A stop by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is just the thing for a fun and fact-filled Tennessee vacation. One of the best aquariums in the country (#1 on TripAdvisor), Ripley's Aquarium is as full of unique personality as it is marine wildlife. Guests can have fun with fascinating exhibits, watch a live animal show, and participate in various activities.
The exhibits at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, such as the Ocean Realm, are both interesting and educational. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to check out several species of fish including flounder, weedy-scorpionfish, and the spotted garden eel among others. After the Ocean Realm, head on over to Shark Lagoon and come face-to-face with snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, giant stingrays, and large sharks.
Unlike many aquariums, Ripley's is also dedicated to the arts, as evident by the Gallery of the Seas underwater art gallery. There are works of art depicting the timeless beauty of ocean animals including sea stars, corals, and jellies.
The aquarium also offers up-close animal encounters such as the Penguin Encounter where visitors are encouraged to learn about African Penguins from knowledgeable staff members, pet a penguin, and have a souvenir photo taken of you and the penguins. Other experiences include live shows like the Shark Lagoon Dive. In the course of the show, guests will watch as the divers interact with giant predators, Sally the sea turtle, and other exotic creatures.