A Family of Fun: Ripley’s Attractions in the Smokies

Even if you’ve never been to the Smokies, you’ve probably heard of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. But in the Smoky Mountains, Ripley’s is an entire family of attractions. Each of the 8 Ripley’s attractions in the Smokies is unique, offering all types of fun. The attractions go so far beyond the odd and crazy things we think of when we hear Believe It Or Not. From a top-rated aquarium and a haunted house to miniature golf and a 5D theater – and more in between – you could spend an entire day just visiting the Ripley’s attractions in the area!

At Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, you’ll make your way through a 10,000-square-foot set with live actors creeping around every corner of the mansion. And you don’t have to wait until Halloween for this one. It’s in the heart of Gatlinburg on the Parkway, and it’s right next to a fudge shop. So if you need some recovery afterwards, get your pick-me-up there. Down the road, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Odditorium is a massive collection of the weird, strange, and crazy artifacts, stories, facts, animals, and more. Browse 16 themed galleries over 3 floors and 12,500 square feet for creepy, crazy, and unbelievable exhibits.

If you’re traveling with young kids, check out Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze & Candy Factory. You’ll wind your way through halls of mirrors, mirrors, and more mirrors before ending in Ripley’s Candy Factory. You can pick your favorite candies from when you were a kid or let the kids pick out their new favorite goodies to take back to the cabin. Or you can take a ride at Ripley’s 5D Moving Theatre, where digital surround sound and exciting movies will give you and the kids a ride to remember.

Want to get a little more hands on? The Guinness World of Records Museum brings the book to life, with trivia, fun displays, interactive games, and a new exhibit where you can see how you stack up against the record breakers! It’s the Largest Guinness World Record Gallery, with 20 interactive games. Try to text faster, break more blocks, and hack trees better than the best.

They even offer 2 outdoor attractions: Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf and Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf. Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf features two 18-hole courses with animated chipmunks, bears, crows, and raccoons that will delight the kids. At Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini-Golf, choose from 3 courses (54 holes in all) with water features, animated barnyard animals, and more! These whimsical courses offer some outdoor fun!

I’ve saved my favorite Ripley’s attraction for last: Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! I’m always mesmerized at this impressive aquarium, and I’m not the only one. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has been ranked #5 Best Aquarium in the World, and for good reason. The aquarium houses thousands of amazing underwater creatures, from clownfish, hammerhead sharks, and sea turtles to jellyfish, spotted garden eel, and weedy scorpionfish. Explore the Ocean Realm, ride the 340-foot-long moving sidewalk beneath the Shark Lagoon, touch stingrays at Touch-A-Ray Bay, and get up close to piranhas and poison dart frogs in the Tropical Rainforest. Downstairs, enjoy the colors of the Coral Reef, have interactive fun in the Discovery Center, check out octopuses, spider crabs, and cuttlefish in Gallery of the Seas, spot the different species of stingrays in Stingray Bay, and watch penguins putter around in the Penguin Playhouse.

More Gatlinburg Fun
Ripley’s offers tons of fun in the Smokies, but there is so much more in Gatlinburg. From kid-friendly fun to relaxing time for the adults, Gatlinburg has it all. Ober Gatilnburg is an all-in-one attraction, with a wildlife encounter, indoor ice skating (year-round), shopping, the Seasons of Ober Restaurant, fresh fudge, the Alpine Slide, a playground, a maze, arcade games, and of course skiing and tubing in winter! Downtown, do some shopping at The Village Shops after filling up on breakfast at The Pancake Pantry, listen to live music in the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler, get outdoor gear at the NOC, take some old-time photos, or get an Ogle Dog and play arcade games at Fannie Farkle’s.

You can’t forget about hiking, horseback riding, fishing, picnicking, and swimming in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And neighboring Pigeon Forge boasts Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country, the Hollywood Wax Museum, miniature golf courses, go kart tracks, laser tag arenas, arcades, Smoky Mountain Ziplines, indoor skydiving, outlet shops, tons of restaurants, and so much more!

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