I had a half-day layover in Atlanta and decided to visit the Georgia Aquarium. I had no idea that down town Atlanta was so cute! I was really surprise how nice it was. The downtown area has a ton of opportunities for tourists. If you want to check out Atlanta, here’s a list of hotels to consider.
The Georgia Aquarium is home to over 100,000 animals and over 500 different species. It holds about 10,000,000 gallons of water which equates to about 2.5 million pounds of salt (that is a trivia question during the dolphin show.) This place is big enough to require a bit of planning. Here are three things we recommend that you do before and during your visit to the Georgia Aquarium.
I will tell you about the my experience in a minute, but first, Atlanta is VERY Uber friendly. We took Uber from our hotel to the aquarium and back without any issue or worry at all. So consider this when you arrive.
Number 1: While you are driving to the aquarium, get on the website of the Georgia Aquarium and buy your tickets. We bought our cheaper on our phones than they sold them in person.
This was the ticket line if you didn’t purchase them online:
This was our line: It had my party and two other people.
So, I’m not sure why other people weren’t doing this, but whatever. Another reason to buy your ticket is because they offer entry times. You need to wait for the time on your ticket to get into the aquarium. When we arrived, it was 2:10 and we had 3:00 tickets. The people in line for tickets were 4:00 and later; another reason to get your tickets first.
When you go in, they will take your picture and try to sell it to you later. You will continue through a hallway to a main central area. From there you can see any of the exhibits.
Number 2: Visit the very impressive Ocean Voyager exhibit. I was built to hold whale sharks and currently has three. In addition to these, it has four manta rays and thousands of other fish. You will also see schools of Jacks and stingrays as well as a goliath grouper. Make sure to go through the tunnel and spend time in a big viewing room at the end of this exhibit. It is very impressive, relaxing and kind of mesmerizing.
Here’s a video of some of our tour:
We also have two 3D versions as well. If you have red and blue glasses, you can watch the red cyan separation video (top) (check your kids book shelfs – we always seem to have some hiding there). If you have Google Cardboard, Oculus, or other VR tech like a 3D TV, watch the side by side video (stereoscopic). If you make the video small enough (they two sides should be about the distance your eyes are apart), you can actually watch it in 3 D with just your eyes too. It is like the magic eye pictures when you were a kid. Look through the image to merge a single picture together in the middle. Enjoy!
We were lucky enough to watch them feed the whale sharks. Ever wonder how they do it? We got to watch. They send a guy out on that little inflatable raft and these whale sharks were pretty well trained. They got all excited and then he pours in buckets of whale shark food. The whale sharks loved it. They zipped around and were very happy.
Another great exhibit is the Cold Water Quest. You will see Penguins, sea dragons and beluga whales. In addition, they have a touch and feel section with some anemone and a fun jellyfish area.
Number 3: Watch the musical / dolphin show “Dolphin Tales.” We didn’t have much time and we had traveled all day with six kids so we only got to one more exhibit. As far as the kids were concerned, this was the only one that is needed . . . Dolphin Tales! Dolphin Tales is a blend of lights, water, sound, singing, story, and best of all, Dolphins. They are very strict about cameras so we don’t have any of our own pictures, but the show was good. The kids wouldn’t stop screaming.
The Georgia aquarium is a very fun stop. The whole family enjoyed it. Make sure this is on your agenda for your Atlanta vacation.