Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg

4.5
#1 of 355 in Parks in Tennessee
Must see · Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
Explore the wonders of the underwater world at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. The world-class aquarium offers an array of interactive exhibits, with over 10,000 sea creatures of over 350 diverse species. Stand on the moving pathway as it takes you through the aquarium's underwater tunnel to admire giant sea turtles and 3.7 m (12 ft) sharks. Enjoy a hands-on experience in the tide pool exhibit, where you can handle horseshoe crabs and stingrays, or stay for a diving and feeding show with the dolphins. Check the aquarium’s website before your visit, as discount tickets are often available. Make Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies a part of your Gatlinburg vacation plans using our Gatlinburg trip itinerary planner.
Improve this listing »
Create an itinerary including Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14,553 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We were blown away! Seriously the best aquarium we’ve ever been to! I would say it’s a must do!!! It huge! They also have food/beer so you can stay a while! (It’s hard to make it any length of time...  more »
  • This place was amazing. What a great attraction , will definitely be backwhen we return to Gatlinburg. Well worth the money.  more »
  • First of all, this aquarium is not nearly as big as is looks on the outside. There wasn't a lot of variety here. It was clean and quiet. The guest services people were slow to help and one was rather....  more »
Google
  • This place is always great. Living not too far away we visit every few months. The kids love touching the jelly fish and horse shoe crabs. The signs give plenty of detail but not too much so that it's a chore to read all the information about what you're looking at. The shark lagoon area now has a glass bottom boat you can pay to ride in if you really want a unique view of the sharks and fish in there. I love this place and will keep coming back with my kids.
  • I’m visiting from Florida and decided to add this to my list of things to do. First impressions were that the facility was clean, staff was friendly and there was a lot to see and do. I was visiting with my toddler and I absolutely loved the flow of this facility. It’s basically a walk through where you can enjoy 10,000 exotic species, then you go through a unique tunnel aquarium where you can view sea creatures all around you, then there’s a play area for toddlers, and touch tanks and you continue walking until you end up at the beginning. The flow of the floor plan is a great way to prevent high traffic areas. I also thought the play areas were neat. There were different levels of the play area, but you could only enter and exit the play area on the floor that you entered, so the you’re not getting separated from the kiddos. Perfect for toddler parents! There’s also food available for purchase, educational events, penguin encounters, camps, sleepovers, birthday party packages and much more. The pricing is affordable and I think it’s wonderful that Tennessee residents get to take advantage of a resident discount. There was also a glass bottom boat tour available. From the looks of it, it doesn’t seem worth it. There’s a section where you can learn about the facility operations and see what takes place “behind the scenes.” Although I enjoyed my experience, there were some tanks that were too small for the creatures that tugged on my heart strings a bit. I’m rating 4 out of 5 stars for the cleanliness, creative experience, professional staff and location. I would definitely recommend for a fun, family-orientated and educational experience.
  • Great place to go for family fun. My kids absolutely love going to the aquarium. You get to see so many different species of fish,there are lots of activities for kids, and many different exhibits. they have an exhibit where you can touch a horseshoe crab, and one where you can touch the top of a jelly fish. Definitely would recommend going here if you are on vacation. It's absolutely beautiful.
  • My fiancee and I had a wonderful time here! The exhibits were amazing. It's a great place for young and old alike. The aquarium is very family oriented and it is wholesome fun. The creatures are well cared for and tended to. I would suggest this aquarium to anyone going to The Smokies.
  • This Ripley Aquarium, along with others, really need to change up presentation. The first time you go is amazing, but there is little that is new or groundbreaking at Ripley's Aquarium. Maybe corporate could revamp attractions and add more research education programs, participate in marine wildlife rehabilitation. I have about a 1000 new ideas to overhaul your "tired" image. Any corporate staff out there, if you want to chat about some new ideas, I would be happy to help you. Thanks everyone. Remember to be good stewards of our planet. ♡

Plan your trip to Gatlinburg

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Gatlinburg

See all ›
Sugarlands Distilling Company ©
Distillery
Sugarlands Distilling Company
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Tennessee Homemade Wines ©
Winery / Vineyard
Tennessee Homemade Wines
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
©
Zipline
Zipline
4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
Ole Smoky ©
Distillery
Ole Smoky
4.5
Duration: 30 minutes

Side trips from Gatlinburg

Dollywood ©
Water Park
Dollywood Pigeon Forge
4.2
Duration: 8 hours
©
River Rafting / Tubing
River Rafting & Tubing Hartford
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
The Island in Pigeon Forge ©
Pier / Boardwalk
The Island in Pigeon Forge Pigeon Forge
4.5
Duration: 4 hours
Titanic Museum Attraction ©
Specialty Museum
Titanic Museum Attraction Pigeon Forge
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min

Kid-friendly things to do in Gatlinburg

See all ›
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park ©
Observation Deck
Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
4.2
Duration: 1h 30 min
Anakeesta ©
Theme Park
Anakeesta
4.1
Duration: 2h 30 min
Rowdy Bear Mountain ©
Theme Park
Rowdy Bear Mountain
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
Hollywood Star Cars Museum ©
Specialty Museum
Hollywood Star Cars Museum
4.2
Duration: 1 hour

Hidden gems in Gatlinburg

Fowler's Clay Works ©
Art Gallery
Fowler's Clay Works
4.9
Duration: 30 minutes
Doc Collier Distillery ©
Distillery
Doc Collier Distillery
4.6
Duration: 30 minutes
St Mary's Catholic Church ©
Church
St Mary's Catholic Church
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
Sugarland Cellars ©
Winery / Vineyard
Sugarland Cellars
4.5
Duration: 2 hours

Shopping in Gatlinburg

See all ›
The Village Shops ©
Shopping Mall
The Village Shops
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Misty Mountain Soap Co. ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Misty Mountain Soap Co.
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
Smoky Mountain Spinnery ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Smoky Mountain Spinnery
4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min
Farmhouse Mercantile ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Farmhouse Mercantile
5.0
Duration: 30 minutes

Nearby attractions in Gatlinburg

CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains ©
Zipline
CLIMB Works Smoky Mountains
4.9
Duration: 2h 30 min
Great Smoky Mountains National Park ©
National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
4.9
Duration: 8 hours
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area
Tramway
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area
2.5
Duration: 2 hours
Ole Smoky Whiskey Barrelhouse ©
Distillery
Ole Smoky Whiskey Barrelhouse
4.8
Duration: 30 minutes
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre ©
Theater
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Kanamfun ©
Off-Road Tour
Kanamfun
4.2
Duration: 2h 30 min
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies ©
Aquarium
Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
4.5
Duration: 2h 30 min

Trips to Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies by other users

7 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, popular sights Preferences: December, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Atlanta & Pigeon Forge BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, kids, popular sights Preferences: January, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, popular sights Preferences: July, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 11 days in Pigeon Forge, Gloucester & Augusta BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, popular sights Preferences: December, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 5 days in Asheville & Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular sights Preferences: December Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 59 days in Knoxville BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, teens, kids, popular sights Preferences: February, teens, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 2 days in Gatlinburg BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular sights Preferences: September Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in El Reno & Asheville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, popular sights Preferences: June, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 7 days in Asheville BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, popular sights Preferences: December, kids Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 4 days in Great Smoky Mountains National Park BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular & hidden gems Preferences: April Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 6 days in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium