Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Sharks and Penguins and Rays - Oh My !

By
Content Manager and Greenville Local Expert

A mysterious seahorse
Photo courtesy of shellac


Gatlinburg, in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, seems an unlikely place for an aquatic attraction, but Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies - located right downtown - is actually an amazing must-see place to visit.   In fact, TripAdvisor users rated it #1 in the United States.  

The aquarium has included one of today's must-haves for top-notch aquariums, the underwater tunnel.   A whole "ocean" of fish swim over and around you in this amazing place.  The interactive "Discovery Center" lets kids get ever closer to interesting marine life. 

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But nothing quite compares to the aquarium's Penguin Playhouse, where aquarium guests can virutally move among the hilarious African Blackfooted Penguins which live here. 

Shark Lagoon and Stingray Bay are two more of the Ripley's Aquarium favorites, and if the kids get hungry during your visit, no worries.   The Feeding Frenzy restaurant's got you covered. 

The aquarium is located in the heart of downtown, with a huge parking lot just behind it. 





About Libby McMillan

A longtime travel journalist, Libby chose her beautiful city after a nationwide search for a new hometown. Greenville's amazing downtown, four mild seasons, varied terrain, friendly residents and countless nearby waterfalls made it a winner.

Libby previously spent 20 years in Florida, what she calls “the only place in the world where you drive north to reach the South.”

An avid college football fan, Libby has deep ties to the University of Oklahoma but graduated from rival Texas. She’s lived in Austin, Boston, Nashville, San Francisco and Captiva Island, Florida, including 4 happy years on a houseboat.

Read more about Libby McMillan here.

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