The Georgia Aquarium: An Awe-Inspiring Visit

Recently a friend and I visited the Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the world.   Though it opened here in Atlanta several years ago, this was my first visit.   We purposely timed our visit until school was back in session hoping to avoid big crowds.  I’m not a huge fan of crowds…would rather see something on TV than in person if it means standing in lines forever and then fighting crowds to see exhibits.

Our plan worked and it wasn’t crowded at all.  If you’ve been wanting to visit the Georgia Aquarium and you’re allergic to crowds, too, I do recommend going in early to mid September after all the kiddies are back in school but before the field trips get underway.

As you walk into the aquarium, the first thing you see are fish all swimming the direction you’re walking.

Georgia Aquarium

 

My friend stood over in front of the fish to have a picture made and each time he did, the fish went up and over him as if he was inside the tank with them.  It was funny to watch.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Come along for the tour…I’ll jump in occasionally with a comment here and there.

Georgia Aquarium

 

The Georgia Aquarium is divided into 6 sections: Coldwater Quest, Ocean Voyager, Tropical Diver, Georgia Explorer, River Scout and Dolphin Tales.  We decided to skip the Dolphin show since both of us had seen dolphin shows before.  We just wanted to ramble and enjoy.  We did go to the “Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow” which was fun.  There’s several surprises during the show which made it extra fun.

Georgia Aquarium

 

We started out in Ocean Voyager since my friend was eager to see the sharks.

Georgia Aquarium

 

 

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

 

I have no idea what this was, but it was overhead and made for some fun photography.

Georgia Aquarium

 

More scary sharks…

Georgia Aquarium

 

People were having fun taking pics with their mobile phones.  Photography is a huge challenge due to the low lighting, not to mention the object of your pictures is almost always moving.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Shark belly…

Georgia Aquarium

 

A passing manta ray…

Georgia Aquarium

 

I wouldn’t want to encounter this guy on a swim in the ocean.

Georgia Aquarium

 

We had fun watching the Beluga Whales.  They are one of the most popular, if not the most popular attractions at the Georgia Aquarium.

 

They love to swim down and scratch themselves on the rocks.  They will also swim right by the glass where you’re standing and rub their back down the glass.

Georgia Aquarium

 

They blow bubbles and I noticed when I got home and looked at my pics, this guy was just starting to blow a bunch of bubbles when I snapped this pic.  You can just see them starting to come out of his mouth.

Georgia Aquarium

 

These guys were a hoot!  They are called Sea Dragons.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

Here’s a close-up of one…

Georgia Aquarium

 

The otters were fun to watch…very playful.  This one had a pink tube for a toy.

Georgia Aquarium

He loved leaping up into the air and banging it against the side of the tank.

Georgia Aquarium

 

The penguins were a lot of fun, too.  This guy was looking all regal up inside a high niche in the wall.

 

Down below were two penguins who were gazing up watching his every move.  I couldn’t decide if they were there to admire him or if they were yelling “jump, jump” in penguin language.

Georgia Aquarium

 

You know those super scary movies that are always coming out in the theaters?

Georgia Aquarium

 

I think I know where they pull their inspiration now.  These giant spider crabs were HUGE…like 2-3 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide huge!

Georgia Aquarium

 

Let’s look at something a bit more serene.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

I loved seeing the starfish.  I usually only see those when they are no longer part of the living.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Did you know there are blue starfish?   I had no idea until I saw this one.  Look at that huge white one…isn’t he/she beautiful?

Georgia Aquarium

 

Someone else wanted to get into the starfish picture.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

These were amazing to watch.  It was hard to leave…they were hypnotic.

Georgia Aquarium

 

This is what they are…Pacific Sea Nettle.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

 

Here’s what we found swimming across from the Pacific Sea Nettle.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Moon Jelly.  Who names fishes anyway and what are they drinking before they name them? 😉

Georgia Aquarium

 

A light above them kept changing and since they are practically invisible, it was fun to watch them appear to change colors.

Georgia Aquarium

 

Georgia Aquarium

 

I have quite a few more pics to share but this post is getting very long so I’ll stop for today.

Have you been to the Aquarium?  Any plans to go?

Here’s a video with a bit more info about it…




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Comments

  1. Mary from Virginia says:

    You are a wealth of information on all kinds of creepy things I never knew lived! LOL You’ve given me reason to think before I hop into the ocean again! I’ll try not to picture those things. Glad you enjoyed your trip!

  2. What fun! I too have crowd issues. I tend to put it off until the crowds are gone and then I forget to go. I have the Aquarium of the Pacific not far from me, yet I keeping forgetting. Ok, back on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow Susan, this is wonderful to see…AGAIN!!!
    I was at the Atlanta Aquarium several years ago when it 1st opened…was there in the month of October for a conference, way before I knew you or I’d have stopped in to say “hey”.
    I was in awe over the amazing exhibit and how beautiful and well thought out everything is. I remember those sweet Otters and the Beluga whales, they were truly my favorite part of the exhibit!
    Also, I am just thrilled to see your photography! For the life of me, I was unable to get anything decent due to the extreme low lighting as you mentioned, so these are just wonderful!
    Beautiful post and thank you for sharing!!!
    ~Terry

    • Terry, it is challenging. I used manual very little since it was taking too long and there was too much to see. One of the things my camera is supposed to do well is low-light photography. This was the first time I’ve really challenged it. I just put it on no-flash auto for most of the pics so I could take them and enjoy. I did take a few on manual, but not that many.

