Top 3 Tips for a Great Day at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.

As one of the top destinations in the Smoky Mountains, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers a fascinating journey into the world of over 10,000 exotic sea creatures! This amazing facility features 10 themed galleries, interactive encounters and even a glass bottom boat adventure for a full day of family fun! Here are the top 3 tips for a great day at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies:

1. View the Best Exhibits

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has so many things to see and do that you might not be able to do it all in just one visit! We suggest that you prioritize your time to see the best exhibits and then decide if you want to participate in any of the extra activities such as the Penguin Encounter and Splash with Stingrays. One of the best exhibits at the aquarium is the Shark Lagoon, where you travel through an underwater tunnel and come face-to-face with sharks! Another great exhibit is the Touch-a-Ray Bay where you actually have the chance to reach out and touch rays as they glide past you! We also recommend seeing the Coral Reef, Stingray Bay, Gallery of the Seas and the Penguin Playhouse.

penguin playhouse Ripley's Aquarium2. Add a Fun Experience

There are several awesome experiences that you can add to your adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies for just a small additional fee! The Glass Bottom Boat Adventure takes you on a boat ride into the Shark Lagoon where just 3 inches of glass separate you from the sharks beneath your feet! If you want to meet the aquarium’s adorable penguins for an up-close encounter, check out the Penguin Encounter or sign up for the Penguin Painting Experience. As if that doesn’t sound like enough fun, you can also get into the water with the aquarium’s stingrays with the Splash With Stingrays experience!

3. Plan to See the Shows

One of the highlights of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is the live shows where you can watch feeding sessions and learn more about the sea creatures! See divers interact with giant predators at the Shark Lagoon Dive or observe the colony of African Penguins being fed by the aquarium’s keepers. You can also learn more about the ocean with the Marine Science presentation or watch the feeding show at the Coral Reef Dive. Check out the official Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies show schedule before your visit to plan your day accordingly.

Where to Stay

Stay just minutes from Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies with a vacation at the Black Bear Inn & Suites! Our affordable hotel is close to all of the action of downtown Gatlinburg and offers all the amenities you need for a wonderful getaway to the Great Smoky Mountains! While staying with us, enjoy a complimentary full hot breakfast, free wireless internet access and an enclosed heated swimming pool, as well as a microwave and refrigerator in every guest room!

Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in Gatlinburg TN today to plan your vacation near Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! We hope to see you soon at the Black Bear Inn & Suites!