AAA Editor Notes
Georgia Aquarium is downtown at 225 Baker St., across from Centennial Olympic Park (MARTA: CNN Center or Peachtree Center stations). Where can you view a 24-foot-long whale shark, interact with a horseshoe crab or come face to face with creatures that bear a passing resemblance to something from outer space? Georgia Aquarium, that's where. Its seven major exhibit galleries contain more than 10 million gallons of water and showcase a fascinating variety of marine life.
Ocean Voyager accommodates four whale sharks—the world's largest fish—along with many other sharks; groupers; stingrays; schools of bright yellow grunts; and four manta rays, the only manta rays on display in a U.S. aquarium. Stand in front of the enormous viewing window or walk through a cool acrylic tunnel.
The AT&T Dolphin Tales gallery, theater and presentation is dedicated to creating memorable connections between humans and animals and allows guests to get an up-close look at the beauty and athleticism of bottlenose dolphins.
Tropical Diver boasts a living reef inhabited by hundreds of colorful reef fish. Exhibits include seahorses, fairy basslets, jawfish, jellies, eels and other interesting creatures. A wave machine simulating surf conditions operates above the reef. Cold Water Quest features harbor seals, sea otters, sea stars, anemones and an African penguin habitat as well as white, rubbery-looking but lovable beluga whales, found in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions like Alaska, Russia and Greenland.
An electric eel, African tiger fish, freshwater turtles, albino American alligators and a habitat of red piranhas are among the animals in River Scout, Georgia Aquarium’s immersive freshwater gallery. Asian small-clawed otters energetically chase each other through the water, aided by feet that are partially webbed.
Visitors can learn about aquatic life in Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone, an interactive exhibit for all ages. Pier 225 features California sea lions, and throughout the day guests can catch Under the Boardwalk, an informative presentation about these charismatic marine mammals.
There's more. The 4-D Theater combines digital projection, high-definition 3-D film and special effects in “Happy Feet,” a multisensory experience about penguins in the Antarctic. For an insider's perspective of the exhibit galleries, take one of the Behind the Seas Tours. Animal encounter and interaction programs also allow visitors to have an up-close experience with dolphins, sea otters and penguins or to swim or dive with whale sharks.
Check the schedule for animal feedings. The whale sharks are fed a special diet of small crustaceans and squid since they strain their food from the water with their huge mouths.
Note: All tickets are non-refundable. Visitors are not permitted to bring food, beverages or gum inside. Food is available until 1 hour before closing.
Guided tours are available. Food is available. Time: Allow 5 hours minimum.