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 Reserve Direct's own team members

Joan B.

Loved the shark tunnel and penguin exhibit! The new Pearl Harbor exhibit is nicely done and very informative.

Chad W.

The aquarium is great, inside they have a lot of great interactive exhibits letting you, touch stingrays and jellyfish, play on a giant indoor playground, go through tubes into the penguin exhibit, and even take a conveyor belt through an underwater tunnel full of sharks, stingrays, fish, and sea turtles (this is the best part). You will also find an extensive gift shop, an exhibit area (pearl harbor when we went last), and a cafeteria inside the aquarium. Ripley’s is a mandatory stop for us when our family visits the Smokies.

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Description

from Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Voted 2017 Best U.S. Aquarium by USA Today 10Best.com, and one of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice! Experience the Amazing Aquatic World Up-Close! Marvel at 12-foot sharks, the giant sea turtle, thousands of exotic sea creatures and playful penguins swimming as you enjoy the State-of-the-Art Clear Underwater Tunnels throughout! An Ultimate Underwater Experience without being wet!

Explore the lush, unique and beautiful worlds of the Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Coral Reef, and Gallery of the Seas, and the Best Shark Exhibit in the Most Spectacular Underwater Tunnel in Shark Lagoon. Enjoy entertaining dive and feeding shows in Coral Reef, Stingray Bay and Penguin Playhouse. Pet horseshoe crabs and stingrays in the Discovery Center and Touch-A-Ray Bay. Enjoy playful penguins swimming, pop up on the penguins' private beach and get nose-to-beak in Penguin Playhouse, voted by USA Today Travel 10 Best List as one of the best places to see penguins in the world! Fun-Filled family experience and MUCH, MUCH MORE!

Visitors are invited to venture into Shark Lagoon and experience the new, indoor Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. 3 inches of glass separates visitors from 12-foot sharks that call Shark Lagoon home. Approximately 10 people per tour. Boat launches every 20 minutes. The Glass Bottom Boat is an add-on to your aquarium ticket and does not include admission to the aquarium. Visit the Glass Bottom Boat area to upgrade your adventure.

This new experience will allow you to venture into the heart of Shark Lagoon, home to over 8,500 aquatic animals representing more than 75 different species. Led by our Adventure Crew, guests will learn all about the animals within the Aquarium and what it takes to maintain the facility during each boat ride. Upgrade your visit when you come in!

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.


Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

278 Reviews
Eric Monroe
Sullivan, IN
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Great family getaway!"
February, 2018 NEW
We love the aquarium come here every year for a visit our girls love all the animals and everything about the aquarium.
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Tip: Bring a camera and plan on spending up to 2 hours walking around and having a good time.

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Vanessa D.
Miami, FL
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"WOW!!!!!!"
January, 2018 NEW
We usually go to an aquarium on our vacations and I must say that this place is AMAZING! There is so much to do. This is not your typical aquarium where you walk past tank after tank. Here you are able to actually touch things like Moon Jelly fish, Horseshoe crabs and more. The shark exhibit is breathtaking. Not only can you have that Jaws experience above the water, but the tunnel is even better. The sharks are constantly swimming over and you can get off of the mechanical walk way and take as many pictures as you want. Do not be afraid to crawl through a few tunnels here and there. On the other ends of the tunnels are inside of the enclosures. This is definitely a place that you should go.
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Tip: Make sure to have a camera. There are so many things that one will do there that you will not do in the wild. It is worth the memories.

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Dewey Keen
Bristol , VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Ripley Aquarium"
January, 2018 NEW
I have never been to an Aquarium before,so I don’t have a lot to compare it to , my Wife and I honeymooned in Pigeon Forge and went to the Aquarium and we had a great time.
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Tip: Do research and get an idea of what you want to do before you go because there is so much to do and there is no way to see it all.

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Sheranne Baker
Huntsville, AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family fun"
January, 2018 NEW
Went up there as a family due to me getting married. It was great seeing all the different types of fish and it was my granddaughters first time going and she was so excited and that just made it even better. It's a very great place to visit and you will learn alot.
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Tip: It's very family oriented.

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Angel Helm
Gray Summit, MO
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Good time."
January, 2018 NEW
We had fun. Enjoyed all of it.
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Michael Wilson
Spring Hill, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"GREAT FUN!"
January, 2018 NEW
We took our 6 yr old and 18 mth old, who really enjoyed it. Lots of fish, a playground, and a shark tunnel. The shark tunnel has a conveyor belt walk, so all you have to do is stand and be amazed. Catch them at the right time and you can see the divers in the tanks. The penguins were a blast, and the little ones can crawl and pop up in the middle of their habitat. Great Fun and will do again!
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Tip: Has a parking garage that max out at $6.00, so you can stroll across the street for pancakes afterward and not worry about parking

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Matthew Costlow
Aragon, GA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"GOOD"
January, 2018 NEW
It was fun. A little pricey for how small it was there but it was fun and a lot more I has been added then the previous years.
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Reserve Gatlinburg Customer
1 Review
"Lov it"
July, 2017
Lov Lov Lov it. Best shark viewing ever. So clean. Penguins are great. Many rare things I have never seen.
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Tip: It can be busy. Take the time to enjoy

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Sandra R
"Family"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2018 NEW
It was a good aquarium but very pricey. We had visited the Myrtle beach one and were offered coupons to lesson the blow but with a large family we won't probably go back. Clean, good parking, great location.
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ashdwill06
Newnan, Georgia
"Amazing experience!!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2018 NEW
We went on a Friday, not too crowded!! It was a blast, I personally had fun and really loved all the touch tanks! The penguins are by far my favorite anytime we go to an aquarium I will say I was a little disappointed with how much extra it was for the penguin experience. We did enjoy the glass bottom boat!! Overall, a great enjoyable family day!
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Valerie Ann Pen... M
"Loved it"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2018 NEW
We loved it. It was wonderfully amazing. My husband and I are definitely bringing the kids next time but perfect for just the two of us also. Highly recommend going here perfect for couples and family
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Anonymous
"Great time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 23, 2018 NEW
Brought my dad. Great place. Alot of fun. Worth the trip. The shark tanks and the stingrays are the best part.
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ddegroat
Trenton, Michigan
" Fun family time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 22, 2018 NEW
We've been to this aquarium a few times and the kids still love it. Lots to do and see. I recommend doing the stingrays feeding the kids loved it and enjoyed it too.
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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.