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

525 Reviews
Christopher Sullivan
IRVINGTON, AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family fun for all ages"
December 2019 NEW
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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Juanita Yarbrough
Ardmore, AL
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Aquarium Visit"
October 2019
Very good show of the aquatic life . Enjoyed much as well as my family.
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Sabrina Sigmon
Mount Gay, WV
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful"
October 2019
Second time there with the family and loved it. Great for all ages of animal lovers.
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Tripster Customer
NOBLESVILLE, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome"
September 2019
I was not sure what to expect. I had not ever been to Gatlinburg. Having purchased online through Tripster, it was nice to not have to stand in line. The Aquarium was so much more than I expected. It was wonderful to be able to watch sharks and manta rays from both above and below and have sea life swimming over your head and the information provided for the smaller aquariums with sea life was so intriguing. I could have stayed for hours watching the Rays. I would go back in an instant. Well worth the expense.
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Edward Hall
Marshfield, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"OMGatlinburg"
September 2019
We Googled to see the closing time of the Aquarium when the ad for discount tickets popped up. It was very easy for this 53 yr. Old to navigate and we saved enough to pay for the snack we were having. Extremely satisfied with Tripster and Ripley's. Highly recommended.
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Karen Lackey
lenoir, NC
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great experience"
August 2019
First time trip for our 3yr old he loved the animals was amazed and the play area was a huge hit
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Sierrahargraves
Melrose, Florida
"Family fun!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 07, 2019 NEW
Staff was very helpful to lookup my tickets at check in due to email issues, and left my paper tickets at home! My daughter loved feeding stingrays and touching jelly fish! My son loved the play area and the shark tunnel. Highly recommend for family's! Different places to get snacks inside, drink cups have free refills.
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aacreel
Townsend, Tennessee
"Great experience"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 04, 2019 NEW
As good as it gets. Do the Penguin Encounter--it was special. You won't regret spending the money--well worth it.
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277carriet
Franklin, Kentucky
"Beautiful aquarium "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 03, 2019 NEW
Probably one of the nicest aquariums we've been to..luckily it was a quite day..not crowded ..lots to see the people mover through the shark exhibit is a nice touch..lots to see
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RSalvatoretravels
Salt Lake City, Utah
"FUN & Fish"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 02, 2019 NEW
The shark tunnel alone is worth the ticket of entree! Parky was tricky. We could find no free parking anywher and had to pay to park in the garage behind the aquarium but it a amazing facility!
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thunsley8
Hannibal, Missouri
"Nice aquarium "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed December 02, 2019 NEW
We’ve been to a lot of aquariums and enjoyed this one just as much. Loved the tunnel with fish and sharks. Perfect photo opportunity. I also enjoyed getting to touch jelly fish. It is costly 112.00 for 3. Took us about 2 hours to see everything. I would go back.
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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.