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 Pigeon Forge Customer Reviews

341 Reviews
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

Was this review helpful? Yes

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 Pigeon Forge 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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Natosha Miller
Viper , KY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Riley’s"
June, 2018 NEW
Great day with my kids, staff was extremely nice & we can’t wait to come back again :)
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Tip: Mermaid attraction was awesome! Definitely check them out :)

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Sam P
"Awesome aquarium"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 19, 2018 NEW
Awesome aquarium even if you don't have children..the jellyfish were my favorite along with the giant dinosaur skeleton
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Jessica J
"Great family day!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 19, 2018 NEW
With all the but if u let fish and interactive exhibits Ripley's aquarium has something to offer every one. While we were there they had a slime exhibit so you could pet jelly fish, sharks, and stingrays and horseshoe crabs. And they have a jungle gym the younger (2-11) can play on as soon as you come through the doors... Each section is different and the tunnel is amazing, being underneath all the sea life and getting to see all the sharks from every angle is quite spectacular!
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birkibeach
Knoxville, Tennessee
"Great aquarium with a steep price"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed June 18, 2018 NEW
My husband and I went to Gatlinburg for a day trip and decided to visit the aquarium since we had not been for about 15 years. We got there early to beat the crowd. They open at 9:00 am, so I suggest getting there early to be able to see everything with unobstructed views. We were taken aback by the price, it was about $80 for 2 adults. I asked if they had any Tennessee resident discounts but they didn't at that time. But we decided to pay up and go. Nice displays and the best part is the moveable sidewalk under shark lagoon. Lots of places to get hands on with jellyfish, stingrays, etc. Empties you into a nice gift shop.
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HookEm7879
Dawson, Texas
"Awesome time!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 18, 2018 NEW
Great place for a family! Lots to see and do, especially for the little ones! Our 4-year old loved being able to touch the horseshoe crabs and the jellyfish, along with the other interactive exhibits. The shark tank and tunnel are awesome for all ages! Lots of cool and interesting aquatic creatures! Highly recommend!!
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Mary T
Perdido Key, Florida
"Unexpected treat!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed June 18, 2018 NEW
Two teen boys were not thrilled at the idea of going to the aquarium but humored me. We ended up having quite an enjoyable visit. We did do the add on ticket price for another Ripley venue, also surprisingly entertaining ( the Guiness World Record ). The aquarium had very nice variety, large enjoyable spaces in spite of a pretty good crowd and the tunnel where you can watch he sharks swimming overhead is memsmerizing. I could feel my blood pressure dropping as they say aquariums will do. We touched the jelly fish, enjoyed they penguins and had a bite to eat. All and all a nice time and the two teens seemed to enjoy it as well. If you’re there I’d give it a go. We enjoyed it.
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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.