  4. Great pictures! I love aquariums and have always wanted to visit the one in Atlanta. Thanks for posting.

  5. This is WONDERFUL!! Thanks so much for sharing all these beautiful pictures! I LOVE the colors! You made your trip sound like such fun and I feel like I was there too!

    Sharron in Texas

  6. Rhonda Workman says:

    I am new to your site. Love it. Thanks for all of your great posts. The pictures of the Pacific Sea Nettle are very good. You need to blow one up on canvas and hang it in your home somewhere. Anyways, thanks for the visual trip to the Aquarium. from Rhonda in Canada

  7. One by one, dropping into the sea,
    Seashells spiralling down the wild blue yonder,
    If the world does not have a sea, what would life be?
    That would be something to reflect and ponder.

    We will not have sharks, nor dolphins to admire,
    We will not see the turtles come to shore to sire,
    We will not see the majestic whale in all it’s splendor,
    Or the magnificent corals bursting with color.

    There will be many we won’t get to see,
    If the world does not have a sea,
    What would life be?
    We should be thankful then, shouldn’t we?

  8. I went to the Aquarium when it first opened and loved it. I went with my whole family of 14 and didn’t get to enjoy as much since I was enjoying my grandchildrens reactions. I would love to go back with just myself and my husband one day. Thanks for posting such great pictures of it.

  9. I can relate…I too live only few hours drive and haven’t had the chance to go yet…I want too so bad…now that I’ve seen your fantastic blog post about the Georgia Aquarium I am ripn’ to go..I hope it’s very soon,I’m going to take your advise(not big on crowds either) and go next couple weeks…yip-pee can’t wait…I love things like this and call me crazy but I love,love,love to be a tourist.

    • Me, too Jo! Go on a Tuesday or Wednesday since some folks have Mondays and Fridays off. Also, if you think the school field trips may have started, you may want to go late in the day…like around 2:00 since most of the schools would have left by then to get the kiddies back to school. I can’t remember if they close at 5 or 6:00. You may want to check just to make sure you don’t go too late. Have fun!

  10. What wonderful pics! We were there two years ago, and these pics have reminded me, I need to go again! Thanks for the memories! 😉

  11. Thanks for sharing these great photos. I have only been to the Aquarium when it first opened although I send all my out of town guests. I must say “I do love the penguins’ stylish bracelets”.

  12. My DH and I were there for the 1st time this week! We have lived in Knoxville for 6 years and are always going through Atlanta but this was our first real visit. It is an amazing place. We were celebrating our 37th anniversary. We went across the street for lunch at Legal Seafoods which overlooks the Aquarium. I thought it was a bit perverse after visiting all the sealife but my DH pointed out that fish was being served at the aquarium too! Love your blogs! Thanks.

    • Pam, that is kind of funny…admiring the fishes in one place and eating them in another a few minutes later. I bet the kind you were eating were different from those you saw, though. 🙂

  13. Loved your pictures…we have an aquarium in Newport OR that is also terrific. We went with visiting family from Mass. this summer and enjoyed the ease and beauty of the visit. How valuable to see the “scary” creatures in their element so we can understand the need to preserve natural habitats for all.

  14. DUN DUN DUN… DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUN….
    Susan, if I visited an Aquarium and would see sharks… I wouldn’t sleep for one week! And I would take only showers, no baths, for two weeks! lol
    May I say I would love the cute penguins, only? Even though those Moon Jellies are “cute”, too! (But only to watch, never to touch! Those little monsters almost ruined my last vacation in Italy, two years ago, because the sea was suddenly filled with them! Thank goodness I sat on the beach when people noticed them and raised the alarm!) Susan, I know I am an exception but I love to stand in a queue! Don’t get me wrong: I don’t choose on purpose a crowd to queue up, but if I have to, I love to “waste” the queue time by observing people who get all excited over the queue! LOL As I said, I am an exception…
    (I sent you an e-mail, my friend…)
    ~Hugs~
    Cecilia

    • Cecilia, you are too funny! The sharks are pretty scary. I was just glad one didn’t eat another fish while I was watching. Not sure if they ever do that, or not. You could hire yourself out as a professional “queue waiter.” Folks would hire you to wait for them. I don’t mind them near as much now that I have an iPad.

  15. I loved going to the aquarium but I felt that the Beluga whales exhibit tank was to small when I was there.

    • Sandy, I wondered about that and I asked the guide if that was the only tank. He said, no…that back behind the rocks, where we couldn’t really see, was an area they can swim to get to two more tanks. He said the other two tanks are smaller than the main one, but there are supposed to be two more that they can access. I thought the main one looked two small for the three of them, too.

  16. Looks amazing! I’ve been to Atlanta a lot, but never visited the aquarium! It’s definitely on my list of things to do one day though!

  17. The fish and other sea creatures were just beautiful, Susan–you did a great job capturing them in your pictures! I’ve never been to this aquarium, but I’ve been to others on the Pacific coast. It looks lovely, and glad you had fun while you were there!

  18. Thank you SO much for posting these images, Susan. They’re mesmerizing! Now I know why people have acquariums to ‘calm’ them. I could sit in front of those tanks for hours, I think, just zoning out.

  19. Susan,
    Just found your blog! I’m in ATL too! AND I went to the Aquarium last week AND I just posted and wrote about it on my blog….http://www.letsgetcrafty.org/fighting-a-blog-virus/

    We’re living parallel bloggy lives!

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