5 Reasons to Visit Georgia Aquarium

I’ve partnered with Georgia Aquarium on this post. All opinions in this blog post are my own.

We are a sea life loving family and Georgia Aquarium has always been on our bucket list. We were excited to finally get a chance to visit Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and it was everything we dreamed of and more! 

In this blog post, I’ll share 5 reasons why you and your family should travel to Georgia Aquarium. 

Reasons to Visit Georgia Aquarium

5 Reasons to Visit Georgia Aquarium

1. Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere

Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. That’s all of the US, Canada, Mexico and 20 different countries combined. It’s full of activities, presentations and encounters for the whole family and there’s something for everyone at every age group. 

Reasons to Visit Georgia Aquarium

2. Georgia Aquarium offers a variety of animal encounters

Georgia Aquarium offers two presentations and a variety of animal encounters.

The two presentations are:

  1. Dolphin Presentation 
  2. Sea Lion Presentation

Sea Lion Presentation at Georgia Aquarium

Sea Lion Presentation
Sea Lion Presentation Georgia Aquarium

We got to view and participate in the sea lion presentation. This presentation is lively, fun and interactive. We learned that each sea lion performing was rescued from dangerous and unsafe conditions and wouldn’t have survived in the wild.

We met a sea lion named Diego and got up close and personal with him. He sang for us and even gave me a wet kiss! You can watch the full video here (link to reel) and find more information about the sea lion presentation here

Little boy posing with Sea Lion
Sea Lion closeup

Shark and Ray Interaction 

Georgia Aquarium offers a variety of animal encounters such as the following:

  • Penguin encounter 
  • Sea Lion encounter 
  • Swim or dive with gentle giants in Ocean Voyager 
  • Shark and ray interaction
  • Shark cage dive
  • Harbor Seal encounter 
  • Beluga Whale interaction 
Shark and Ray Interaction
Shark and Ray Interaction experience
Georgia Aquarium wetsuits
Georgia Aquarium animal interaction activity

My family got to participate in the shark and ray interaction. This experience is available for anyone over the age of 7 and at least 4 feet tall. 

They provide wetsuits in a changing room with showers. It was a really cool experience to get up close and personal with the sharks and rays. We even got to touch and interact with them in a safe environment. Be sure to bring a swimsuit you can wear under the wetsuit. 

You can find more information about this shark and ray interaction here

3. Georgia Aquarium is the only place where you can swim and dive with whale sharks and manta rays

swim and dive with whale sharks and manta rays

The swim with whale sharks and manta rays is the highlight of Georgia Aquarium. In fact, this is the only place where you can swim and dive with them.

In this experience, you get to work with a trainer and spend 30 minutes swimming in the water. They also provide souvenir photos and a T-shirt and videos are also available for purchase. It’s an awesome experience to be able to swim with the gentle giants in the water in a controlled and safe environment.

You can find more information about reservation and costs here

Georgia Aquarium review
swim and dive with whale sharks and manta rays

4. You can see many different types of animals in one place

Georgia Aquarium houses more than 100,000 animals from 500 species in 7 different galleries. From whale sharks to freshwater fish to African penguins, beluga whales and hammerhead sharks, you can see a wide variety of animals in one place. 

jellyfish in aquarium
Georgia Aquarium creatures
Georgia Aquarium animals
Georgia Aquarium penguins
Georgia Aquarium reptiles

5. It’s the first aquarium to be a Certified Autism Center

As a special needs family, we really appreciate the fact that Georgia Aquarium is a Certified Autism Center. Front-line staff and volunteers are trained on working with guests with different sensory needs. 

They also provide sensory bags equipped with noise canceling headsets, sunglasses for light sensitivity, fidget devices and an “I need/I feel” card, which may be used to help nonverbal individuals communicate with staff.

On the second floor, you can find Wilkins Rhodes Sensory Room for anyone who may need a break during their visit. We definitely took advantage of this room several times throughout the day, not only with our special needs child, but our two young children. 

Mother's privacy room
sensory room
Wilkins Rhodes Sensory Room
Georgia Aquarium for families

Tips for families traveling to Georgia Aquarium

VR experience
Georgia Aquarium directions
  1. Georgia Aquarium offers hotel packages. Guests who book through their hotel partners receive one- or two-day admission to Georgia Aquarium included with their stay.
  2. Georgia Aquarium offers three types of memberships that pay for themselves after 2 visits. There are 3 different types of memberships available: 
  • Individual membership
  • Family membership: up to 4 family members 
  • Life & sea membership: up to 4 memberships that can be used at either Georgia Aquarium or Zoo Atlanta

You can find more information about ticket prices, membership and reservations here. Be sure to check their website for the latest information regarding your visit. 

Overall, our visit to Georgia Aquarium was incredibly memorable for the whole family. We’ll definitely be back when our younger kids are older to swim with the whale sharks!

What’s your favorite part about Georgia Aquarium? Would you like to visit with your family? Please leave your comments and questions below! 

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