Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

88 River RoadGatlinburg, TN 37738
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An award-winning and top-rated aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Ripley’s® Aquarium of the Smokies offers a variety of interactive experiences and exhibits that showcase the many thousands of exotic sea creatures that call this venue home. Guests can touch real stingrays, travel along a 340-foot moving glidepath beneath a sea of sharks, paint a piece of artwork with penguins, and much more.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our Gatlinburg Travel Experts
  • City Parking Garage behind Ripley’s Aquarium is cash only.
  • Trolley stop in front of Aquarium.
  • Allot 2 hours for self-guided tour.
  • Evening hours are less crowded.
  • Cameras and videos allowed.
  • Open 365 days a year
  • No outside food or drinks allowed.
  • Voted America’s #1 Aquarium by TripAdvisor.
  • Family Package and combo tickets available.
  • Live animal shows and interactive experiences make for a memorable visit.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Reserve Direct's own team members

Joan B.

Loved the shark tunnel and penguin exhibit! The new Pearl Harbor exhibit is nicely done and very informative.


from Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies
Explore the Amazing Aquatic World Up-Close!
Voted Best U.S. Aquarium by USA Today, one of the Top 5 Aquariums in the USA & the World by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice, and Top Destination to See Penguins by USA Today!

Marvel at 12-foot sharks, a giant sea turtle, thousands of exotic sea creatures and playful penguins as you enjoy the most spectacular, state-of-the-art underwater tunnels! Touch horseshoe crabs, jellyfish, and stingrays. Play in the new 3-story Discovery Treehouse & Play Center!. Experience a ride over Shark Lagoon in the New Glass Bottom Boat (additional cost). See Mermaids swimming June & July!

Family fun, interactive, hourly dive/feeding shows, and much, much more!

Exhibits at Ripley's Aquarium Include:
  • Tropical RainForest

  • Ocean Realm

  • Systems Control

  • Coral Reef

  • Shark Lagoon

  • Discovery Center

  • Gallery of the Seas

  • Stingray Bay

  • Touch a Ray Bay

  • Penguin Playhouse

  • Glass Bottom Boats (Additional Cost)

Since humans took to the sea to explore the planet, there have been shipwrecks. 71% of the Earth is covered by water. Scattered miles across and below the surface, secrets of our civilization wait silently to be discovered. See, experience, and explore many shipwrecks throughout history and the world.
  • Wreck Reenactments!

  • Unearth Buried Treasures!

  • Discover shipwrecks from early B.C. to the Forgotten Shipwrecks and what caused the shipwrecks!

  • Take a photo with a famous replica from Chuuk Lagoon!

  • Stand by Abraham Lincoln or Pose as The Lincolns!

  • Learn about Black Beard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, the Edmund Fitzgerald, CSS Alabama, the Hunley and many more!

Open 365 days a year. Located in downtown Gatlinburg at traffic light #5.

Reserve Gatlinburg Customer Reviews

473 Reviews
Caleb Patterson
Resaca, GA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Ripleys aquarium"
February, 2019 NEW
Great service and saved my family money
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Was this review helpful? Yes

Danielle Barton
Gloverville, SC
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"We loved it!"
January, 2019 NEW
My son is almost two and he absolutely loved it, we loved having several pictures taken throughout because it's hard to get pictures taken of the family together! Food prices are a little high $$$ but everything else was pretty affordable! We got an awesome ticket deal using reservegatlinburg which saved some money too! They have great picture packages that you can buy which were really affordable too! 10/10 recommend! The gift shop at the end is awesome too!
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Tip: During January business is slow so we had plenty of time to look at each exhibit.

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Timothy Perkins
Johnson City , TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"A very great time"
January, 2019 NEW
Very friendly staff and very helpful as well beautiful to see Love it and it great as a couple or family or friends to go and see together there is so much to see and things you may never seen
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Tip: It a great place to go to

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Teresa Tidmore
Northport , AL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
January, 2019 NEW
We always try to visit aquariums when we travel. It’s one that I am looking forward to taking my grandchildren to.
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Joyce Driskell
Debary , FL
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
January, 2019
This was a really good aquarium! Huge shark tunnel with so many different kinds of sharks! I will definitely go again when I travel back to Gatlinburg!
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Tip: Super friendly staff there! And be sure to look for the penguins that are painting! So cute!

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Whitney Stencel
Goodlettsville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
January, 2019
Ive been here many times, but I'm always pleased and blown away at how beautiful and educational it is. The sharks and jellyfish are my favorite.
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Tip: They have a food court.

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Rebecca Howell
Lucedale , MS
4 Reviews
Verified Traveler
January, 2019
Great aquarium. Lots to see. Loved the penguins.
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brandy Vass
Pensacola, FL
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Ripleys aquarium"
January, 2019
This was a great family attraction that I and my family really enjoyed!
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Tip: A bit costly but worth the price!

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
"Great Spot for Families"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 17, 2019 NEW
We had the best time wandering through the acquarium. Who knew Ripley’s is now into sea life. Some unusual creatures will greet you in this amazing water world. Fun for all! A great stop on our family vacation
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TripAdvisor user image
Macclenny, Florida
"Pricey, but a nice facility. "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 16, 2019 NEW
Take your time and don’t rush through the exhibits. Look for combo or discount tickets. Check the times for the feedings and plan your visit.
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TripAdvisor user image
Kissimmee, Florida
"For fun"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 15, 2019 NEW
Visited the Aquarium, it was fun but I feel they should have more interactive exhibitions.. Also we did the Boat Ride tour, I feel the charge for the Boat Ride for what it is, is way to pricey. If you go to the Aquarium, do not do the Boat Ride is not worth it... I’m from FL we have Sea World... but other than that, it was ok experience...
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TripAdvisor user image
Athens, Georgia
"Love the penguins"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed February 15, 2019 NEW
These penguin s are so friendly. The shark area is large i like had they have food a diffent spots through out but i feel the 40 dollar emtrance is a liitle too much. Its a small aquarium you go though in an hour unless you really take your time
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TripAdvisor user image
Tucson, Arizona
"Super Cool!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed February 15, 2019 NEW
Best aquarium I've ever been to! I've been to several in my life and this surpasses them all. It's huge and has a wide variety of marine life. Easily accommodates crowds without making you feel claustrophobic. Lots to see and do. Would readily recommend.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

How long does it take to tour the attraction?
We recommend allowing 2 hours or more to tour the aquarium.

Where can I park?
There are various parking areas nearby in Gatlinburg. There is a City owned parking garage directly behind the Aquarium. The City charges a maximum of $6 per day.

Do you have stroller rentals? Are strollers allowed?
The aquarium is stroller friendly. Strollers can be rented at guest services for $3.

Do you allow pets?
Only service animals are allowed.

Are cameras allowed?
Yes, you can take pictures and or take video to share with your friends.

Is the aquarium wheelchair accessible?
Yes it is, we also offer wheelchairs available at guest services.

Are any of the Unique Experiences included with the admission ticket?
No, that costs extra.  If you are looking to Splash with the Stingrays or participate in the Penguin Encounter or any other special tours, you can call the aquarium directly for an additional fee.

Can I leave and revisit the same day?

Sorry, the tickets are good for one-time admission to the aquarium.