Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

It’s said that there are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg. Although Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is hundreds of miles from the ocean, the aquarium treats visitors to a world-class aquarium of water life. Voted America’s #1 aquarium by TripAdvisor, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies allows visitors to view the ocean’s most strange and spectacular species including octopus, sea stars, corals and jellyfish.

Underwater Aquarium Tour – Protected by a 360 degree surrounding glass tunnel, visitors will marvel at thousands of fish of every shape and size in the aquarium. As you travel along a 340-foot long moving walkway, you’ll come face-to-face with snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, a green sea turtle, giant stingrays, sawfish and enormously-sized sharks.

Go nose-to-beak with an African Penguin
– The aquarium’s Shark Lagoon offers the ultimate underwater experience without getting wet by visiting the underwater tunnel. You’ll see the predatory sand tiger shark, the largest shark in the aquarium, as well green moray eels, nurse sharks, and more.

The aquarium’s penguin exhibit is a family favorite. Crawl through tunnels and see these African Blackfooted penguins in their huge indoor and outdoor habitat! Ripley’s glass tunnels allow visitors to visit “nose-to-beak” both from above and below the water in this unique and interactive exhibit. Kids will love “popping up” on the penguins’ private beach.

Explore the Rainforest Exhibit – The Tropical Rainforest exhibit recreates the primeval, lush world of the Amazon rainforest where more than 2,000 species of fish thrive. Visitors can discover and learn about freshwater stingrays, cardinal tetras, four-eyed fish, poison dart frogs, zebra cichlids, armored catfish, Arapaima, mudskippers, green iguanas, and the voracious and feared piranha.

Interactive Learning – The aquarium’s interactive “Touch a Ray” Bay is a shallow lagoon where guests can touch and pet sting rays as they glide by. Aquarium educators are in the pool and on hand to ensure the safety of both children and the stingrays, and will answer any questions you may have about these unusual creatures.

The aquarium’s Discovery Center allows kids to solve puzzles, play games, and touch live horseshoe crabs. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies provides a unique variety of educational programs on the ocean environment and marine life. Educators are available in the building to answer questions at all times, and special class times and topics are available for group discussions.