Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

88 River RoadGatlinburg, TN 37738
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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.


from Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Voted Best U.S. Aquarium by USA Today, 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

521 Reviews
Sabrina Sigmon
Mount Gay, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
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
1 Review
Verified Traveler
September 2019 NEW
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
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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Connie Langley
Greenville, NC
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful place to take your kids"
August 2019
My 9 year old daughter and her grandmother went and they had the best time. Charli was a bit disappointed there were no sea turtles and the wall for touch pool for sting rays was too big. But overall it was a super fun place to go especially when its raining. Sharks were facinating to watch. Staff were helpful and imformative. Grandmother had a scooter and staff was very helpful in assisting her getting in and out. Would highly recommend this attraction for any age
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Tip: Might be to short to touch sting rays, may not be any sea turtles

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Shannon Riley
Huntington, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"My son loved it!"
August 2019
We went midweek around 2 and it wasn't too crowded. My son loved it so much he could've stared at the sharks all day! lol
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Sandra Barron
Nesbit, MS
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
August 2019
Everything was very well kept . Very nice experience. Had a wonderful time .
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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Powder Springs, Georgia
"Good little aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 21, 2019 NEW
During our recent trip to Pigeon Forge we ran into rain one evening. We decided to visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Now this wasn’t our first visit and even though a lot of the tanks and features remain the same, we still had a good time. We were able to visit using comp tickets so I can’t say if it is worth the price of admission. Looking at the ticket pricing I feel however it would be and they also offer combination tickets to visit all the Ripley’s attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge under one pricing. It was late in the evening so it wasn’t super crowded. On previous visits, the crowd was larger so it made it more difficult to get around and see some of the tanks. Found a lot of neat things along with a nice play feature for the kids. Not a bad little aquarium.
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TripAdvisor user image
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
"Great aquarium! "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 20, 2019 NEW
The Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg is a great place to bring your kids when in Gatlinburg. It's very interesting and educational. We loved it!
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Cookeville, Tennessee
"Great aquarium experience "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 19, 2019 NEW
We visited here on a Saturday and this place was really packed. There are plenty of different species of animals to view here. My favorite parts were the shark alley, the penguin exhibit, the sea dragons, and sea horses. Everything was really cool and educational.
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TripAdvisor user image
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed October 18, 2019 NEW
Having been to many aquarium over the years, I’d have to say this one is very cool! Riding in a glass tunnel under sharks and sea life was amazing! Large play area for kids and interactive spots for learning.
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Tiffany G
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
"We love this place!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed October 18, 2019 NEW
Education meets a family fun place! The variety of wild life and the set up is amazing and my kids love it! We love the seasonal events they have as well!! Great for the price!
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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.