To some degree when my family visited the Georgia Aquarium at the beginning of our vacation, we were just going to one of the attractions in Atlanta that we thought would be a good educational stop for our kids. What we may have done is ruined our perception of any other aquarium or aquarium like attraction in our future. You see, everything we saw after that with any relevance or relation to fish, was compared to it, and just didn’t compete.

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The massive scale of the aquarium and its exhibits are really what makes this Atlanta tourist attraction shine. The aquarium also has the benefit of being “new”, they’re just celebrating their 5th birthday, so they’ve had the advantage of taking great ideas from other aquariums, combining it with the latest technologies and making an absolutely first-class experience.

The facility features five main areas or sections to explore:

  • Georgia Explorer provides visitors with the experience of what wildlife can be found in Georgia’s boundaries
  • River Scout brings to life the various creatures that are found in the rivers around the world, including piranha, otters and American alligators
  • Cold Water Quest spotlights animals that live in colder climates. The Georgia Aquarium has a fantastic beluga whale exhibit
  • Tropical Diver illustrates the symbiosis between the the wide variety of fish and invertebrates that live in and around coral reefs. There are even opportunities to get your hands wet and experience what sea anemones feel like on your own skin.
  • Ocean Voyager, is perhaps the most amazing exhibit I’ve ever seen. This 6.3 MILLION gallon tank represents an amazing section of the ocean world to us. This tank is so large that the Georgia Aquarium has room to hold FOUR whale sharks, the largest fish species on the planet! The enormous tank also holds four large manta rays and thousands of other species.

Here’s what the official website says, about this individual exhibit:

This exhibit was specially designed to house whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world. Schools of predatory trevally jacks, squadrons of small and large stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and hammerhead sharks all ply the waters of this ocean habitat containing more than six million gallons of saltwater. With 4,574 square feet of viewing windows, a 100-foot-long underwater tunnel, 185 tons of acrylic windows and the second largest viewing window in the world at 23 feet tall by 61 feet wide and 2 feet thick, visitors will have multiple opportunities to view all of these magnificent animals. No other aquarium in the world has ever attempted to manage the variety and size of fish in this major exhibit.

Even with the description and images, you just don’t understand the scale of the exhibit until you’ve seen it in person.

There are a variety of other shows and exhibits to see, but the core exhibits are what shine and that’s where I’d plan on spending all of my time on my next visit.

Without a doubt, the most amazing aquarium I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been to quite a few major ones. If you’re in the area and looking for things to do in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium needs to be on the very top of your list, even your Bucket List. Thanks for ruining my experience everywhere else I go now though.