Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
Georgia Atlanta Aquarium is located in downtown Atlanta and is the home to over a thousand animals and thousands of species. This Amazing Aquarium holds 10 million gallons of marine and salt water, has 6 different galleries and over 70 habitats. My family and I have been to the Georgia Aquarium about three times now and each time we go there’s something new to see and there are so many exzibits and shows that it seems there is never enough time to see everything so when you plan your trip give yourself at least 3-4 hours to visit the Aquarium. This is an experience you will not forget and it is worth every penny of the admission price. Definitely do some research before you go because the Aquarium is always offering discounts, like the first time we visited my son and daughter got in free dressed as a pirate and princess, my daughter wore an old pageant dress we had in the closet and a birthday tiara then we bought a plastic sword, 1$ bandana and pirate eye patch from the dollar store for my son. There is free admission for Ga residents on their birthday (ID and birth certificate for minors required) and special rates for seniors. There is also an early bird price (before 11am on weekdays) and you can also buy an Atlanta City Pass which gets you a discount on touring 4 top Atlanta attractions along with the Georgia Aquarium, like the World of Coca Cola and Zoo Atlanta which we also visited so you tour five attractions, receive a discount on the city pass and you get to skip the entry lines and go straight in the aquarium that’s a pretty good deal. You will want to go back to the aquarium more than once guaranteed so knowing your ticket buying options is a plus let us know if you find any other discounts.
Let’s start with one of my favorites, the Ocean Voyager gallery (built by The Home Depot) has 4,574 square feet of viewing windows 284 feet long, 126 feet wide and almost 30 feet deep and is one of the largest viewing windows in the world and one of the largest indoor habitats in the world. The main viewing window is 63 feet long and 26 feet high and you can see about 80 different species like Whale sharks ( which are also the largest fish in the world), zebra sharks, sandbar sharks, manta ray, sting (southern, sandbar, spotted eagle, roughtail, round ribbontail, reef manta, pointed nose, pink whiptail) rays, angel fish, and goliath groupers from all sides, it is an astounging sight to see a giant whale shark pass over your head with a few hundred fish in a school swimming alongside it and I was in complete awe when I experienced it myself. You really don’t appreciate the size and variety of these animals til you see it in the masses yourself. You enjoy a brief look at the ocean and its enviorment and its species as you stand on a moving belt that allows you to admire the animals from different angles and if that is not enough to satisfy your curiosity of ocean life you can pay to dive and swim with these animals in the Dive immersion program.
Cold Water Quest
This gallery houses animals that live in very cold water such as sea otters, sea horses, African penguins, Beluga Whales and their giant Pacific octopus. To name a few there are different species of Rockfish, a fish-eating Anemone, different species of Sea stars, a Japanese Spider crab and a Sea Dragon. These are actual pictures we took at the Aquarium.
The temperature is kept at 55 degrees F and you get to test the water to feel how cold the Pacific can be and see forms of life that normally live at least a 1,000 feet deep.
Dolphin Tales (AT&T Dolphin Coast gallery)
Here you will see bottlenose dolphins and watch their presentation, you will be amazed at how smart these animals are as they perform. You also can go backstage in the dolphin theater to touch meet and feed these amazing dolphins which are also some of Georgia Aquariums most popular animals and join in on a training session, seeing how the dolphins are cared for and probably the best part… touching a dolphin poolside. Georgia Aquarium has several encounters with the animals Dolphin, Penguin, Seal and Sea Otter encounters and interactions with the Beluga Whales and the Whale sharks where you get to watch feedings, training sessions and learn some information about the Aquarium, its great research work and the rescue and conservation of these animals.
This gallery is home to fresh water species like alligators (albino) , turtles, otters, Archerfish, Piranhas (and sometimes you can catch the Piranha feeding), beta, bass and catfish. This exhibit houses species from Asia, the Philippines and exotic places like the South Amazon River and watching all these different animals interact with each other is so mind-blowing and helps you appreciate the effort and task it took to bring all of these animals together. Only a Grand Creator could be so brilliant in his design of these animals and allow them to adapt and live together.
This gallery lets you take a look at Tropical coral reefs, Unicorn and Angelfish, the infamous Clown Anemonefish (Nemo), eels, cleaner shrimp, and jellyfish to name a few. My kids really enjoyed this exhibit because of the beautiful bright colors of the different fish and the unique features they have like the fiddler ray or the garden eel and of course the kids go crazy when they see the Nemo fish and the jellyfish. You will be like a kid in a candy store ooh-ing and aww-ing at every exhibit.
Suntrust Pier 225
This is all about the sea lions, watch how they behave, feed and interact with each other and the trainers. The aquarium has two particular sea lions Jupiter and Neptune named by the fans who were rescued by the aquarium as pups and along with four other sea lions provide you with awesome entertainment. Be sure to arrive early to the show because it fills up quick and seats are limited.
This interactive discovery zone allows you to visit different stations and learn about scuba diving and touch the different rays at the seaside touchpool. Here you will find turtles and sea stars, alligators, horseshoe crabs, urchins and frogs.
I recently found out that the aquarium holds lots of activities such as wine tasting, fitness classes, tailgate parties and a day camp for the kids during the summer.Not only do I enjoy visiting the aquarium because of the animals but I respect the work the aquarium does behind the scenes for the animals. The rescues, research and preservation of these animals and our ocean so they can live as close to their natural enviorment as possible. The research gathered allows the research team to understand things like pollution and infectious diseases in the enviorment and its affects. I promise you will enjoy your visit to the Atlanta’s Aquarium and when you do come back and let us know how your visit was, what was your favorite exhibit and most of all enjoy!