How to Visit Georgia Aquarium - Georgia Aquarium (2024)

Deep Dive

Welcome to Georgia Aquarium

Visiting Georgia Aquarium is not only one of the most fun things to do in Atlanta, it’s a chance to witness the world’s oceans up close, gain a deeper understanding of the creatures that inhabit them, and contribute to their conservation.

With over 11 million gallons of water, the Aquarium is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. It’s home to more than 500 species and thousands of animals from playful sea otters to majestic beluga whales. Plus, Georgia Aquarium is one of only five in the world (and the only one in the United States) that houses awe-inspiring whale sharks. Since opening in 2005, we’ve welcomed over 42 million guests, inspiring each of them to learn more about ocean conservation and the marine animals that call Georgia Aquarium home.

Georgia Aquarium is a place for everyone. Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, celebrating a holiday, or planning a date night there’s something to delight and engage guests of all ages. It’s the perfect destination to create lasting memories.

Georgia Aquarium is open 365 days a year. The last aquarium entry is half an hour before closing. Hours are subject to change. Please check the open hours before your visit.

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Understanding Your Ticket Options

Are you planning to buy tickets in advance or when you arrive? Will you be visiting with a large group or exploring the Aquarium on your own? Whatever your plans, find the ticketing or membership option that’s right for you.

General Admission

When it comes to general admission tickets, you have two options: Plan Ahead & Save General Admission or Anytime General Admission. Plan Ahead & Save General Admission tickets allow you to select a day and time for your ticket in advance or during off-peak times to find the best ticket price. An Anytime General Admission ticket is good for a single-day admission without having to select a day and time in advance–no blackout dates. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. One dollar of every ticket goes towards supporting the Aquarium’s mission of conservation and education.

Your general admission ticket grants you access to all of our galleries as well as our dolphin and sea lion presentations (presentation availability is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis). From touch pools to breathtaking exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

  • Aquanaut Adventure
  • Cold Water Quest
  • Dolphin Coast Presented by Margaritaville by Wyndham
  • Gator Crossing
  • Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot
  • SHARKS! Predators of the Deep®
  • Southern Company River Scout
  • Tropical Diver
  • Truist Pier 225

Georgia Aquarium strives to deliver a memorable experience for all Guests. If your visit does not meet your expectations, we would love to host you again free of charge via our Come Back Guarantee. Before you leave on the day of your visit, go to our Guest Relations Desk and let us know that you would like to return on another day. Our Guest Services team will take care of the rest. Please note that this offer is only available during the day of your visit to Georgia Aquarium.

Memberships

If you’re a frequent visitor, consider becoming a member. It’s a great way to save since the cost of a membership pays for itself in two visits. Georgia Aquarium offers three membership options – Individual, Family, and Land & Sea (Georgia Aquarium + Zoo Atlanta). Each membership comes with its own set of benefits such as exclusive discounts, members-only entrance, and 25% off parking. Family and Land & Sea memberships even come with the perk of receiving two free guest tickets, allowing you to share the magic of the Aquarium.

Resident Pass

While not available for purchase year-round, Georgia Aquarium offers a multi-visit Resident Pass. Reservations are required for each visit when using your Resident Pass.This helps lighten the crowds and ensures a more enjoyable experience for all guests.

Enjoy the Holidays with Your Georgia Aquarium Family

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Why are the Tickets Timed Entry?

Georgia Aquarium uses a timed entry system to reduce crowds and limit congestion. This means that you’ll be assigned a specific entry time, allowing for a smoother and more comfortable visit. If you miss your time slot or arrive too early, you may not be allowed to enter, so please try to arrive at your scheduled time. The average length of a visit varies, but most guests spend 2-4 hours exploring the Aquarium.

Special Discounts

We are proud to offer special discounts to show appreciation for military personnel. Military discounts are available, including Military Mondays, where active and retired military members receive free admission.

