When you come to visit the Smoky Mountains, you want to do the top fun things in the area! In Gatlinburg, the number one attraction you have to see is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. There are so many unique creatures your kids will love to look at and interact with. Here are the 5 exhibits you need to see at Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN:
1. Shark Lagoon
You can’t make it through Ripley’s Aquarium without visiting Shark Lagoon! It has one of the coolest features: riding a moving glidepath! When you step into the tunnel, the 340-foot glidepath moves you through the tunnel slowly so you can watch all of the sharks and fish swim by. Some of the fish you will see include snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, giant stingrays, and sawfish. There are a few green moray eels, and the sharks you will see include sandtiger and nurse sharks. Sally the sea turtle also resides in this tank, so keep an eye out for her. Everyone loves watching the animals swim overhead in a huge tank!
2. Touch A Ray Bay
The Touch A Ray Bay exhibit is exactly what it sounds like: a lagoon where you can reach over and pet stingrays! You are completely safe because none of the rays have their stingers. Although, there are sharks in this area as well, so be sure to keep your kids from touching sharks. An educator on staff is in this area at all times to keep you and your family informed and safe. The kids will love interacting with these animals and learning about them!
3. Coral Reef
Do you love the movie “Finding Nemo?” If you or your kids do, then you have to stop by the Coral Reef section of Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN. Even if you don’t, this isn’t an exhibit you want to miss! You’ll see all kinds of tanks full of beautiful fish. There are a ton of royal blue tangs, just like Dory, swimming around with clown triggerfish and foxface rabbitfish. You will also be able to see clown fish like Nemo and Marlin, as well as sohl tang and butterflyfish. Plus, there are corals of all shapes and sizes.
4. Discovery Center
If your kids like to learn by interaction, the Discovery Center is the perfect place for them. They will be able to pet and pick up horseshoe crabs. Kids can get up close to pufferfish and watch them inflate and deflate. You will also be able to solve puzzles and test your knowledge in this area. It is definitely the highlight area for kids since they really get to be involved!
5. Penguin Playhouse
One place you definitely shouldn’t skip is the Penguin Playhouse. Everyone loves watching the penguins play together. There are tunnels kids can crawl through to get up close to the penguins. These are African penguins, and they require warm air instead of cold. Your kids will have fun watching these cute little creatures.
You will want to visit all of the exhibits in Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg TN, not only these 5! Want something else to do? Look at these other fun Gatlinburg attractions and start planning your trip with us now!