ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Travel Review: The Georgia Aquarium

Updated on October 2, 2012
From the "Tunnel Tank"
From the "Tunnel Tank" | Source

Whale Sharks in a Tank!

I’ll start off by saying that I love aquariums! Zoos in general but especially aquariums. Ever since reading about the opening of the Georgia Aquarium years ago I have been pumped to see it. I specifically remember thinking to myself, “They are going to have a tank with three whale sharks in it? Thats ******* insane!” So as I said, very excited. So much so that I may have set myself up for disappointment. I will however qualify the latter statement as I do not mean for it to mean that the attraction isn’t what its cracked up to be.

As stated I read about the aquarium upon its opening in 2005. Billed as the largest aquarium in the US with 8.5 millions gallons of water and 120,000 animals! How could this not be amazing?! When planning my drive this year from Las Vegas back to Florida for school the aquarium was my only no compromise must stop venue. A friend and myself arrived for opening on a Tuesday morning. There was a sizable line, but it moved quickly. No harm no foul. We passed the time by making fun of the goofy names the aquarium gave for its “Finding Nemo”-esque cartoon characters pasted on walls and signs everywhere. That and parents who have their kids on leashes. That can't be good for a childs self esteem, as humorous to me as it may be. A few minutes of this, and we had scanned our tickets. Off into the tidal wave of intrigue beyond.

Once inside, the aquarium is basically divided up into sections with a central hub and food court in the center. First leg for us was the River Scout. On this journey, one see creatures from rivers in not only the United States, but around the world. Alligators, gar, and bluegill native to the region were on display. As well as exotic species from the Amazon like pirana, and electric eel. Far and away the most entertaining creatures in the exhibit however were the otters. Flying around like Michael Phelps on meth. They regale audiences with their antics. In many aquariums I've been to, an otter exhibit can totally change one's opinion of the day. Someone who may have been bored to tears will remember the otters fondly and therefore his whole trip.


From here we went to a perennial wildlife favorite of mine. The penguins. Anyone who doesn't like penguins can just take some 12 gauge aspirin. The world will be better off. Though they don't do much, I just can't look at a penguin and not smile. They are funny creatures. The aquarium has a set of tubes so children can pop their heads up in amongst the penguin exhibit. Lucky for 230lb me, I have no shame. Therefore this was a nice addition to the exhibit, child size or not. See picture right. Notice I was so excited that morning I forgot to groom my hair.

Other sections are more traditional of an aquarium. Tropical reef fish brightly colored and abundant. Large rays, grouper, and sharks with noticeable teeth. They do have a very neat tunnel tank. The visitor walks through the tunnel with water on all sides and above you. You really get a feel for how large some of the fish are when they block out light swimming over your head. All this is stuff I have seen before. Lets get on with the main attraction.

The Georgia Aquarium’s largest tank holds some likewise very large fish. The whale sharks in the tank probably don't classify as adult. Let that not lull you into thoughts of guppies. Juvenile whale sharks are still massive. This is the only exhibit I found myself sitting at for more than a few moments. Its awe inspiring for those of us who haven't had the pleasure of diving with them in the wild. This is as close as most of us will ever get. Words really do the event no justice. Its something you have to see for yourself.

As to why I said I may have set myself up to be disappointed. With the words, “largest aquarium in the United States,” I conjured up thoughts in my head of a Smithsonian size facility. This is not the case. Compounding this issue is the fact that there really aren't many attractions in an aquarium that make it likely for you to linger at them. You walk around and take a gander at each in turn. Maybe snap a few pictures. Outside of that you are very nearly constantly moving to the next exhibit. Therefore even at this giant of an aquarium we were finished in under 2 hours. I will point out here that we did not attend any of the scheduled shows. I find they are usually aimed at youth and never tell me anything I, as a serial animal planet watcher, doesn't already know. So if you have kids, or enjoy said types of shows yourself that will definitely prolong your time at the Georgia Aquarium.

Overall the Georgia Aquarium was a raging success. The best I've ever been too. Which is saying something. I've been to Seaworld’s on two coasts, the Florida Aquarium, and Monterrey Bay Aquarium. All world class facilities, and all beaten by the fish tank in Atlanta. Just go into it with a realistic idea of how big a big aquarium is and that its likely not an all day event.

As a side note I can't stress enough how much you should try Teds Montana Grill. This is a steakhouse owned by Ted Turner nearby to the aquarium. High quality steak a little cheaper than say a Flamings, or Ruth Chris but with similar quality. Try the bison steaks! I was skeptical at first too, but do yourself a favor. Ride the buffalo. You will not regret it!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jeremyd profile imageAUTHOR

      Jeremy Drier 

      6 years ago from Tampa, Florida


    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      I enjoyed reading this very much! This sounds like a great place. I love your photos. Voted up and shared!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Jeremy. I remember well our visit to the Georgia Aquarium about 3 years ago. It is a fascinating place and the Whale Sharks are most impressive. Thanks for the visit and for sharing.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)