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.


Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

509 Reviews
Kris Matury
Hawesville, KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family fun!"
July 2019 NEW
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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Dionne Fields
11 Reviews
"Kid's Under The Sea Adventure."
July 2019 NEW
Ripley's Aquarium Of The Smokies, has the best under the sea quest for kid's of all ages.
Its so much fun, to explore, the beautiful ocean life up close and very personal.
This is my son, favorite place to visit in Gatlinburg ,TN all Year long.
We love this huge amusement park, under the sea.
The entire staff at the cafe and gift shop was very kind and friendly.
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Denise Tinker
Spencer, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"So many wonderful things"
July 2019 NEW
There is so much to see and do a couple hours was just not enough. My grandson could of stayed the whole day he loved it so much.
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Tip: It's better off to drive your own vehicle or walk. The trolley rides people were waiting over an hour for a ride

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Brenda Hankins
Shepherdsville, KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Gatlinburg Getaway"
July 2019 NEW
My husband and myself went to Gatlinburg for a quick vacation. We visited the aquarium while there. It was really nice. We especially liked the super easy and convenient parking garage. The displays were amazing and the moving walkway was great. We didn't have kids with us, but the kids there seemed to be having a wonderful time.
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Tip: If you get your tickets online you can skip the tucket purchasing line.

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Crystal Kelly
Lima, OH
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family vacation"
June 2019
Had an amazing time. Loved the pirate experience.
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Tip: Go through the shark tunnel and definitely through the new pirate room.

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Michael Czech
Edgar, WI
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Family vacation"
June 2019
Have been to several aquariums and this is by far the best there is.
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Shane Kinder
Union, OH
9 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"A biased aquarium lover."
June 2019
It's an aquarium. It has cool stuff if you're into fish. It says the average visit is 2-3 hours but we cleared it in an hour easily since we chose not to lollygag a whole lot. It's a nice aquarium though.
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Tip: Parking behind the aquarium is cheaper than most lots in the area.

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Melissa Hogan
TROY, OH
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies"
June 2019
This is our favorite Aquarium. There is so much to see and lots to do for kids. I love the Penguins. We go every 2 years and it has been great everytime.
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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
ericdO8407WZ
Ruther Glen, Virginia
"Shark attack!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 21, 2019 NEW
A quality aquarium not near a body of water?! Oh yeah! The exhibits leading up to the tunnel are amazing...and then you come face to face with tiger sharks. It's almost an uneasy feeling to realize you're looking up at so many razors in a known man-eater swimming above you, but then you remember there's glass between you. Leaving that you encounter massive rays and then the ever coveted penguin enclosure. Touching was encouraged in several areas, and children of all ages seemed to enjoy the experience.
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shellk71
Charleston, South Carolina
"Sharks!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 21, 2019 NEW
Nice aquarium. Went later in the day and wasn't super busy. Loved the shark tunnel and the penquins.
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Ssouthernlifestyle
"This is an awesome aquarium!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 20, 2019 NEW
The aquarium is a great family adventure. There are different things for kids like the mermaid show, the penguin tunnel, the touch a ray bay and games kids can play. I loved the underwater tunnel because you got to see all the all the sea life swimming around you. The other thing that I loved was watching the jellyfish which was mesmerizing. The aquarium has information posted at each habitat that tells you what it is and facts about them. This is a must stop if you are visiting Gatlinburg! Fun for the whole family!
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dennisc424
French Camp, Mississippi
"Vacation"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 20, 2019 NEW
We loved it. The exhibits were great, colorful. The children’s area looked amazing. We want to bring our grands. The tunnel was wonderful getting to see the sharks and fish up close. A little difficult for me as a person with sensory movement disorder. Hard to orient myself in the multiple changes in light and movement. Other than that it was great.
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googs2358
"Amazing!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 20, 2019 NEW
Love, love, love this aquarium. The tunnel was amazing! That made the price of admission worth every penny. We went around 3 pm and it wasn’t very crowded. Also purchased the two extra Ripley’s attractions and felt it was a good deal.
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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.