The Georgia Aquarium has more square feet and water than any other aquarium in the world. Dozens of displays contain about 10 million gallons of water and more than 120,000 sea creatures. You’ll see dolphins, rare whales, dangerous sharks and tropical fish — just to name a few.
Plan to spend about two to four hours at this downtown attraction. It’s one of Atlanta’s most popular venues, so arrive when the museum opens to get a head-start on the crowds. Buy tickets in advance online to avoid standing in long lines at the entrance.
The biggest display by far is the Ocean Voyager. This saltwater tank is 284 feet (87 meters) long, 126 feet (38 meters) wide and 30 feet (nine meters) deep. It’s home to whale sharks, manta rays, grouper fish, sharks and stingrays. Watch them as you stand in front of a window that’s 60 feet (18 meters) long and 27 feet (eight meters) high, or walk through a clear tunnel that runs through the middle.
There are six exhibits in total: Beluga whales and sea dragons are kept in a cold-water display. Coral and tropical fish make up the reef exhibit. At the open tank, touch stingrays, crabs and sea stars.
A 30-minute dolphin show, held twice a day and up to four times on Saturday, is great fun. Trained dolphins interact with actors in a show featuring elaborate costumes, lighting, special effects and a dramatic musical score.
The aquarium is open every day of the year. General admission tickets include the dolphin show, 4-D Theater and any special temporary exhibitions.
There are several areas for parking, but these tend to fill up early in the day. Consider catching the train, which stops nearby at the Philips Arena/CNN Center station.