normally would not have been given.

For more information on exhibit and ticket information, visit their website  or call Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies at (888) 240-1358. For up-to-date information, follow Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg on Twitter and Facebook.

Great cabin rentals in Gatlinburg are just around the corner from Ripley’s Aquarium, so drive (or maybe even walk) right down the road to one of our spectacular Gatlinburg cabin rentals! The view will take your breath away! We also have convenient lodging for large groups and classes ranging all the way up to 46 guests. Call us today to plan to stay with Cabins For You while you visit the well-renowned aquarium!


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