Ocean Voyager exhibit at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Aquarium: Whale Shark of a Good Time

By:

Shawn R.

August 18th, 2020

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the biggest and best aquariums in the world. It was easy to put it high on our bucket list of “Must Go” places. We would like to start by saying a big “Thank You” to Jessica for being so cool with us. We always appreciate it when people open their doors and show us everything we wanna see. Now the highlights and details of the Georgia Aquarium.

Parking:

Use the parking garage connected to the aquarium. It’s $10 for an all-day parking pass. We initially had some confusion on where and when to pay the parking fee. Here is the scoop on that subject: Pay when returning to your car at the kiosk near the elevators. Make sure to grab the receipt which you will use to raise the gates at the exit. Do not be cheap and use nearby parking lots offering $5, your car is much safer in the garage.

Ocean Voyager:

The Ocean Voyager Exhibit has to be the pride and joy of the Georgia Aquarium. It was a jaw-dropper for us when we entered the exhibit and stood in front of the enormous viewing window for a long time just gazing into the blue hue. It is easily the largest tank in North America holding 6.3 million gallons of saltwater, with four whale sharks and four manta rays. They are the only manta rays in an aquarium in the United States. An added bonus is the 100-foot underwater tunnel through the massive tank bringing you up and close to the giant groupers.

Here is a tip: Have your camera ready when entering with a child, the expression on their face is priceless and needs to be captured.

Exterior of Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta
Temporary Exhibit: Frogs - Chorus of Colors
Tropical Diver, a Tropical Coral Reef Exhibit
Penguin Habitat in the Cold Water Quest Gallery
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River Scout & Tropical Diver:

The River Scout was pretty interesting to walk through compared to the other exhibits. The exhibit carries an outdoor theme throughout the entire exhibit. River Scout features animals that can be found across the world. Some of our favorite animals in the exhibit: Asian small-clawed otters (sleeping) and red piranhas.

We have to agree with Georgia Aquarium’s statement “Tropical Diver is a living art exhibit”. The Pacific Barrier Reef filled with so many moving colors making it rough on the eyes to select just one fish. We never saw a garden eel before and it was helpful that one of the volunteers was present to tell us more info about the eel.

Cold Water Quest:

The Cold Water Quest has a lot of stars in the exhibit The beluga whales (4 of them) are constantly swimming by the viewing window entertaining the crowd. They definitely acknowledge and know when people are watching them. The southern sea otters are huge compared to some other otters I have seen in the past from other aquariums. The otters were wrestling with each other like siblings in their childhood years. In the penguin area, I convinced Nick to crawl through a tunnel to reach an up-close viewing area. The penguins were very active, swimming and waddling around their surrounding.

Final Thoughts:

Great aquarium, really appreciate the high theme level for each exhibit. It works well in setting the overall mood for the exhibit. I could easily sit for more than a half-hour in the Ocean Voyager and watch the whale sharks.

Georgia aquarium is a “Must Visit” if you have children. The kids in the area are lucky to be able to go on field trips to the aquarium and see the behind the scene workings. My childhood field trip consisted of trips to Johnstown Flood Museum which barely reached exciting on the fun score.

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The Good

  • The Ocean Voyager Exhibit is Massive

  • Overall the Aquarium is Big & Fun to Explore, Plenty to See

  • The Staff was Amazing & Willing to Answer Any Questions

  • Great Central Location in Atlanta, Nearby is National Center for Civil and Human Rights & World of Coca-Cola

The Bad

  • Parking Garage has a Confusing System

  • Crowds During Bad Weather

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