A Guide to Exploring Ripley’s Aquarium: Gatlinburg’s Hidden Gem

If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, make sure to add Ripley’s Aquarium to your itinerary. Located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains, this hidden gem offers an unforgettable underwater adventure for visitors of all ages. With a wide variety of marine life, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, Ripley’s Aquarium is a must-visit destination. In this guide, we will take you through the different sections of the aquarium and provide insights into what makes it such a unique experience.

Discovering the Ocean Realm

As you step into Ripley’s Aquarium, you will be transported into a mesmerizing world beneath the waves. The Ocean Realm is one of the most popular sections of the aquarium and features a 340-foot-long moving walkway that takes you through an underwater tunnel. Here, you can get up close and personal with fascinating creatures like sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, and countless species of fish.

One highlight of the Ocean Realm is Shark Lagoon. This exhibit showcases various shark species swimming gracefully above your head as you walk through the tunnel. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that provides an opportunity to learn more about these misunderstood creatures and their importance in maintaining marine ecosystems.

Experiencing Tropical Rainforest

Ripley’s Aquarium also houses an enchanting Tropical Rainforest section that immerses visitors in lush greenery and exotic wildlife. As you explore this area, you’ll encounter vibrant birds flying overhead and fascinating reptiles slithering through dense vegetation.

The highlight of the Tropical Rainforest is Macaw Beach – an interactive exhibit where visitors can get up close with playful macaws while learning about their natural habitat and conservation efforts. Don’t miss out on attending one of the scheduled shows featuring these intelligent birds showcasing their impressive talents.

Learning at Penguin Playhouse

The Penguin Playhouse is a favorite among both children and adults. This exhibit offers an opportunity to observe adorable penguins as they waddle, swim, and play in their icy habitat. The exhibit also provides valuable insights into the lives of these fascinating creatures and the challenges they face in the wild due to climate change.

Visitors can participate in educational sessions where they can learn about penguin conservation efforts and how they can contribute to protecting these incredible animals. It’s a chance to not only have fun but also make a positive impact on the environment.

Engaging with Touch Tanks

Ripley’s Aquarium understands the importance of hands-on learning experiences, which is why they offer touch tanks where visitors can interact with various marine life. From gentle stingrays to sea stars and horseshoe crabs, these touch tanks provide a unique opportunity to feel the textures of different creatures and learn about their habitats.

Interacting with marine life through touch tanks fosters a sense of connection and empathy towards these creatures, encouraging visitors to become more conscious of ocean conservation. It’s an experience that leaves a lasting impression on both children and adults alike.


Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its diverse range of exhibits, educational programs, and interactive experiences, it offers an unparalleled underwater adventure for all visitors. Whether you’re fascinated by sharks, mesmerized by tropical rainforests, captivated by penguins, or eager to engage with marine life through touch tanks – Ripley’s Aquarium has something for everyone. So don’t miss out on this extraordinary destination during your trip to Gatlinburg.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.