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
Explore the Amazing Aquatic World Up-Close!
Voted Best U.S. Aquarium by USA Today 10Best.com, one of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice, and Top Destination to See Penguins by USA Today!

Marvel at 12-foot sharks, a giant sea turtle, thousands of exotic sea creatures and playful penguins as you enjoy the most spectacular, state-of-the-art underwater tunnels! Touch horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and stingrays. Play in the new 3-story Discovery Treehouse & Play Center!. Experience a ride over Shark Lagoon in the New Glass Bottom Boat (additional cost). See Mermaids swimming June & July!

Family fun, interactive, hourly dive/feeding shows, and much, much more!

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 shipwrecks. 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!


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


Reserve Pigeon Forge Customer Reviews

469 Reviews
Joyce Driskell
Debary , FL
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Sharks!"
January, 2019 NEW
This was a really good aquarium! Huge shark tunnel with so many different kinds of sharks! I will definitely go again when I travel back to Gatlinburg!
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Tip: Super friendly staff there! And be sure to look for the penguins that are painting! So cute!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Whitney Stencel
Goodlettsville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Amazing"
January, 2019 NEW
Ive been here many times, but I'm always pleased and blown away at how beautiful and educational it is. The sharks and jellyfish are my favorite.
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Tip: They have a food court.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Rebecca Howell
Lucedale , MS
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Enjoyable"
January, 2019 NEW
Great aquarium. Lots to see. Loved the penguins.
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brandy Vass
Pensacola, FL
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Ripleys aquarium"
January, 2019 NEW
This was a great family attraction that I and my family really enjoyed!
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Tip: A bit costly but worth the price!

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WALTER BEESLEY
Smithdale, MS
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"A great experience enjoyed by my family."
January, 2019 NEW
We enjoyed walking through the aquarium and seeing all the variety of ocean life.
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Reserve Pigeon Forge Customer
Wellford , SC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Ripley's Aquarium"
December, 2018 NEW
I like that I can go on here and see what my offers are and that I don't have to wait in line. Everything was a breeze. That made my vacation plans easier to plan for. I would book my trip from here again. Thank you.
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Donna Carlisle
Indianapolis, IN
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Very beautiful"
December, 2018 NEW
Buy a combo package. It saves money and time in lines. When my kids were little it was a 30 minute trip to an aquarium, now my kids are pre-teen they are more interested in reading about the different species. So we spent a few hours there.
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Tip: Free refills on drinks. I wish we would've knew that right away.

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Robert Lynch
Live Oak, FL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"What an awesome time!"
December, 2018 NEW
My family did the Ripley's Aquarium and got the package where we could do 2 other Ripley's attractions. We had such a good time at all of them the Aquarium was very beautiful and i was very impressed. Then we did Ripleys believe it or not it has just been redone it was very cool, i was a little worried my 10 year old wouldn't like it but she said it was her favorite. Then we did the Ripley's Theater. I had to set in the no moving because i have a 1 year old which was fine i was excited beacuse i thought i wouldn't be able to enjoy it. My daughter and husband said they had a bunch of fun. I highly recommend all of Ripley's stuff !
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Tip: You can still do the movie Theater if u have a little one u just have to set in a none moving one and tne Aquarium looks small but it is actually pretty big. The Aquarium and Ripley's are about a mile apart from each other.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
sharongG3663FU
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
"Mini vacation"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 23, 2019 NEW
This is my third time going to the aquarium and it never gets old. The staff is very friendly and the exhibits are just awesome. A great time was had by everyone.
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jbd1555
"kids loved it"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 22, 2019 NEW
great for kids of all ages 3 to 93.lots of interesting marine life.shows on feeding sharks.lots of fun ,a little on high end as price gos but well worth it. get 2 dollars off in guide books around town.
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Brian K
"Family Christmas "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 21, 2019 NEW
Absolutely fantastic! Grandchildren loved it,they range from 2-12 and this place had something for everyone to enjoy. The adults even learned a few things. Displays were terrific and informative. Definitely will be back next year.
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TripAdvisor user image
vanessacE4846SS
Indianapolis, Indiana
"Lots of fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 20, 2019 NEW
My husband and I escaped Indy to visit Gatlinburg. We went to the Aquarium and had so much fun together! We got to pet jelly fish and see lots of interesting sea creatures. We will bringing the kids back hopefully for Spring break.
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TripAdvisor user image
Lucy L
Miami, Florida
"A real treat!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 20, 2019 NEW
The aquarium was beautiful. The sea life was amazing. It was great to walk around and look at all the different sea life they had. It is a great place to visit with family and friends.
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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.