Voted the number five best aquarium in the world by TripAdvisor users, Ripley’s Aquarium in the Smokies promises non-stop fun and adventure for the whole family right here in the heart of Pigeon Forge. Come see one of the best natural exhibits in the Smoky Mountains with just a quick trip from your hotel or cabin.
Get up close and personal with stingrays, make friends with a penguin and even spend the night surrounded by shark-infested waters in one of their many unique experiences. Their new SWARM exhibit can also teach you about animals who know the value of strength in numbers. Discover all of this and more inside the Ripley’s Aquarium’s beautiful glass walls.
Explore the World All in One Place
Ripley’s Aquarium has many different biome exhibits for you to explore. Learn all about the complex ecosystems of coral reefs along with the colorful anemones, clownfish, tangs, triggerfish and butterfly fish that inhabit them. Migrate over to the gallery of the seas exhibit to see more of what nature puts on display. Beautiful octopuses, elegant lionfish, gangly Japanese spider crabs and dazzling cuttlefish that put on a light show all live in this neighborhood.You can also spot funny-eyed flounders and weedy scorpionfish in the ocean realm exhibit, along with spotted garden eel colonies that drift like beautiful ocean floor plants peeking out from their burrows.
Just a short walk away you will find a tropical rainforest unfold before your eyes. See deadly piranhas and massive arapaima fish that can grow up to 10 feet and 400 pounds. Also in the rainforest area are some of the brightest creatures around: poison dart frogs, whose toxic secretions can be potent enough to drop a grown man in his tracks.
Spend a Night in Shark Lagoon
Our tunnel aquarium houses our ferocious-looking sharks, including the snaggle-toothed Sandtiger Shark and his more docile cousin, the nurse shark. Also possessing a voracious appetite, tarpon fish flit about the tank looking to devour their next meal. Their insatiable hunger is so notorious that they can grow up to seven feet long.
Another resident in this neighborhood are the moray eels with their wizened grins full of sharp teeth. They can often be found lurking in holes for unsuspecting prey to pass by, or they can be swimming about while opening and closing their jaws to pump oxygen over their gills. You know what they say: When an eel swims on by with a hungry glint in his eye, that’s a moray!
A more peaceful member of this cohort is the massive green sea turtles. While their powerful beaks look like they could snap up prey, their diet is strictly vegetarian. You can become well-acquainted with all of these folks by opting for the aquarium’s fun and adventurous sleepover package. It comes complete with a dive show, scavenger hunt and a night spent “sleeping with the fishes” in the most literal sense possible.
Make New Feathered Friends
In addition to their sleepover package, Ripley’s also offers personal encounters with some of nature’s quirkiest fellows: penguins. They will be sure to waddle into your heart with their charming personalities, and some are even willing to show off their painting skills to give you a colorful, one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home.
Another popular package is their swimming with stingrays experience, where you can wade in the water with surprisingly well-mannered predators that hunt in the shallows. Ripley’s new SWARM exhibit is also likely to fascinate you with its stunning displays of animals that tend to always bring along more than a few of their friends.
You can discover more about Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies as well as many other fascinating and fun places of interest in the Great Smoky Mountains in our comprehensive guide to the best attractions in Pigeon Forge.
Planning a girlfriend’s vacation? Beware! There is a big problem when looking at Pigeon Forge as a select destination. The difficulty isn’t the variety or lack of things to do – the trouble is making the decision of what to choose from the hundreds of exciting opportunities!
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is a reason more than 10 million visitors pass through the park on an annual basis – it is incredibly beautiful. The entire area offers activities galore to get close to nature; hiking, camping, picnic grounds, sightseeing, fishing, horseback riding, and water sports just to name a few. If the great outdoors isn’t your thing there are attractions, events, shows, shopping and fine dining to suit any taste. A look at the list below may inspire plans for the beginning of the best girlfriend’s vacation EVER!
NATURE GIRLS- Is your close circle of girlfriends enchanted by the wildlife spirit? Consider the options available for the most avid nature lovers. Pitch a tent in a local campground for true Smoky Mountain adventure. Most camping sites offer amenities such as bathrooms and showers, grills and fire pits, and laundry facilities. You and your girls can enjoy unlimited hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking and activities like horseshoes, volleyball, or a fierce cornhole competition.
