The world is filled with amazing aquariums, especially the United States which has several on each coast and everywhere in between.
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta stands head and shoulders above many of them, though. It’s a unique place, one that any person planning to go to it should be prepared to set a significant amount of time to spend. It’s worth it.
Still relatively new
The Georgia Aquarium opened its doors on November 23rd, 2005. It’s not only an immersive, impressive experience, it’s still a somewhat new one. Much of the money to build the aquarium was donated by Bernard and Billi Marcus, though other organizations certainly contributed.
The Coca-Cola Company, which is based out of Atlanta, actually donated the land the aquarium is built on. It’s a hop, skip, and a jump away from the nearby Coca-Cola museum, aka the World of Coca-Cola. If you’re a fan of the beverage, definitely add it to your Atlanta itinerary.
Despite only being open for a few years, the Georgia Aquarium has quickly established itself as a reason to go to Atlanta all on its own. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but going to the Georgia Aquarium is a massive undertaking.
One of the key things about the aquarium is how much scientific research they conduct and how vast their conservation efforts are. Unlike other facilities, this one is not performance-based and roots itself in a more educational space.
Georgia Aquarium’s residents
Naturally, the reason people go to the aquarium is to check out the fish and other animals. And this place has no shortage of animals to enjoy. In fact, it has some of the most unique experiences in the United States.
Thousands of incredible fish swim in hundreds of tanks that emulate an incredible array of natural environments. Beyond fish, various mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds can be found in various exhibits at the aquarium.
Not surprisingly, animals like the Beluga Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins are incredibly popular with visitors. Penguins and seals are no slouches, either. All of these animals are expressive and energetic, making them highlights of any tour.
One of their coolest exhibits is, “SHARKS! Predators of the Deep.” The 1.2 million gallon experience features unique viewing opportunities of various shark species, including Sand Tigers, Silvertips, Tigers, and Great Hammerheads.
More than that, the Georgia Aquarium also offers an impressive variety of encounter options. That includes sea lions, sea otters, penguins, dolphins, and more. If you’ve ever wanted to get in a cage and get too close to some sharks, they can provide that opportunity.
The Ocean Voyager
Keeping in mind that Georgia Aquarium has a lot of incredible exhibits to take in, the crown jewel is the Ocean Voyager. Calling it huge would be the understatement of the decade. But you need a massive space to house Whale Sharks and Manta Rays.
The Ocean Voyager has more than 6.3 million gallons of water in it with a little over 4500 square feet of viewing windows to check out the 50+ species of animals contained within it. A 100-foot tunnel allows visitors to enjoy the Voyager experience from a variety of angles.
The biggest window in the entire exhibit measures 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide. That’s venturing into movie screen size. But you need a viewing window of that scope to take in the massive animals in this exhibit.
Hundreds of fish share the space with Green Sea Turtles, several types of sharks and rays, and an impressively massive Goliath Grouper. The Ocean Voyager is also home to two Manta Rays, making it one of four aquariums in the world to house the species.
The star attraction is the Whale Sharks. Four of them call this immense exhibit home. It is currently the only facility outside of Asia to house these animals, which are the largest fish in the ocean. They are a big part of what makes the Georgia Aquarium a destination.