As you know, I spent 10 days over the past couple weeks in Pigeon Forge, TN. This was my first time actually visiting there (I think we drove through a long time ago, but didn't stop anywhere), and our days were packed with fun! One of my favorite experiences was on Wednesday, when we headed a few miles down to Gatlinburg, to visit some of the Ripley's attractions. Gatlinburg is only 10 minutes from Pigeon Forge, so it's an easy - and beautiful - drive. Our first stop was at the Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies.
The Aquarium is two levels, and the self-guided tour starts out on the upper floor. The first exhibit we stopped at was the Schooling Fish Tank. This is more than just a single exhibit, but actually includes several huge tanks, with recreations of various environments. The poison dart frogs were some of my favorites; they are so colorful and bright! The Moon Jelly were also incredible; they look like a painting!
|Yep, there's a flounder there!|
The best part of our visit, for myself, was the underwater tunnel. This tunnel leads under/through a tank that is filled with sea creatures-including sharks! I loved being able to see them up-close, and enjoyed every inch of the 340-foot long tunnel experience!
For families with young children, be sure to stop by the Discovery Center. Actually, whether you have youngsters or not, you'll enjoy this fun part-I enjoyed looking around here too! I thought the part with the flounder's camouflage ability was especially interesting-isn't it amazing how God designed these creatures?!
One creature I've never seen so large in any aquarium before was the enormous crabs-Giant Japanese Spider Crabs, if I remember right. These crabs are literally gigantic! If I saw one of these on a beach somewhere-I'd be headed someplace else very quickly!
One of our last stops was at the Penguin Playhouse. This was probably M's favorite part of the aquarium. A very unique feature here was the ability to crawl through a tunnel that ends up in a little "tower" right on the penguins' beach area! This is an interactive penguin exhibit that everyone will love!
We spent several hours at the Ripley's Aquarium, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. If you're ever near the Gatlinburg-Pigeon Forge area, be sure to stop by-you'll love it!