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
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!

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)


NEW SHIPWRECKS EXHIBIT!
Since humans took to the sea to explore the planet, there have been ship wrecks. 71% of the Earth is covered by water. Scattered miles across and below the surface, secrets of our civilization wait silently to be discovered. See, experience and explore many shipwrecks throughout history and the world.
  • Wreck Reenactments!

  • Unearth Buried Treasures!

  • Discover shipwrecks from early B.C. to the Forgotten Shipwrecks and what caused the shipwrecks!

  • Take a photo with a famous replica from Chuuk Lagoon!

  • Stand by Abraham Lincoln or Pose as The Lincolns!

  • Learn about Black Beard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, the Edmund Fitzgerald, CSS Alabama, the Hunley and many more!


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!

Venture into Shark Lagoon and experience the 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.

Open 365 days a year. Located in downtown Gatlinburg at traffic light #5.


Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

342 Reviews
Lacie Prince
Louisville , KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"AMAZING EXPERIENCE"
June, 2018 NEW
WOW!! What an amazing and beautiful sight to see. I was a first timer to Tennessee in general and this was one of the places I saw online and KNEW I had to go. I felt like a little kid again, I had so much fun- I got to see so many animals (and even pet quite a few too)!! You will not be disappointed when visiting Ripley's aquarium. :)
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Tip: Buy your tickets online (you save 2 dollars!!)- also, wear some comfy shoes.

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Christopher Day
Fredericktown, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Superb"
June, 2018 NEW
Best place ever. Going back next year. 138477493 thumbs up!!
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Tip: Clean, nice, excellent

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Vance Derringer
Martinsville, IN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Good deal in a tourist trap"
June, 2018 NEW
Bought tickets online the morning of our visit. Easy and found a"reasonable" family deal. This aquarium is first class, kids loved it. Tunnel under the water and mermaids were their favorites. Plenty of fish contact stations too. Actually worth the money.
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Tip: Parking garage behind aquarium is super convenient and reasonably priced

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RAYMOND EVANS
FLEMINGSBURG, KY
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Vacation"
June, 2018 NEW
Really enjoyed the animals. Impressed with the different species they have there
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Tip: Can get crowded and have to pay to park

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Reserve Gatlinburg Customer
Wytheville, VA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Very satisfied"
June, 2018 NEW
I was very satisfied with this website I was taking my daughter to the aquarium for the first time. All in all this website and everything else was so wonderful
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James Carlton
Oak Ridge, TN
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Fun for a day"
June, 2018 NEW
2nd time was as fun as the first.
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Tip: Walking tour and make sure you do the jellyfish thing

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Annette Hawkins
new albany, IN
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Ripleys"
June, 2018 NEW
Enjoyed very much.I had as much fun as my grandkids
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Julie P.
Blountville, TN
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"So much fun!!!"
June, 2018 NEW
This was the highlight of our trip!! Tanks were immaculate and the animals were amazing!! Can't wait to visit again!!!
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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Mandiisworld
Atmore, Alabama
"AMAZING "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 22, 2018 NEW
A great place for kids and experience for everyone. Love the variety of sea life they have and all the fun ways to learn about them. A must do while at the Smokies.
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Laura M
Richlands, Virginia
"Truly the best aquarium we've ever visited"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 22, 2018 NEW
There is absolutely nothing bad you can say about this place. From the word go, it's perfect, relaxing and everything an aquarium should be. Starting with the outside, it's always beautifully landscaped and clean, the music is so relaxing it sets the atmosphere for inside. Going inside, the staff are always so friendly and smiling. The glass is always immaculate so you're not seeing little fingerprints everywhere. It's an immersive experience that makes you feel like you're scuba diving!
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738sowens
Topeka, Indiana
"Family vaca"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2018 NEW
Enjoyable for the whole family. We loved the penguin exhibit! Plus we learned a lot about jelly fish.
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Lisa H
Tupelo, Mississippi
"Avoiding the Rain"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2018 NEW
This is a very nice aquarium, but the map is small and the writing so tiny you can’t really read it. It’s not easy to find your way around to the areas where shows and feedings are taking place. Hard to find an employee to ask for directions. Did the glass bottom boat ride over the shark pool and it wasn’t worth the money.
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brynkitty
"Very Nice Acquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed June 21, 2018 NEW
Lots of fish we've never seen. The moving walkway under the water dome was great. Great for young and old alike.
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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.