Updated: Feb 13
If you’re anything like I was just a couple years ago, you probably think all aquariums are created equally. You go inside, see the fish and a few sharks, and leave feeling satisfied but not necessarily over-the-top. Don’t get the wrong idea, I have a good time visiting any aquarium, but my mind changed about them when I visited the aquarium in Atlanta, which I deem the best aquarium in America.
So, what about an aquarium makes it more special than your local hometown aquarium, which is probably pretty great as well? The difference for me was how unique it was, starting from the second I walked inside.
Upon entering, there were penguins walking down the ramp in the main lobby. Not caged up, not in their exhibit, but literally walking. I later found out this was a part of the Waddle Walk, a daily attraction that happens every morning at 10:45 a.m. I already thought the aquarium was pretty cool after that, but it only got better as I kept going.
The Georgia Aquarium has a beluga whale and whale shark. I’ve never seen either of these animals in any aquarium I’ve been to, and there’s a good reason for it. This aquarium is the only one in the United States to house a whale shark. It is the largest fish in the sea, and upon approaching it, I think my jaw actually dropped. I was mesmerized by its size and beauty. Seeing a beluga whale was quite special also. Upon studying the creature, I learned that it is often called a “sea canary” because it makes so many sounds and whistles.
Honestly, after those factors alone, I felt like I earned back the cost of my ticket, but then the experience got even better. I learned that a dolphin show and sea lion show were literally a part of the ticket price! These types of shows usually cost extra money or warrant a trip to Sea World to partake in. Luckily, these free shows were just as good if not better than I expected. I got to watch dolphins do amazing tricks, and got to witness sea lions make their famous “roaring” sounds.
I’ve been to a lot of aquariums, and I understand why you might feel the need to pass on the Georgia Aquarium in lieu of all the other things Atlanta has to offer. I felt the same way before I actually visited it, and now I recommend it to anybody who is visiting the area.
Places to Stay:
Luxury: The Omni Hotel has plenty of space with over a thousand rooms for guests. It also has 2 restaurants and an outdoor pool.
Mid-Range: This Hyatt Place has everything you need, with a 10 minute walk to the aquarium. Don’t worry, I promise it’ll be scenic.
Economy: This Motel 6 is a straightforward hotel with updated rooms.
If you’re visiting Atlanta soon and looking to save money, I recommend buying the Atlanta City Pass. This helps you save as much as 46 percent off on five total attractions, and yes, the aquarium is included. If lines are long, this pass also lets you skip the main ticket line and go straight inside. If you'd rather book tickets to the aquarium only, click here.
If you want to learn about other things to do in Atlanta, check out my previous post on some of the best things.
*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I will get a small commission if you purchase from my link with no extra cost to you :)*