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“2nd Best Aquarium we have ever been to!”

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Ranked #2 of 121 things to do in Gatlinburg
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN, is literally teeming with life - over 10,000 exotic sea creatures in 350 individual species. There are more fish in this aquarium than there are people living in the entire town of Gatlinburg!
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access, Stairs / elevator, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Stroller parking, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 15 April 2018

This aquarium is fantastic and for everyone complaining about the crowds - you are going at the wrong time. When they open or last entry of the day are the absolute best times to go. I really don't have to point out that if you go during peak times (like when thousands of kids are on vacation, it's raining, etc...) it's gonna be busy regardless right?

We loved the penguin exhibit and the many opportunities to view (and touch) so many amazing animals.

I did not like the giant play structure smack dab in the middle of everything.

If you want to save some money, be sure to buy the multiple attraction ticket packages.

My family loved this aquarium ALMOST as much as they loved the Canadian version.

Thank travlinwiththefam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 509 reviews
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715 - 719 of 12,859 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2018

Line can be long getting in and line can be long once in (bottleneck once in is caused by people getting photo taken by a staff photographer.) But once in and past the first set of fish tanks, it didn't feel crowded at all - busy yes but you could still move around and see all the fish. Informative displays not only on the fish and other marine animals, but also on the Civil War. There's also a small play area for the kids as well as a small snack kiosk midway through. An outside balcony near the penguin exhibit also provides a nice breather from inside, and the moving walkway through the shark tunnel was great. Parking in the adjacent garage can be a bit of a bear; we ignored the "full" sign and went in (and found a decent space!) because it wasn't closed off. Next time we'll try taking the trolley from the Gatlinburg Visitor Center at the entrance to the Great Smoky National Park, because all the trolleys stop here. Recommended.

Thank gostartraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

Love this place its one of the best ive ever visited... it's a little pricy but it's a nice place grandbabys love it

Thank Holly I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

My wife and I visited because we got free passes from work, so it was well worth the money. It was interesting overall, different from the other attractions in the area.

Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 15 April 2018

So we are all used to getting fooled by the Ripley's of yesteryear, that was half the fun. But now they are advertising they've gone legit and have the Best Aquarium in the United States, with the pricing to match. So we ponied up our $142 for 4 tickets to see the attraction.

It was clear that Ripley's had grossly oversold the venue. We were herded like cattle through the exhibits (typical picture attached below). Due to the dense crowd was unable to see many of the attractions. I don't know if this is the best aquarium in the United States or not, as we were unable to tell one way of the other although Ripley's says so and had a trophy made up to prove it, believe it or not!

2  Thank Alex D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark I, Manager at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, responded to this reviewResponded 16 April 2018

Alex D,

Thank you for sharing your review with us. We certainly appreciate the feedback as we're always looking for new ways to improve.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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