To call Gatlinburg’s Ripley’s Aquarium a must-see attraction barely does the reality of it justice. The fact of the matter is that Ripley’s Aquarium is a literal hub of attraction and activity in the downtown area and anyone who has been to or even viewed pictures of it online can see why.

Since opening in 2000, Ripley’s Aquarium has literally ushered in a new millennium of evolution for the city. Millions of visitors and their groups or families have come to see almost every society of water throughout the world under one roof and the many other special events and activities they hold. Over 10,000 sea creatures across more than 350 species call the aquarium home and are waiting for you to visit.

Like all of Ripley’s museum attractions, the Aquarium is compartmentalized into themed sections – Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon, Touch-A-Ray Bay, Coral Reef, Discovery Center, Gallery of the Seas, Stingray Bay and Penguin Playhouse – yes, we have penguins in Gatlinburg! You’ll be able to see them near the end of the museum inside and outside the main building, and before then you’ll find:

* Piranhas
* Anableps
* Poison Dart Frogs
* Weedy Scorpionfish
* Green Moray Eels
* Sandtiger Sharks
* Tarpons
* Green Sea Turtles
* Nurse Sharks
* Bonnethead Sharks
* Leopard Sharks
* Stingrays
* Leopard Sharks
* Clownfish
* Puffer Fish
* Horseshoe Crabs
* Japanese Spider Crabs

And hundreds more.

There are diving shows, sleepover opportunities, a gift shop, an eatery, and, of course, special events that revolve around Ripley’s Aquarium such as The Winterfest and Chili Cookoff. The trolley hub station of Gatlinburg is at the Aquarium as well.

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