World’s Largest Aquarium – The Georgia Aquarium Atlanta GA

World’s Largest Aquarium – The Georgia Aquarium Atlanta GA

With only a few weeks left until we move from Atlanta to LA, we wanted to be sure we took a moment to be tourists in the place we’ve called home for the past 10+ years.

One of the bigger attractions in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium, the world’s largest indoor aquarium. [Update: As of April 2014, China’s Ocean Kingdom is the largest aquarium, but Georgia Aquarium is still the largest aquarium in the Western hemisphere.] We’ve been a handful of times since they opened in 2005, and there are always new exhibits to see. We even shot some engagements and weddings there back in the day.

Atlanta Georgia Aquarium - Largest Aquarium in the Western Hemisphere // localadventurer.comGeorgia Aquarium Whale Sharks - Largest Aquarium in America // localadventurer.com

My favorite part of the aquarium is always the jellyfish. I can spend hours photographing them. This is a Pacific Sea Nettle. They have a bell shaped “head” and lacey tentacles.

Pacific Sea Nettle Georgia Aquarium Atlanta // localadventurer.com

The moon jellyfish (on the left) looks very familiar to the one we saw in Cinque Terre.

Moon Jellyfish Atlanta Aquarium - Largest Aquarium in the Western Hemisphere // localadventurer.comGeorgia Aquarium - World's Largest Aquarium // localadventurer.com
Pacific Sea Nettle Jellyfish Exhibit Georgia Aquarium Atlanta // localadventurer.com

I was most fascinated with the self-illuminating neon rainbow jellyfish or the actual name is the comb jellyfish / ctenophora (not as fun!). It’s a new jellyfish species that was discovered pretty recently in 2009. The rainbow glow comes from the light reflecting off of their cilia. It looks unreal. It is so fragile that touching it can cause it to shatter and dies even if it bumps into fishing line.

We actually saw one in the wild in Indonesia while swimming with whale sharks. I couldn’t focus my camera on it because there was so little light. As it swam close to me, I panicked and tried to push it away and the force of the water shattered it. Sad day. 😭😭😭 Apparently, they don’t even sting!

Self Illuminating Comb Jellyfish (ctenophora) at the Georgia Aquarium Atlanta // localadventurer.comSelf Illuminating Comb Jellyfish (ctenophora) at the Georgia Aquarium Atlanta // localadventurer.com
Rainbow Jellyfish at the GA Aquarium in Atlanta // localadventurer.comNeon Jellyfish at the GA Aquarium in Atlanta // localadventurer.comThe Aquarium in Atlanta is the Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.com

Their beluga whale + the tunnel view of the largest tank.

Beluga Whale Georgia Aquarium - Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurerAtlanta Georgia Aquarium - Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.comThe Aquarium in Atlanta is the Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.com

There are interactive parts of the aquarium where you can touch the anemones and stingrays.

Interactive Exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium Atlanta GA // localadventurer.comInteractive Exhibits at the Georgia Aquarium Atlanta GA // localadventurer.com

Lion Fish are native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and other islands in the pacific but were spotted in Georgia waters in 2000. Because they have no natural predators in our area, they’ve been multiplying like crazy.

Lion Fish Georgia Aquarium - Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.com
Georgia Aquarium Lionfish // localadventurer.com

They also have some temporary exhibits that come through. Previously we saw Frogs: A Chorus of Colors. I just liked this guy chillin’ on the branch. What a funny guy.

Georgia Aquarium Frogs - A Chorus of Colors // localadventurer.com

Currently, they have an exhibit called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea. It’s amazing what artists can do with trash. But seriously? Why are people taking lighters into the ocean? Now that we just got dive certified, maybe we can join something like Dive Against Debris.

Washed Ashore Art to Save the Sea Exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta // localadventurer.comWashed Ashore Exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta // localadventurer.comWashed Ashore Exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta // localadventurer.comThe Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.comThe Aquarium in Atlanta is the Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.com

TIPS FOR VISITING THE GEORGIA AQUARIUM ATLANTA GA

  • If you plan on visiting multiple Atlanta attractions, get the CityPASS.
  • Buy tickets online and go the first hour of the day for a $7 discount off the ticket price.
  • See hours of operation and buy tickets here.
  • Check upstairs if there are new smaller exhibits. These are easy to miss.
  • Be sure to check special show times beforehand if you want to make the show. Go to the show 30 minutes early for a decent seat. It can get packed.
  • If you’re not there for the shows, go to the main exhibits during that time since they empty out.

For a more intimate experience, you can snorkel or dive with whale sharks (we recently did the rebreather dive here and it was unreal!). You can also do an animal interaction with beluga whales, penguins, dolphins, or sea otters.

Enjoy!!

Georgia Aquarium Address
225 Baker St NW Atlanta GA 30313
404.581.4000

If you’re looking for more things to do, don’t forget to check out our ultimate Atlanta bucket list25 free things to do in Atlanta, and best instaspots in Atlanta.

Have you been to the Georgia Aquarium? When you visit different cities, do you usually check out the aquariums or what to you head to first? Did you know that the Georgia Aquarium also hosts sleepovers? I definitely want to try sleeping under the sea.

xoxo estherJacob
“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

The Second Largest Aquarium in the World // localadventurer.com

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Is it just me or does your aquarium looks better then ours here in Long Beach. =D

    1. well, it’s supposed to be the largest indoor aquarium in the world… i haven’t personally compared with many other aquariums so i can’t tell you it’s the best. but you should come visit and check it out! :)

  2. Fantastic photos as always. One more tip — Go to the main exhibits at the aquarium while everyone else is at the dolphin show. The exhibits empty out even on the crowded weekends, so beat the rush. Cheers

    1. thanks josh! good tip. i didn’t even think about that. :) will add it to the list.

    1. hey danny & susan. thanks for checking out our blog. :) great tips on your blog as well.

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