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

500 Reviews
Mary Lilly
West Carrollton, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great visit!!!"
May 2019 NEW
We loved the Aquarium. It had been many years since we had visited
Many new attractions inside, worth the trip.
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Tip: Take your time going through to enjoy everything,

Was this review helpful? Yes

Lauren M.
Central City, KY
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Fun for all ages!"
May 2019 NEW
Love this place for every time we visit. It’s perfect for families without children and for families with children! Our toddler loved it and older kids do too. It’s something for all ages. I love how exhibits are always changing and the different shows they have as well. A must see!!
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Tip: Do the glass bottom boat and stop for a diving show!

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Lori Morrison
Leesville, SC
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great for the whole family!"
May 2019 NEW
The aquarium experience was great for our whole family. The kids loved going through the tube in the water and seeing the sharks and Rays. They also loved the penguins. The penguin exhibit was awesome! Part of it is outdoors and there is crawling space underneath the indoor part where you can stick your head up for photos with the penguins.
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Tip: Go early to park close.

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Christopher Shea
Waynesboro, VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful"
May 2019 NEW
I took my mother and my two nephews here they had a blast got to pet jellyfish. They were so excited. The only thing that was not good was the food in there to much and not very good
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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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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
kchoate1
"AWESOME!!!!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2019 NEW
This is a must do!! Had a lot of opportunities for interacting with the jellyfish, horseshoe crabs and feeding the sting rays. One of the best aquariums we have seen .
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Justin L
harrogate
"Best Aquarium in the U.S."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2019 NEW
Very Informative, Educational, with Many Excellent Exhibits and Wildlife from the Seven Seas! The Octopus is Usually Hidden so you May have to Look A little Closer for Him! Many Colorful Animals will leave you Awe-Inspired!
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Sursum1
Huntsville, Alabama
"Lots of fun "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2019 NEW
Beautiful aquarium with play areas so small children. Seemed larger than Atlanta aquarium. Got to touch a jellyfish and have never had that opportunity in any other aquarium.
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MelannieL
Lynn Haven, Florida
"The kids loved it, pleasant staff"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2019 NEW
My 10 year old wanted to go, so we went. It is a very compact aquarium, but it is in the mountains! It was clean and had tons of fish etc. There were activity areas for smaller children too.
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RockyBeach56
Maine
"Fun tour, Great Aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 22, 2019 NEW
We enjoyed this tour very much. At first I thought because it was a Ripley's franchise we would be seeing three headed sharks or world's largest whales. Things along that line. But it wasn't like that at all. It was a very good aquarium! Many, many different types of fish. Sting ray pool where you can touch the rays. Penguin exhibit, sharks swimming over you in the glass tunnel. It was really fun! Great place to bring the family. There is a gift shop and a place to stop and have a quick bite to eat. Don't miss it.
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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.