Get up-close to thousands of fascinating, sometimes dangerous, sea creatures at South Carolina’s most popular attraction.
Part of the family-oriented Broadway on the Beach complex, Ripley’s Aquarium is home to a diverse and colorful array of marine life. It’s easy to spend an afternoon here and a great choice on overcast days.
You’ll see fish of all shapes and sizes on display in several themed aquatic exhibitions. The biggest and most popular attraction is the Dangerous Reef. Travel through the underwater tunnel on a moving walkway. Experience the thrill of coming face-to-face with 13-foot (four-meter) long sand tiger sharks and other underwater predators. Don’t miss the ferocious-looking moray eel and the constantly hungry tarpon “super predator.”
Another crowd pleaser is the Ray Bay, where scores of stingrays glide through the water. Get up-close-and-personal with these friendly giants at the shallow end of the tank where, alongside knowledgeable guides, you can pet the stingrays.
Catch the dive shows at various times each day to see trainers feed the stingrays and other friendly fish. Watch out for the mermaids who sometimes make a special appearance. Ripley’s Aquarium is home to the endangered sea turtle and other rare species, and does a lot of conservation work. Find out more about all kinds of fascinating marine creatures at the Discovery Center. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the interactive exhibits and multimedia displays, including holding horseshoe crabs. If you want more educational experiences, the aquarium organizes expert lectures and special events throughout the year (included in the price of aquarium admission).
Ripley’s Aquarium is open 365 days a year. It’s just a short drive east from downtown Myrtle Beach and there is free parking in the adjacent lot. The Myrtle Beach Connector bus stops at the aquarium and other attractions in the downtown area.