Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

88 River RoadGatlinburg, TN 37738
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Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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

530 Reviews
Ray Elliott
Covington , LA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great"
January 2020 NEW
It was a great place to visit. Very well kept up.
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Marla Hernandez
Stone Mountain, GA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Beautiful!! Awesome!!! Love it!!!!"
December 2019 NEW
The most beautiful aquarium ever!!! I will always come back to this location!!!! Have so much to do on this aquarium!!
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Tip: Beautiful and amazing

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Cynthia Brimm
Pulaski, VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Kids loved it!"
December 2019
My children absolutely loved the aquarium. There is lots to do and see for all ages. One of my children has sensory issues and while it wasnt needed I appreciated that they had several low noise areas set aside in case they were needed. It is a lot of walking to get into the facility.
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Tip: It's a lot of walking to get into facility. You need to pay extra for parking.

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Brandon Drake
Louisville, KY
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great Aquarium"
December 2019
Took 3 and 4 yr old daughters. Ripleys mixes in a good mix of education and interactive activities to keep young kids interested.
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Amber Dean
Elkton, VA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Awesome aquarium"
December 2019
This was one of the best aquariums we have attended!! Very much made for kids so it was awesome!!! Our child had a blast
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Christopher Sullivan
IRVINGTON, AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family fun for all ages"
December 2019
What an amazing time! My family traveled for a 10 day excursion to the mountains. We had a blast. The aquarium had exactly what we needed for all ages (3-49). The entire party of 8 enjoyed the interactions, the playlands and the excitement was electric with the shark watching up close and personal.
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Tip: I would recommend buying your tickets prior to arrival. Makes it easier and the little ones dont have to wait as long

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Lindsay Jackson
Raleigh, NC
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Loved the Sharks"
November 2019
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
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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TripAdvisor Reviews
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DestinyChris
Owensboro, Kentucky
"Talking to the penguins!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2020 NEW
Such a fun place to visit! So much information! So many exhibits to see! LOVED interacting with the penguins! Already planning a trip back!!
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Hatclub76
Joliet, Illinois
"Huge fun. "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 14, 2020 NEW
The best part was petting the jelly fish, and sting rays. If you like aquatic life then this is the place to go.
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just_some_barber
Orange Beach, Alabama
"Go at least once, for the kids..."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 14, 2020 NEW
This place is a must. My family and I live closeby and visit the area several times a year, we always make it to the aquarium at least once per year. Not a lot changes but it’s very interesting and fun for children as well as adults. We easily spend a couple of hours inside. They also have Penguins!! You can pet some creatures if you want. There is a glass bottom boat ride offered at extra cost. I don’t find it necessary. You have a great view throughout the museum.
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RedheadedMomma1978
"Awesome Aquarium!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 13, 2020 NEW
I was really impressed with the variety of marine life in the aquarium. My group most enjoyed sawfish, rays, seahorses, and cuttlefish. It's a great family outing and I would go again.
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kristyh7162018
Tallahassee, Florida
"SO COOL"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 13, 2020 NEW
This was a great place to let the kids run and be kids. They have interactive areas for the kids and the tunnel was just amazing!
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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.