Must Visit – Atlanta Georgia Aquarium – Unexpected Adventure

atlanta georgia aquarium - whale sharks and manta rays

How do I describe Atlanta Georgia Aquarium? I can sum it to you like this:

Where else can you see Whale Sharks and Manta Rays in a tank that is so large it’s been said to be the largest tank in the world?

What Atlanta Georgia Aquarium Meant to Us

I’ll be really honest with you, I am not at all an aquarium lover. I’ve been to so many that, sad to say this, but I feel they are all very similar. Sure I’ll go and check them out with my kids, if they want to, but as an attraction for my husband and me to do on our few day getaway, I wasn’t into it.

However, when you get the Atlanta CityPASS it comes as part of the ticket package. As much as I wanted to hide it from my husband, who apparently knew a lot about this particular aquarium, once he saw them he said it was his getaway as well and he wanted to go.

atlanta georgia aquarium - entrance

So off we went. Since this wasn’t one of the places I planned on visiting, I didn’t do any research about it at all. I have heard from somewhere at some point that it is the largest aquarium in the world, but other than that, I knew little else.

atlanta georgia aquarium - largest aquarium in the world

So when I found out that they are the only aquarium in the world that houses whale sharks and manta rays I almost cried with joy.

I love these two species. Not sure why. Maybe due to their immense size and gentleness.

atlanta georgia aquarium - whale sharks

The tank is one of the most beautiful things you will ever see. There is such tranquility in it. We spent over one hour just sitting watching these majestic animals swim about. My husband said if he lived in Atlanta, he would get the membership just so he can come and be with these animals. That’s how strong of an impact it is to be in their presence.

atlanta georgia aquarium - manta rays

The other exhibits were fantastic too.

The biggest crab I’d ever seen

atlanta georgia aquarium - giant crabs

I got to touch an anemone which was really cool.

atlanta georgia aquarium - anemone

The seahorse exhibit was more or a work of art than a tank.

atlanta georgia aquarium- seahorse display

Yet no matter what we saw we always came back to see the beautiful whale sharks and manta ray.

And I’ll be even more honest with you, as much as I was looking forward to seeing the other attractions in Atlanta such as Coca Cola World and Martin Luther King’s birthplace, the Georgia Aquarium turned out to be by far my absolute favorite place.

Fun Facts About Atlanta Georgia Aquarium

  • The aquarium officially opened on November 23, 2005.
  • Georgia Aquarium features more animals than any other aquarium with more than ten million gallons of water.
  • In 1979, Bernie Marcus co-founded The Home Depot, opened its first stores and headquarters in Atlanta, GA. It became one of the fastest growing companies in America. Marcus desired to give back to the community of Atlanta and Georgia so in 2003, Marcus announced his gift to the city of Atlanta – the Georgia Aquarium.
  • Due to Marcus’ $250 million gift to Georgia, the Aquarium was able to open debt free.
  • To date, Georgia Aquarium has attracted more than eleven million visitors
  • It employs more than 400 employees and more than 2,000 volunteers.
  • One of the Georgia Aquarium’s major goals is to be the leading facility for aquatic animal conservation and research.
  • They have a state-of-the-art animal health facility, the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health, and was designed by world class veterinarian professionals and conservation organizations. It is the only integration of an aquarium and a veterinarian teaching hospital.
  • The Georgia Aquarium also supports, conducts and leads research on environmental and conservation issues at a global scale.

Information for Visiting the Georgia Aquarium

Address: 225 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313

Phone: 404.581.4000

Online Tickets

  • Adult (ages 13-64): $35.95 + tax
  • Child (ages 3-12): $29.95 + tax
  • Senior (age 65+): $31.95 + tax

Onsite Tickets

  • Adult (ages 13-64): $38.95 + tax
  • Child (ages 3-12): $32.95 + tax
  • Senior (age 65+): $34.95 + tax

Hours:

  • Sunday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Attractions

Pacific Cold Water Quest

  • It showcases species like beluga whales ans african penguins.

Ocean Voyager

  • Walk through an acrylic tunnel or stand in front of a gigantic acrylic viewing window, and you will feel like a SCUBA diver in an endless blue sea, mesmerized by thousands of fish swimming overhead.

Tropical Diver

  • Showcases tropical coral reefs. These exhibits are appropriately arranged like a gallery of living art.

Georgia Explorer

  • Closed until 2015 during the 10th anniversary of the aquarium, they are keeping the info about it secret.

Dolphin Tales

  • The new gallery includes a soaring, naturally-lit entrance lobby featuring an expansive underwater dolphin viewing window, through which guests have the opportunity to view dolphins and their naturally playful behaviors. You’ll also often have the chance to interact with a guide or even one of our experienced animal trainers.

River Scout

  • Discover a wide diversity of animals found in the rivers of Africa, South America, Asia and right here in Georgia.

Aquanaut Adventure

  • This is the newest gallery. Aquanaut Adventure is a unique experience that allows parents and children to learn about aquatic life during their expedition through a variety of immersive environments.
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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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