Rivers connect us all to the sea, and Georgia Aquarium connects land-lovers to the aquatic life brimming just below the surface. Whales, sharks and penguins each find a home here at the world’s largest aquarium, located in downtown Atlanta near Centennial Olympic Park.
The Georgia Aquarium contains more than 10 million gallons of water — 6.3 million of which is encased in the Ocean Voyager, the largest aquarium viewing window in the western hemisphere.
There are five galleries at the aquarium depicting different habitats ranging from arctic to tropical. A sixth gallery — Dolphin Tales — is slated to open April 2 and will feature dolphin performances in a seated arena.
The aquarium also has a 4D theater with interactive seats and special effects, a food court and two gift shops.
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But perhaps the best features of this aquarium are the aquatic tunnel and the “wall of water,” inside of Ocean Voyager. At the entrance to the gallery, kids can pick up a chart listing several fish in the exhibit and then attempt to find them aquarium as they walk through the tunnel, which has a moving walkway for faster traffic and a carpeted path for slower traffic. Sitting areas are sprinkled throughout the 100-foot-long tunnel. This is also a great opportunity for photos of the sharks, manta rays and other species that live here. At the end of the tunnel is a long corridor directing visitors to the aquarium’s largest exhibit, nicknamed the “wall of water.” The Ocean Voyager exhibit boasts 4,574 square feet of viewing windows and has the second-largest viewing window in the world. Visitors can nestle up right next to the aquarium and watch groupers, sharks and manta rays in their habitat.
Georgia Explorer, to the left of the main entrance, is another great hands-on exhibit for kids. Kids can get demonstrations on how to touch the stingrays in the large touch pool at the gallery entrance. Further in, two additional touch pools offer shrimp, sea stars and other animals to touch.
For more information on the aquarium or to plan your visit, go to www.georgiaaquarium.org.
On busy days, you could save yourself more than an hour waiting in line to purchase tickets by buying tickets in advance. www.georgiaaquarium.org.
- 9 a.m. Reef Dive
- 10 a.m. Indo Pacific Reef Dive
- 10:30 a.m. Indo Pacific Reef Dive
- 10 a.m. Fish Feeding
- 10:30 a.m. Whale Shark Feeding
- 3 p.m. Whale Shark Feeding
- 10:30 a.m. Sea Otter Feeding
- 1:30 p.m. Spider Crab Feeding
- 3 p.m. Sea Otter Feeding
- 11:15 a.m. Shark/Ray Touch Pool Feeding
- 2:30 p.m. Shark/Ray Touch Pool Feeding
- 2:45 p.m. Lionfish Feeding
- 2:45 p.m. Invert Touch Pool Feeding
- 11:30 a.m. Asian Otter Enrichment
- 2 p.m. Piranha Feeding
- 2:15 p.m. Asian Otter Enrichment
Courtesy of Georgia Aquarium Visitor’s Center