ATLANTA

Georgia Aquarium
Downtown

July 2022

There are hundreds of marine species at Georgia Aquarium—the majority of which could never be seen otherwise.

A shark in the Ocean Voyager tank at Georgia Aquarium

Life is better when it's interesting.

A view from the massive tank inside the Ocean Voyager area where sharks, mantas, sea turtles, myriad fish and even a whale shark swim past.

The Brief.

Georgia Aquarium, a top Atlanta tourist attraction, is the largest aquarium in the United States and the third largest in the world. A portion of every ticket sold supports ocean research and conservation.

The Elevation.

It’s an aquarium—and a world-class tourist attraction. That is not the elevation, instead it may be the sticking point. It gets crowded and loud—really crowded and really loud. If you’ve been to an aquarium or zoo, it is what is expected.

 

So, why does it make the list? Well, it is the largest in the US and a world-class aquarium. On this side of the coin, it is the elevation. There are hundreds of marine species at Georgia Aquarium—the majority of which could never be seen otherwise. Endangered African Penguins, American Alligators, Beluga Whales, Whale Sharks (the largest fish in the world), Manta Rays, Common Bottlenose Dolphins, California Sea Lions, and so much more.

A shark and Manta at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
Endangered African Peguins at Georgia Aquarium
Two beluga whales at Georgia Aquarium
One of hundreds of marine species at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

left to right: one of many sharks and a manta; endangered African penguins standing only 18-25 inches tall; beluga whales; one of the hundreds of species of marine life.

Go for the Sharks.

(Or maybe the tiny African penguins, only 18-25 inches tall). The shark tank is impressive. All the tanks are impressive. At 185 ft, the shark tank (opened in 2020) is one of the largest in North America. Watch as they come straight up to the glass as you peer into their tiny eyes.

 

Go for the Behind the Seas.

Get closer. A closer look at the animal inhabitants with topside  views and also a vip feel with insider information on how things run and other interesting tid bits—without all the noise.

 

Go for the Encounters.

Separated into several options there are animal encounters with dolphins, seals, penguins, beluga whales, sea lions, sharks and rays. And, for a life-time  memory, swim or dive with the sharks.

Pro Tips

1. Any of the added ticketed experiences take place in smaller groups and allow for questions and a more interactive, unique experience.

 

2. It gets loud, take ear plugs if noise is a concern. Also, the first hour of opening is quieter—due to smaller crowds and also by design. The Aquarium calls this quiet time and does not play the overhead music and automatic talking displays.

 

3. If you are a local, buy a season pass (after your initial visit, you have 60 days to change it to a season’s pass) and then take multiple smaller visits. Arrive at opening and take in an hour or so and leave before the crowds swell. Visit just for an immersive encounter or simply sit and view the sharks or sea life at the expansive wall of “glass” at the Ocean Voyager area. This removes the rush, overwhelm and feeling like you have to do it all now—crowds or not.

Hours & Best Times to Visit

Did we mention, it gets crowded—really crowded? Go early, at opening. And, Monday - Thursday is best to beat the crowds.

 

Monday - Thursday: 9:00 am - 9:00 pm

Friday - Sunday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm

Hours change seasonal

 

Seating

There are benches periodically placed throughout the exhibits to encourage a lingering stay or take a rest. There is also ample seating options in the open reception area and the cafe. With a hand stamp for re-entry, take a breather outside in the expansive park area just outside the exit.

 

 

 

Location & Delivery Details:

225 Baker St. NW

Atlanta GA 30313

404.581.4000

website: georgiaaquarium.org

From Southside: about 35 minutes

From Alpharetta: about 30 minutes

COMING SOON

You'll soon find our other picks for what to add to this outing to turn it into a morning, an afternoon or day of interest. Become an Insider (below) and be the first to get the list.