Georgia Travel

Don’t Miss This: The Georgia Aquarium!

As part of our Homeschool Road Trips series, we are sharing some amazing places to visit in each state!  In the Georgia post, I mentioned some amazing places to visit in Atlanta–including the Georgia Aquarium!

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Georgia Aquarium:

1. It’s the largest (and most inhabited)  aquarium in the United States!

Actually, it’s the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. You’d have to travel to Asia to find another aquarium to compare with the Georgia Aquarium.  In fact, until Chimelong’s Ocean Theme was opened in China in 2014, it was the largest aquarium in the world. The significance of that fact alone is worth the visit.

2. It is the only place outside of Asia to see a Whale Shark up close.

The Whale Shark (pictured below) is endangered, and it is considered to be the world’s largest living fish (It is not a mammal.).  The GA Aquarium is the only place in the western hemisphere where you can view a whale shark, and you can do so though the up-close view offered in the clear walking tunnel of the “Ocean Voyager!”

3. It houses different habitat-based exhibits.

The layout of the Georgia Aquarium makes it almost like visiting several different aquatic exhibits. In each one, you can learn about water-loving animals and what makes their environments unique. This is obviously super friendly to homeschool families, who love to learn and have fun at the same time! At the Georgia Aquarium, you can visit the following galleries :

    • Ocean Voyager:

      This amazing construction was built specifically for the whale sharks who live at the GA Aquarium. It features a clear, acrylic tunnel that visitors can walk through and view the exhibit as if they are underwater: truly a unique experience!

    • Cold Water Quest: 

This exhibit features aquatic creatures who thrive in the coldest waters. It houses penguins, otters, seals, and Beluga whales!

    • Southern Company River Scout:

As you may have guessed, this exhibit features animals that thrive in fresh water. Visitors can see some dangerous animals (like alligators) close up, as well as more tame creatures (like the tortoise). In addition, this exhibit is a great contrast to the many salt-water habitats at the aquarium. Therefore, it provides some good talking points for children who are learning about habitats.

    • Dolphin Coast: 

      Everyone loves dolphins! The Dolphin Coast exhibit is an amazing show where you can watch dolphins train and put on a performance.

    • Under the Boardwalk: 

If sea lions make you laugh, you’ll love this exhibit.  At “Under the Boardwalk,” visitors learn more about these social creatures and their natural habitat.

    • Tropical Diver:

                    This is a beautiful and peaceful exhibit, full of colorful reefs and the animals who thrive in them.

4. It offers fun activities designed for all ages. This aquarium is really well-designed for family fun. There are so many interactive exhibits for children and adults to enjoy, from dolphin and sea lion encounters (and shows), to the the caves and tunnels built around the penguin exhibit, to the aquanaut adventure  section (interactive play/learning area). Everyone in your crew will love it!

5. It’s extremely educational and homeschool friendly.  While aquariums are always educational, this one really goes above and beyond to engage every visitor in learning more about the world’s oceans (and rivers) and the creatures that live in them! They provide free lesson plans that you can download to study before your visit. They even have a special special program for homeschooled students on Tuesdays !

Cost:

Tickets are typically $39.95 per person, but there are discounts available for early birds (before 11 a.m.), GA residents, and those with a yearly membership. There are also various other discounts throughout the year, so be sure to check their site before you plan your trip.

Hours:

9:00 a.m. – 5:oo p.m. daily

Contact:

To find out more details about the wonderful things to do and see at the Georgia Aquarium, visit their website.

About the author

Trish

Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 22 years and they have three sons (ages 19, 17 and 15). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to travel, write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!

51 Comments

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  • I’ve always wanted to go but we never have. Definitely adding this to our list of must see/do! It looks like so much fun and super educational! Thanks for sharing!

  • We love the Georgia Aquarium. The dolphin show is amazing and they have beluga whales too! Such an amazing place and definitely worth it.

  • This is truly our favorite place here in our state! Always something new to see!!!! And the whale sharks…our faves!!!! ❤️❤️❤️

  • I had NO idea that Atlanta had an aquarium much less one so amazing!! My sister-in-law lives in Atlanta and now I want to go visit her even more!!

  • My sister lived near here for a time, and she couldn’t say enough good things about it. I would love to visit here with the family, but wowzer, that’s a heafty price!

  • So glad I saw this. We are traveling to Georgia soon for my bonus sons graduation from the army! We were looking for some fun things to do around the state.

  • My 10th grade son is doing oceanography biology this year so I would love to take him to this aquarium to see all the beautiful sea creatures. It looks amazing! I’m sure my 6th grade daughter would love it too.

    I’d also love to win a blessing box! Thanks!!

  • We made a visit this summer, and it was the most magical experience! My kids have been obsessed with Whale Sharks ever since Finding Dory made it’s debut! So, the Georgia Aquarium was certainly on our family’s bucket list! The moment they came face-to-face with a Whale Shark was nothing short of Awe and Wonder! It totally brought a tear to my eyes!

  • We love the Georgia Aquarium. My little one went when she was about three. Putting it on the list to go back.

  • This is an amazing place. I’ve been there with my boys. We spent hours in there. And it’s by the Coca Cola place.

  • This was (and still is) one of our favorite trips. Seeing a whale shark had been on my son’s bucket list since he learned about them.

  • I’m so excited to see this! We are taking a road trip in March and were looking for places to see along our way. I have a 9thing grade girl who wants to be a marine veterinarian and she can’t wait to check it out!

  • We have not been to the Georgia Aquarium. I will have to put this on our list. We have been to the aquariums in New Orleans and Chattanooga.

  • Just added this to our vacation list next year. We are driving to Fl from CT and will add this stop! Our 14 year old DS loves aquariums.

  • If we ever make it out that way we will for sure check it out! My oldest wants to work at an aquarium when she is older, she loves learning about fish.

  • We just watched a show on Prime about the Manta Rays. It was sponsored by the Georgia aquarium. It looks absolutely amazing!

  • We went not long after it opened!! I have been wanting to go back but we just never seem to make it happen. I think we may just have to this year again.

  • If you haven’t been, you are missing out! It’s hard for large families like mine to afford it, but if you can take a special day trip with one or two of the kids it makes it more doable! It should definitely be on your bucket list!

  • Wish I had known about this over the summer when we traveled through! We just got our first aquarium and have been reading a lot about care and upkeep. I think a trip to a local aquarium is in our near future! I wish this one was closer!!

  • We’ve been planning a trip to visit the great grandparents in Georgia. This is definitely going on the list…and how have we never heard of it before?!?

  • We have been to the aquarium in Chattanooga and lived every minute of it, we actually wanted another day there. Sothis one is definitely on our list of places to visit.

  • This was by far one of our favorite aquariums we’ve visited and one of the highlights of our stop in GA during our road trips!

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