Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

88 River RoadGatlinburg, TN 37738
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Overview

An award-winning and top-rated aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Ripley’s® Aquarium of the Smokies offers a variety of interactive experiences and exhibits that showcase the many thousands of exotic sea creatures that call this venue home. Guests can touch real stingrays, travel along a 340-foot moving glidepath beneath a sea of sharks, paint a piece of artwork with penguins, and much more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Gatlinburg Travel Experts
  • City Parking Garage behind Ripley’s Aquarium is cash only.
  • Trolley stop in front of Aquarium.
  • Allot 2 hours for self-guided tour.
  • Evening hours are less crowded.
  • Cameras and videos allowed.
  • Open 365 days a year
  • No outside food or drinks allowed.
  • Voted America’s #1 Aquarium by TripAdvisor.
  • Family Package and combo tickets available.
  • Live animal shows and interactive experiences make for a memorable visit.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Tripster's own team members

Joan B.

Loved the shark tunnel and penguin exhibit! The new Pearl Harbor exhibit is nicely done and very informative.

Description

from Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Voted Best U.S. Aquarium by USA Today 10Best.com, one of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice, and Top Destination to See Penguins by USA Today!

2019 All-New Exhibit: Savage Seas - Tales of Adventure, Myth and Ruin
Life at sea isn’t for everyone! Find out what it takes to survive on the open waters. Arrr yet fit for it?! This new exhibit features 5 tanks,10 interactive experiences, and more that highlights life on the savage seas, shipwrecks, sea monsters and mother nature. Dig through magical sand to uncover buried treasure. Experience how divers work to uncover buried vessels using special diving gloves. Brave hurricane-force winds in a mighty storm simulation, and take your photo with Ripley’s resident sea monster.

Explore the Amazing Aquatic World Up-Close!
Marvel at 12-foot sharks, a giant sea turtle, thousands of exotic sea creatures and playful penguins as you enjoy the most spectacular, state-of-the-art underwater tunnels! Touch horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and stingrays. Play in the new 3-story Discovery Treehouse & Play Center!. Experience a ride over Shark Lagoon in the New Glass Bottom Boat (additional cost). See Mermaids swimming in June & July!

Family fun, interactive, hourly dive/feeding shows, and much, much more!

Exhibits at Ripley's Aquarium Include:
  • Tropical RainForest

  • Ocean Realm

  • Systems Control

  • Coral Reef

  • Shark Lagoon

  • Discovery Center

  • Gallery of the Seas

  • Stingray Bay

  • Touch a Ray Bay

  • Penguin Playhouse

  • Glass Bottom Boats (Additional Cost)


Open 365 days a year. Located in downtown Gatlinburg at traffic light #5.


Tripster Customer Reviews

524 Reviews
Lindsay Jackson
Raleigh, NC
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Loved the Sharks"
November 2019 NEW
We had a great time. The kids loved being able to go under the shark take and see them swimming around.
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Shannon Craig
Indian trail, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great place"
October 2019 NEW
We had to pick a rainy day activity and this was perfect. It was entertaining for adults & kids. Lots of areas to interact.
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Tip: You really don’t need to pay for the map when you show your tickets

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Juanita Yarbrough
Ardmore, AL
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Aquarium Visit"
October 2019 NEW
Very good show of the aquatic life . Enjoyed much as well as my family.
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Sabrina Sigmon
Mount Gay, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful"
October 2019 NEW
Second time there with the family and loved it. Great for all ages of animal lovers.
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Tripster Customer
NOBLESVILLE, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
September 2019
I was not sure what to expect. I had not ever been to Gatlinburg. Having purchased online through Tripster, it was nice to not have to stand in line. The Aquarium was so much more than I expected. It was wonderful to be able to watch sharks and manta rays from both above and below and have sea life swimming over your head and the information provided for the smaller aquariums with sea life was so intriguing. I could have stayed for hours watching the Rays. I would go back in an instant. Well worth the expense.
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Edward Hall
Marshfield, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"OMGatlinburg"
September 2019
We Googled to see the closing time of the Aquarium when the ad for discount tickets popped up. It was very easy for this 53 yr. Old to navigate and we saved enough to pay for the snack we were having. Extremely satisfied with Tripster and Ripley's. Highly recommended.
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Karen Lackey
lenoir, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great experience"
August 2019
First time trip for our 3yr old he loved the animals was amazed and the play area was a huge hit
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Billie Hopper
Fultondale, AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great for Senior citizens"
August 2019
Purchased Aquarium tickets online through Tripster and was able to just show up without standing in line. So convienient for seniors like my husband and myself. Will definitely use Tripster again. Really enjoyed the Aquarium.
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Tip: To get tickets in advance so you won’t have to stand in line.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
JoanneD3
New Plymouth, Ohio
"Great visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 13, 2019 NEW
I have been to other aquariums but this is really good. We was there about 2 hours. They have food and parking is not expensive
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Sanditrump
Evans, Georgia
"Extraordinary Aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 13, 2019 NEW
This was a wonderful experience! Amazing to watch and learn so much in one place! The lighting inside is amazing and so important to the feeling it emotes as you walk. This is a must to those who visit Gatlinburg!
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Seth82
Martinsville, Indiana
"Best Aquarium Yet"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 12, 2019 NEW
This is the 3rd time that we have been here. It is, by far, the best Aquarium we have ever visited. Both of our boys (5 and 2) loved it and it kept their attention the entire time. This won’t be the last time we come here.
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GAKE
SPRINGFIELD,OH
"Amazing Place!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 11, 2019 NEW
My husband is a Veteran so he got 50% off his admission and I got 30% off mine! The regular price for any adult is pricy, so that was a great savings. We spent about two hours and saw everything. It was so amazing to walk through the glass tunnel as huge sharks and sawfish swam over top of you...we could see their teeth! Everything there was so interesting...but the tubes and the penguin area were our favorites. Everyone should experience this aquarium...it’s my new favorite place to visit.
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jenNmikeyC
"Visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed November 11, 2019 NEW
Always love going here! It's always beautiful & clean. The animals seem very taken care of. The employees are also wonderful & helpful as well.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

How long does it take to tour the attraction?
We recommend allowing 2 hours or more to tour the aquarium.

Where can I park?
There are various parking areas nearby in Gatlinburg. There is a City owned parking garage directly behind the Aquarium. The City charges a maximum of $6 per day.

Do you have stroller rentals? Are strollers allowed?
The aquarium is stroller friendly. Strollers can be rented at guest services for $3.

Do you allow pets?
Only service animals are allowed.

Are cameras allowed?
Yes, you can take pictures and or take video to share with your friends.

Is the aquarium wheelchair accessible?
Yes it is, we also offer wheelchairs available at guest services.

Are any of the Unique Experiences included with the admission ticket?
No, that costs extra.  If you are looking to Splash with the Stingrays or participate in the Penguin Encounter or any other special tours, you can call the aquarium directly for an additional fee.

Can I leave and revisit the same day?

Sorry, the tickets are good for one-time admission to the aquarium.