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

516 Reviews
Connie Langley
Greenville, NC
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful place to take your kids"
August 2019 NEW
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 NEW
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
"Sandra"
August 2019 NEW
Everything was very well kept . Very nice experience. Had a wonderful time .
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Tripster Customer
bowling green, KY
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Aquarium"
July 2019 NEW
It was great I got some awesome pictures and there was a lot to look at for the price im just too short to touch the string rays :(
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Tip: You can go through it multiple times if you choose

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Jodi Ramirez
Charlotte, NC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"My favorite aquarium"
July 2019 NEW
Lived in FL and this aquarium is better than the aquariums that we went to there. This was the highlight of our vacation.
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Kenneth Tritt
st.charles, VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun but never done in the smokies"
July 2019 NEW
The aquarium was worth the entire stay at the smokies,the staff was super nice and its more than just seeing the wonderful sealife,its all about just enjoying your vacation with your spouse or family.Had a great time and hoping to go back soon.I would recommend the aquarium to anyone.
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Tip: One is the super nice staff and 2 is all the wonderful sealife that lies beyond this adventure

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Deborah S.
Rockview, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Amazing"
July 2019 NEW
I brought the tickets as just something to do one evening out of the heat, not really thinking that the kids would love it. Well, They did!!! And want to go back another time. Tripster had the discounts, and it was super easy to use. Myself and my family thanks you?.
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Tip: It's beautiful, educational, and fun for all ages

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Kris Matury
Hawesville, KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family fun!"
July 2019
Ripley's Aquarium was amazing and fun! With the special package we were able to go to two other Ripley's attractions for one great price. My family enjoyed their time there and it was worth every penny. We can't wait to go back again!
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Tip: All the Ripley's attractions are within walking distance of one another.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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stayseamermaid
Hiwassee, Virginia
"Always a must"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2019 NEW
We have been to this aquarium several times and each time we see something new. We always have a great time when we visit. It’s always relaxing and you can go at your own pace to look at the animals.
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Dawnsheart
"Always a must see!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2019 NEW
I've been here twice. The most recent was in May. Love this place! So much to see and take in and some very cool shows and interactive exhibits. Love the huge tank with the starks overhead and the fact you can jump on a ride along the exhibit is very cool. Got a 3 pack pass too on this trip and picked up trolly tickets. Favorite stop of the trip.
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KawaiChik84
"Excellent Aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2019 NEW
This came highly recommended and did not disappoint! Lots to see and do, the tank you can view from the moving walkway was a big hit. My father-in-law enjoyed the penguin feeding the best, while my kids loved watching the stingray feeding.
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Eric M
Fort Wayne, Indiana
"Amazing time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2019 NEW
While on vacation we decided to take our 2 kids to the aquarium. It is well worth the money and time to make a visit. All of the exhibits are amazing and it is fairly easy to get around. The aquarium does get busy but if you are patient you can still have your chance to view everything.
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marsha556
Kewadin, Michigan
"Great aquarium."
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed August 19, 2019 NEW
Please consider limiting the number of individuals entering so all can enjoy in a timely fashion. We could not stop and watch or read about the fish as to the number of people trying to observe each exhibit. We decided to leave and return later but the entry line was even greater than when we first entered.
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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.