With over 10,000 sea creatures comprising more than 350 individual species, it’s obvious why Ripley’s Aquarium is one of the best.
The aquarium consists of ten different ecosystems where each one introduces visitors to exoctic new creatures. The Rainforest is the first stop where the famous and fearsome piranhas are the first to greet you, following the colorful poisonous dart frog.
Those brave enough to trek through the Amazon find themselves in the Ocean Realm with even more creepy creatures such as a giant octopus, spotted eels and a scorpion fish. Finding Nemo fans will rejoice once they get to the Coral Reef exhibit where the beautiful clownfish and blue tangs swim together creating an underwater rainbow.
The biggest and most popular exhibit is the Shark Lagoon. In the Lagoon, visitors feel like they’re actually swimming with the sharks! A 340-foot long glide-path takes guests underwater where ocean animals, like 12-foot long sharks and gigantic sea turtles swim all around you.
Ripley’s Aquarium also has very informational and interactive exhibits to engage with guests. The Touch-A-Ray-Bay exhibit gives groups the opportunity to touch real stingrays! The horseshoe crab exhibit also allows groups to pick up a live horseshoe crab. Yet, the most popular exhibit seems to be the Penguin Playhouse. Kids seem to love this exhibit because of the tunnel that allows them to crawl through and explore the water and land environments of the penguins.
Aside from visiting, the aquarium also has education programs, a sleep-over event for kids and any other community events such as birthday parties or even weddings.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a fun family adventure and a great way to spend the day. If you want to avoid the lines at the ticket booth, guests staying with Mountain Laurel Chalets has the option to buy tickets at our office for discounted rate.
Swim the sharks, play with the penguins and see for yourself why the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the best in the nation.