CABIN FEVER- Perhaps “roughing it” in a tent isn’t as appealing to your group as spending time in a lovely, mountain cabin. The Pigeon Forge area is home to hundreds of rental properties to choose from. Rentals are available to accommodate any number of people or length of stay. Visitors may enjoy panoramic vistas surrounded by all the comforts of home. Most cabins feature fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms, spacious living areas, cable television and more. Enjoy a cozy, rustic homestead with a wood burning stove or a large, luxury lodge complete with swimming pool as your vacation launching point.
SHOP TILL YOU DROP- For the urban girls the idea of a great vacation may include unlimited shopping. There is no shortage of fun, interesting retail venues around Pigeon Forge. Plan to save on trendy, name-brand apparel, accessories, cosmetics and more at one of the designer outlet malls. Wander around the craftsman villages and discover fine art, jewelry, pottery, stained glass, wood carving, and a vast array of local artisan’s amazing creations.
DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY- The Island is a brand new, multimillion dollar Pigeon Forge entertainment complex and a one stop adventure in fun. It is the home of the Margaritaville Island Hotel boasting a “mountain latitude with an island attitude” scene. To ensure guests begin their exploration in style each hotel room is equipped with a “Frozen Concoction Maker.” Live music abounds throughout The Island, there are more than 60 specialty shops, and dozens of restaurants offering everything from fine dining to a meal-on-a-stick. Visitors to The Island enjoy the many amusement rides and attractions including a bird’s eye view from the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel or rocking and relaxing to the musical water ballet at the Island Show Fountain.
HELLO DOLLY-Any girl’s vacation to Pigeon Forge should include a visit with the area’s favorite daughter. Of course, that would be Dolly Parton, by way of her famous, world-class amusement parks; Dollywood, Dollywood Splash Country, or Dollywood Dixie Stampede. Book your stay at the exclusive new, 300 room Dollywood DreamMore Resort or one of Dollywood’s charming cabins.
SOMETHING FOR EVERY TASTE-The menu of amusement opportunities in Pigeon Forge provides something for everyone. Take in dinner and a show at one of the theaters featuring an evening of mystery, acrobats, comedy, magic, drama, cowboys, hillbillies, or nearly any music genre imaginable. Nationally recognized festivals are scheduled in the area throughout the year. Lodging options offer anything from a basic tent to five-star resort accommodations. Attractions include; skydiving, hot air balloon rides, go carts, bungee jumping, miniature golf, adventure roller coasters, and so much more. Be sure to capture the moment with a commemorative old time portrait from one of the many walk-in studios. Following a day of activities book a treatment for some serious pampering at one of the area’s fabulous “mountain-luxe,” full-service spas.
If your girlfriends’ vacation plans are for overnight, a weekend getaway, or an extended stay, Pigeon Forge can guarantee a trip that will make memories to last a lifetime!
Riverstone Resort & Spa
Three night deal in Pigeon Forge. Get 50% off a third night when you stay for two. *Valid August 16-September 3, 2016
Stay near Dollywood for a Smart Deal. 50% off your third night when you book two. *Valid August 16- September 3, 2016
Three night deal near Dollywood.Stay two nights, get the third 50% off! *Valid August 16-September 3, 2016
LaQuinta Inn & Suites
Get away to a great deal in Pigeon Forge. 50% off the third night after two nights with us. *Valid August 16- September 3, 2016
Summit 54 Properties, iTrip
August special - 20% iff when booking 4 nights or more! Coupon Code HOTDEAL20
August Special - Pay for 3 nights and get the 4th night FREE! Remaining nights only on any cabin. Not valid on prior reservations.
We would like to recognize and honor all service personnel with veteran complimentary admission for dinner and show or show only, and their accompanying guests a $5 military discount as part of “Celebrate Freedom!” Month.
**To receive the “Celebrate Freedom!” discount, servicemen and women need to show proper identification and proof of service.
Fireside Chalet & Cabin Rentals
Pay for 3 nights and receive the 4th night completely FREE!
American Patriot Getaways
SMSPC - 25% OFF remaining cabins Now - September 3rd. Save big with our late summer special. Book now for 25% off Our Most Popular Summer Season And Plan To Cool Off In The Smokies Before The Kids Go Back To School!
*Requires a minimum 2 nights stay. Applies to Certain properties.
American Patriot Getaways
3WKD5 - 35% OFF Your Late Summer Weekday Stay When You Stay Between Sunday And Thursday From Now Until September 3rd! *Requires a minimum 2 nights stay. Valid only on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday nights. Applies to Certain properties.