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

496 Reviews
Jacob Bramblett
Martin, GA
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Awesome place!"
May 2019 NEW
Lots of fun so much to look at. It's a great place for kids, & adults.
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Linda Wheeler
Alpine, AL
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Squid trip"
May 2019 NEW
Great adventure, a Lot to explore. Concessions inside different locations thru aquarium. Take your time exploring enjoy facts and let kids play in play gym
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Tip: Plan on spending 2 or 3 hours in aquarium

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Janet Robertson
Gloucester Point , VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome Aquarium Experience!"
May 2019 NEW
Very nice aquarium experience! The walk thru shark tank is amazing but the true size of the sharks really appears when you ride the Glass Bottom Boat! So many hands-on experiences for everyone and friendly, knowledgeable staff. A truly enjoyable experience for our family of 9!
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Tip: Nice food court with good food, reasonable prices and I recommend making a reservation, the aquarium gets busy at times!

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Sharon W.
Burnsville, NC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Trip with grandson"
May 2019 NEW
Took my grandson he had a great time was so excited to see the penguins he got to see them eat was a great trip hope to do it again.
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Tip: Great place to visit well worth the price and if you go be sure to ride the boat.

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Miranda Holdaway
Fries, VA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
April 2019 NEW
What a great experience! The aquarium is one of my favorite attractions
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Virginia H.
Pennington Gap, VA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Loved"
April 2019 NEW
Great outing for the whole family!
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Anthony Davis
Blue Springs, MS
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Kids LOVED IT!"
April 2019 NEW
Booked with reserve direct, great hotel and Aquarium tickets. Saved so much time, skipped the line and went straight to the pickup window. So much to see and experience up close!
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Tip: make sure you see every corner, tons to see, dont rush or you will miss something special

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Crystal Jarvis
Cairo, GA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Loved it!"
April 2019 NEW
I absolutely LOVED the Ripley's Aquarium - it was beautiful and a very enjoyable experience.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
SoloKathy
"Sharks swimming above you"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
I had an amazing visit at the Aquarium, so worth the price. Loved being able to touch the sting rays and also the jellyfish, and especially seeing all the sharks swimming around above my head. The moving walkway made me dizzy, so I opted to just walk around myself, and was just in awe seeing all the sharks. I would highly recommend Ripleys Aquarium to everyone...you don't have to have kids, I was there alone, and totally enjoyed every part of it.
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bunks4funtimes
Tallahassee, Florida
"Wow!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
This is a must do !! We went back to the beginning and started over.The tunnel is 340 ft long, One of the best we have seen . Aquarium that is.
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Penny L
"Aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
We loved it. Only downfall was the penguin's playhouse wasn't that great. I was so excited for it and was let down. The stingrays were amazing!
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Passport808703
Huntsville, Alabama
"Milton's Review"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2019 NEW
Visited this place on Friday May 17, 2019. Just want to say it was an amazing experience!!! No problem from the admission process. As soon as we entered the building we were awed by the waterfall!!! Every exhibit that was displayed captured your attention and fueled your imagination. I took many pictures !!! The Aquarium price is worthy of what we saw.
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genmasjoy
West Palm Beach, Florida
"Perfect for a rainy day"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2019 NEW
We were looking for something to do on a rainy day and the aquarium was perfect. It is well laid out and self guided so you can spend as much time as you like. There are separate exhibits as well as a very large aquarium with a moving sidewalk. We paid extra for a glass bottom boat tour of the aquarium which I recommend because it gives a different perspective.
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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.