The afternoon started out with having lunch at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Cafe called The Landshark. The food there is very good. The price, about average for such a place carrying the name of a star, not off the charts expensive, but it depends on what you order from the regular and the drink menus. I can honestly recommend the meatball sub and the Pink Cadillac. After lunch, we strolled over to the Ripley’s Aquarium. We paid $10 to park nearby all day. This is in Gatlinburg, TN, by the way. Upon entering the aquarium, it’s rather large, but not so much to be overwhelming. We suggest you take your time to be sure you see all the exhibits. There displays on around every corner, from the plaques describing all the sea life, to displays about President Lincoln, to Pirates ships and Shipwrecks.
Yes, that is a Lincoln portrait made from Lincoln pennies. There are so many sea animals in this place from eels, to piranhas and puffers. Way too many to show you all the pictures here, but if check out our album and there you will find around 200 photos of all these wonderful creatures. The sawfish was so huge, I could not get a photo of its entire body. It’s one of those things you have to see to believe. The section of the aquarium where we saw the sawfish also housed huge sharks and large grouper. You step into this section and ride on a flat escalator while super-sized sharks swim above your head.
There are interactive sections too, where you can touch giant sting rays and horse crabs.
There are exciting, strange creatures like Sea Horses and Dragons and jellyfish, giant crabs, and more sharks. There are also terrariums containing iguanas and poisonous frogs.
My personal favorite out of the entire aquarium, was the penguins. You can crawl (yes, literally) into a tunnel and stand up in a tube right in the middle of the penguins. You’re nose to nose (except for the layer of acrylic between you) with the most adorable penguins. It’s a great picture op for everyone in the family. They even have a package that lets you have a night-time pajama party with these cuties.
They also have a glass bottom boat ride where you can see the sharks swimming beneath you for an extra $10. They have different activities for you to see almost every hour from open til close (they close late, 10pm or so). There’s penguin feedings, scuba diving with the sharks, and many other activities. There are also overnight things, like the penguins pj party and sleeping with the sharks. The gift shop has an array of items, from souvenirs of the aquarium to regular clothing items on sale. Everything is reasonable priced. There is also a penny squishing machine with your choice of 4 different designs, for those of you with penny passports. This place is wonderful and has something for everyone. We will definitely be going back. The one thing I could not spot, was the sea turtle. Apparently, it was hiding. I have to go back and spend some time by that tank to see if it will come out for a photo. Please go and check it out and TAKE YOUR TIME to soak it all in. Please be sure to check out our gallery for many more pictures (last, most recent album at the bottom of our page). And share your pics with us when you visit!