One million is a big number to wrap your mind around. If you’re got a million of something — be it dollars or books or mosquito bites — you’ve got a lot of them. That’s particularly true of the 1.4 million gallons of water you’ll find at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

Ripley’s Aquarium is a large indoor aquarium located in Gatlinburg, about 40 miles southeast of Knoxville at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. The facility opened in 2000. It is situated at 88 River Road in Gatlinburg, next to traffic light No. 5. Inside visitors will find 10,000 different kinds of sea creatures, including stingrays, sharks, crabs, octopi and a rainbow of fish.

The aquarium is open 365 days a year. Visitors can gain entry from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. every day of the week. The rest of the year the facility is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Annual passes and combo passes to be used in conjunction with other Ripley’s Gatlinburg attractions are also available. The aquarium does not have its own parking garage, but there is a city-operated garage located directly behind the facility that is available at hourly and daily rates. Call 865-430-8808 or visit Ripley's Aquarium for more information.

The aquarium has plenty to keep sightseers occupied. For example, check out the Tropical Rainforest to see an indoor replica of those tropical canopies in which more than 2,000 species of the world’s fish live. You’ll see piranhas, green iguanas, mudskippers and four-eyed fish there. The interactive Discover Center lets guests solve puzzles and touch live horseshoe crabs. Touch-A-Ray Bay is a shallow lagoon at which you can reach down and touch the smooth skin of a real stingray. Hourly dive shows are included in the price of admission and are held at different locations throughout the aquarium. Also be sure you pass through the massive underwater aquarium tunnel.

Though not entirely keeping with the underwater theme, the facility also has the “Mars: The Search for Life exhibit.” This interactive display is a large-scale kinetic relief model of the Red Planet. Here you’ll operate a remote controlled miniature Mars Rover vehicle or calculate your weight on Earth versus your weight on Mars.

Hungry patrons can visit the Feeding Frenzy dining area or the Veranda Restaurant. The Cargo Hold Gift Shop offers marine-themed gifts and works from local artisans, including T-shirts, postcards and shark teeth.

Ripley’s Aquarium is one of seven Ripley’s attractions in the Gatlinburg area. The others are the Moving Theatre 4D, Haunted Adventure, Believe It Or Not! Museum, Old MacDonald’s Farm, the Guinness World Records Museum and the Davy Crockett Mini-Golf locations.

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Attraction Details

Concessions Gift Shop Live Music Rides Cost Age
$$ N/A


Day Opens Closes
Sunday 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
Monday 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m. 8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. 10 p.m.
Day Business Hours
Sunday 9 a.m.
8 p.m.
Monday 9 a.m.
8 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m.
8 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m.
8 p.m.
Thursday 9 a.m.
8 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.
10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.
10 p.m.

Upcoming Events for Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

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