Atlanta might be land locked, but in the center of the city is one of the largest aquariums in the world; housing more than 10 million gallons of water, and home to tens of thousands of fish and other sea creatures representing several hundred species. This was where we spent a hot Saturday afternoon exploring the aquatic life. The ticket price of $38.95 per person is steep, but it includes access to a dolphin show, 4D movie, and many other exhibitions.
Located right across from the famous World of Coca-Cola, this blue metal-and-glass building is an icon in the downtown Atlanta skyline, meant to represent an ark breaking through a wave. Inside, there are five different galleries, each corresponding to a specific environment: Tropical Diver, Ocean Voyager, Cold Water Quest, River Scout, and Dolphin Tales. The best and largest exhibit is Ocean Voyager, containing over 6 million gallons of water and several thousand fish, amongst which are the famous whale sharks.
As part of the experience, people walk through a plexiglass tunnel and watch manta rays, whale sharks, and countless other fish swim overhead. This is the only aquarium outside of Asia to house four whale sharks, the largest fish in the world. Divers with an Open Water Certification can pay to dive in the tank, the only place where you are guaranteed a sighting of the gentle giant.
One of our favorite exhibits was the Tropical Diver, where you can spend endless hours staring at the mesmerizing jelly fish as they float across the electric blue water, their long tentacles trailing behind creating beautiful contrasting lines.
Another interesting sight are the pair of albino crocodiles housed in the River Scout exhibit. They glide along the water and fix their beady eyes on the spectators, sending chills down my spine.
Tip: Buy your ticket in advance to to save a few bucks and skip the long lines.