Georgia Aquarium – Atlanta

Oct/11/2014 1 Malia Lane

Aquarium - Ocean VoyagerGeorgia Aquarium

225 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313
(404) 581-4000

When I asked friends for suggestions on what to see while I was in Atlanta, several said not to miss the Georgia Aquarium.  What brought me here was to see the Gone With the Wind Museum in Marietta and honestly, I was more in the mode for historical explorations, and didn’t have attractions like this in mind.  It being the largest aquarium in the world was impressive, but here’s what convinced me:

Aquarium - Tunnel

I had seen pictures of this 100′ long tunnel before and I really, really wanted to walk under this!  I went through it several times, sometimes using the slow moving conveyer belt people mover and then walking through on the manual side, sometimes just standing there gawking in wonder at the show above and around me.

Aquarium - whale shark

The aquarium is home to four whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world.

Aquarium - Manta Ray

There are also four manta rays, the only ones ever in a U.S. aquarium.  It was totally cool to be able to watch them glide by and be able to see their undersides, side and top views, depending on their position in the huge tank.

Aquarium - dolphin

Dolphin have always been one of my favorite aquatic animals and they were up to their usual antics, amusing the crowds by swimming upside down sometimes and looking like they were blowing kisses to the window.

Aquarium - Beluga Whale

Beluga whales were pretty precious, too!

Aquarium - window

This gigantic acrylic viewing window was another favorite spot in the Ocean Voyager section.  I loved how you could sit on the floor and gawk to your heart’s content.  At 23′ feet tall x 61′ wide, with 4,574 square feet of viewing area, there’s a lot to see!  No other aquarium in the world has ever attempted to manage the variety and size of fish in this major exhibit.

Aquarium - shark

Seeing a shark swim by while safely on the other side of the 2″ thick acrylic was always exciting.

Aquarium - diver

And sometimes you could catch a glimpse of the most dangerous creature in the sea…  smiley tongue out

There are diverse exhibits and galleries, including Cold Water Quest, Ocean Voyager, Tropical Diver, Georgia Explorer, River Scout and Sea Monsters.  I also enjoyed the Dolphin Tales theatrical performance which is scheduled a few times during the day and although no extra charge, you should get tickets in advance to make sure there is room for the showtime you want.

Aquarium - African Penquin

I’d never seen an African Penguin before and both he and his handler here look pretty pensive, so I don’t know what was on his mind.

Aquarium - Tropical

Ismiley-fishn the colorful Tropical Diver section, the fish are small but brilliant.  I giggled when I saw how this perspective makes it look like this little girl is about to chomp on one.

Aquarium - river

I think the exhibits were all so well done, giving you opportunity to sit and gaze up close.

Aquarium - piranha

Piranha has been featured in many nightmares of mine – just something so nasty looking about them I didn’t even want to get up close to this window.

Aquarium - alligator

An Albino Alligator!  Even though I’m from New Orleans and have seen my fair share of alligators, I’d never seen one like this!

Aquarium - alligator-me

This guy stayed still the whole time I was there and being able to get so up close and personal was a fascinating study.

Aquarium - sea dragons

I adored these Weedy Sea Dragons, related to the sea horses I always wanted to order from magazines when I was a child, but wasn’t allowed to.

So I really did enjoy the hours I spent here and besides the aquarium, there are other attractions within the Centennial Olympic Park where the aquarium is located, including the nearby World of Coca-Cola.

Miscellaneous Info:

Directions/Parking:  If you are driving, use this address for a more direct route to the official covered parking:  357 Luckie Street, NW; Atlanta, GA 30313.  Don’t make the mistake that I did and let yourself get waved into a surface street lot, even though they say they’re “official” Aquarium parking.  Although the price is the same $10, it’s not as convenient.  Also, you can get $1.00 off parking if you order tickets in advance.

Ticket Prices – You can get a $3.00 discount per ticket for buying online.  They periodically have Groupon specials, too.

Cafe Aquaria for lunch and snacks, and of course a gift shop to pass through on your way out.

U.S. City Traveler lists it as #1 of the 25 Best Aquariums in America.

Amusing has info and great pictures.