This post describes experience while visiting Georgia Aquarium last November 2015. What I saw at that time may probably different right now as the aquarium went to renovations and improvements for the past two years.
Since it was my last day in Atlanta as the next day was my return flight to my country, I felt like I have to see more as much as I can while I was still in the city. After an hour of leisure walk at Peachtree Street NE, I turned right at Baker Street towards Pemberton Place where Georgia Aquarium is located.
When I visited World of Coca-Cola, I bought Atlanta City Pass which is a bundle tickets for the most popular tourist places to see in Downtown Atlanta and that includes the aquarium, therefore I already have ticket for the Largest Aquarium in Western Hemisphere which is Georgia Aquarium.
Walking at Baker St NW towards Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium at Pemberton Place
It’s past 6:00 PM in Friday evening and I just have around two hours left before Georgia Aquarium will close that day and Friday is the only day in a week that it close late at 8PM, and because of that I was a bit lucky to still have time to sneak around the place.
Because I came two hours before it close, most of the shows inside the aquarium were over, so typically I haven’t seen any shows anymore and all I can do was see what was available for me at that time. But when I walked inside the aquarium I still felt amazed in the surroundings and overwhelm how huge it was.
I will described here the following things and marine species that I saw while wandering inside the former World’s Largest Aquarium.
While inside the Georgia Aquarium before I get inside of one of the gallery, the first thing to notice was the cafeteria. Cafe Aquaria is located almost at the center of the aquarium. So wherever you are, whether you are in the first or second level, the cafeteria is still visible.
The first area that I explored inside Georgia Aquarium was River Scout which according to my brochure it is a place where I will discover the wide diversity of animals found in the rivers and lakes of Africa, South America, Asia and the state of Georgia.
The species exhibited here are came from Amazon River – world’s second’s largest river. As per experience, I saw colourful fishes in this part of River Scout.
Lake Tanganyika and Lemon Cichlids
Fishes of New Guinea
Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish
Southeast Asian Fishes
Spotted Scat and Banded Archerfish
Banded Archer Fish
Green striped hermit carb
Yellow Belly Slider
Leaving River Scout
Dolphin Celebration (Dolphin Tales)
Just beside River Scout, there is escalator that goes to Dolphin Celebration area. Since no more shows available, I just took my chance to see the Dolphins at the lobby area where they were playing and swimming.
Common Bottlenose Dolphin
I saw Dolphins couple of times in different places that I had been with, but their charm towards me are still there. I still stop for a moment just to watch them after I took some photos of them.
Cold Water Quest
The area which just next to Dolphin Tales gallery is Cold Water Quest where the focus of the exhibits are species that lives in waters with cold temperatures and found all over the world.
Weedy Sea Dragons
Rock Fish and Sea Star
Giant Plumose Anemone and Japanese Spider Crab
Sea Star, Sea Urchins, and Sea Anemones
After enjoying the animals in Cold Water Quest, I went to Ocean Voyager where the former World’s Largest Aquarium until 2012 can be found. I do honestly enjoy such kind of aquarium that allows people to virtually walked underneath of it. It is said that this is the only Aquarium in North America to house whale sharks.
Giant Guitarfish and Giant Grouper
Giant Grouper and Golden Trevally
Giant Grouper, Zebra Shark and Doctorfish
Giant Grouper and Doctorfish
Giant Grouper and Zebra Shark
Giant Guitarfish and Smallmouth Grunt
Shanks and Rays
One thing that I really enjoyed here were watching some of the Jelly Fishes inside Tropical Diver gallery. Knowing that jelly fishes can sting people in the water but seeing such species on its sea like environment makes them look so beautiful. Below were some of my snapshots captured while exploring the gallery.
Tropical Diver gallery has a look of a biodiversity coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific which commonly called “rainforests of the ocean” which can allow divers to experience such similar environments.
White Spotted Jelly
Japanese Sea Nettle
Weedy Scorpionfish and Warty Frogfish
Striped Eel Catfish
Before I totally left the Georgia Aquarium, I still tried to explore other areas that I probably missed and I was correct. When I walked at second level I found Aquanaut Adventure area which in my impression was designed for young at heart (or kids).
This area allows visitors to touch three different kinds of rays but at the time of my visit, that opportunity is not available anymore as the aquarium nears its time for closing for the day.
Other things to see inside Georgia Aquarium
Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow
Treasures of the Sea (Gift Shop and Exit)
I left Georgia Aquarium just few minutes after 8PM in the evening. Then, I walked back to my hotel via MARTA Train. And that time I hopped on the train at Peachtree Center Station, therefore, I walked a bit in Peachtree Street and took some photos in that part of Downtown before ending my last night in Atlanta.
Peachtree Center where I took MARTA train going back to my hotel near at the airport.
1. Plan to visit Georgia Aquarium ? – Please check latest information here
2. Entrance Fee – Please check here for latest updates
Note: If you plan to visit other tourist spots in Atlanta, I suggest to get Atlanta City Pass to get discounted prices.
3. Public Transportation Ticket – Use MARTA Breese Card, here’s the official website, here’s alternative site for the card
4. Directions to Georgia Aquarium using train :
If you will ride within Red Line or Gold Line regardless which station you will come from, just remember to get-off at Peachtree Center Station.
If you will ride in any of Blue or Green Line, you are required to transfer at Five Points Station and take Red or Gold Line and get off at Peachtree Center Station.
At Peachtree Street, turn Right until you reach Baker Street NW and turn left towards Pemberton Place.