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Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga

4.7
#1 of 70 in Things to do in Chattanooga
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
To see how one of the largest aquariums in the world works, take a behind-the-scenes tour of Tennessee Aquarium. Tours offer a rare look at the filtering and food-preparation areas, with an additional stop at the aquarium's biggest habitat, a large tank filled with sand tiger and bonnethead sharks. Other highlights include an invertebrate gallery where you can see jellyfish, cuttlefish, giant octopuses, and spider crabs. Save some time for the "river journey" exhibit, which follows the path of a single raindrop from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. The aquarium also offers self-guided tours of three living forest exhibits teeming with wildlife that can be viewed from above and below the water's surface. For travelers who use our world travel planner, Chattanooga holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Tennessee Aquarium and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
5,476 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • It had been many years since my wife and I visited the Aquarium. It was great then and better now. The variety of fish, amphibians, reptiles, and more has grown so much that it is hard to not spend an...  more »
  • Great learning experience for teenagers, always something new to keep their attention. Easy to read signage to answer questions. Great butterfly exhibit. Touch tank was a real winner.  more »
  • I visited the TN Aquarium with my wife, teenage kids, and in-laws. The aquarium's two buildings have a traffic flow that ensures that one sees all the exhibits without any need to double back (i.e. th...  more »
Google
  • The TN Aquarium is a really neat place to visit. I especially enjoyed the ocean exhibit, but both buildings are very cool. I would recommend coming here for sure. I would advise people to get there before the aquarium opens. The lines can get long - both for the ticket window and at the entrances to both the river and ocean exhibits. Give yourself plenty of time - there's lots to see and do!
  • Had such an amazing time. The animals looked so well taken care off and happy. Having spent last weekend at a zoo, I could see a marked difference. I felt like I had reversed to my childhood. Full of wonder. I loved the penguins, turtles (so many varieties of turtles) and the alligators. The jellyfish were amazing as well.
  • For families I like that there are two buildings so we can do one building each visit and it is not overwhelming. There are family restrooms and nursing rooms available for family needs. The animals can be viewed from a stroller in many areas and the exhibits allow for little hands. There are some areas that are hands on and there are some basic animal encounters. Not amazing demonstrations but it gets attention of the visitors. My son is two and loves seeing the scuba divers. They do interact with the kids through the glass which is great customer service. The best area is the top floor of the Ocean building. It features sting rays and you can touch them, which is fun for all ages. The butterfly garden is beautiful and has many butterflies, and you are encouraged to have them land on you. Afterwards we love playing outside between the aquarium buildings in the river water feature. There are benches and space for kids to play and splash around. Street parking is only $1 an hour if you stay 2 hours or less. We have an annual pass and take advantage of this!
  • The aquarium is super rad and a great place to hang out. The otters are my absolute favorite and you cannot miss the butterfly room. The rivers of the world is a really neat exhibit too! They keep adding new exhibits and creatures so be sure to visit them again!
  • Great aquarium. We came on July 2, so it was very busy. I expected a little more attraction wise. The big issue that we had was someone tried to get into my backpack to steal stuff. I was taking high quality images, and had my camera bag with lenses and things. I sat down to change lenses, and found that all the zippers had been undone. Fortunately in the accessible pockets, there was nothing to steal. I know this isn't the aquariums fault, but none the less it really ruined my experience.

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Where to stay in Chattanooga

Centrally located Chattanooga hotels offer comfortable rooms just a walk from the city's best shops, restaurants, and museums. Staying in the middle of everything can cost a bundle, so if you're traveling on a budget or simply prefer a bed and breakfast atmosphere, consider staying farther away from the central part of townwhile on holiday. Most budget-friendly inns located along the free electric shuttle route servicing the downtown area offer all the comforts of home at the fraction of the price charged by the big chains.
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