Georgia Aquarium also offers discounts for educators, birthday admissions for Georgia residents, and City Pass holders. To stay up to date on the latest specials and events, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter.

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Don’t Miss Out On the Free Dolphin & Sea Lion Presentations

When you visit Georgia Aquarium, be sure to take advantage of the incredible, free dolphin and sea lion presentations (included with your general admission ticket). Reservations are required and can only be made on the day of your visit. Seats are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Dolphin Presentation: Tips and Information

The dolphin presentation is a must-see show that will leave you in awe. Watch as these graceful creatures showcase their skills and interact with their trainers. It’s an educational and entertaining experience that is definitely one of the most fun things to do in Atlanta for kids and families.

To make the most of your dolphin presentation experience, you’ll want to:

  • Check the daily schedule before your visit to find the show times that work best with your arrival time.
  • Make your reservation as early as possible on the day of your visit to secure a seat. Space is limited.
  • Guarantee you get the best view when you reserve a preferred seat in advance for an additional $5.
  • Download Georgia Aquarium’s mobile app on either the App Store or Google Play. It provides a convenient way to check presentation times and find the presentation location on the Aquarium map.

Sea Lion Presentation: Tips and Information

Prepare to be delighted by the sea lion presentation, where these charismatic creatures will steal your heart. Watch as they showcase their intelligence, agility, and playful antics.

To make the most of your sea lion presentation experience, you’ll want to:

  • Check the daily schedule prior to your visit to find the show times that work best with your arrival time.
  • Make your reservation as early as possible on the day of your visit to secure a seat. Space is limited.
  • Guarantee you get the best view when you reserve a preferred seat in advance for an additional $5.
  • Download Georgia Aquarium’s mobile app on either the App Store or Google Play. It provides a convenient way to check presentation times and find the presentation location on the Aquarium map.

Level Up Your Visit With a Unique Animal Encounter

At Georgia Aquarium, we offer one-of-a-kind animal encounters and interactions that you won’t find at most aquariums. These encounters provide an up-close and personal opportunity to connect with our incredible marine life in a way that is rare and truly special.

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  • Dive with Whale Sharks: Plunge into the depths of our Ocean Voyager exhibit and come face-to-face with these gentle giants.
  • Swim With Gentle Giants: Surround yourself with whale sharks, manta rays, and more.
  • Sea Lion Encounter: Interact with these intelligent and charismatic creatures to learn about their behaviors and participate in training sessions.
  • Dolphin Encounter: Get up close and personal by touching and feeding these friendly creatures to help keep them healthy and happy.
  • Penguin Encounter: Meet a penguin by going behind the scenes of our Cold Water Quest gallery.
  • : Turn your fear into fascination by suiting up and getting in the water with some of our sharks and rays.
  • Harbor Seal Encounter: Participate in an exciting harbor seal training session alongside Georgia Aquarium’s own animal trainers.
  • Beluga Encounter: Interact with these charismatic creatures while you participate first-hand in a poolside training session that shows how we care for our belugas to keep them healthy.
  • Sea Otter Encounter: Meet some of our sea otters in an exclusive tour and training session.
  • Behind the Seas Tour: Explore the inner workings of Georgia Aquarium to get a glimpse into the world of marine conservation and learn how we care for our animals.
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I highly recommend the Harbor Seal encounter. We learned so much, got to pet them and took the cutest pics. I loved that it was a small group and the trainers were super nice and knowledgeable.

EXPLORE ENCOUNTERS

Parking and Directions for Georgia Aquarium

To make your visit as convenient as possible, we have a couple different options for getting here and parking. When commuting to Georgia Aquarium, be sure to account for traffic so you don’t miss your ticket times.

Public Transportation to Georgia Aquarium

If you prefer not to drive, consider using public transportation like MARTA. The Aquarium is a 10-15 minute walk from Civic Center or Peachtree Center Stations on the Red/Gold line, or GWCC/CNN Center/Philips Arena Station on the Blue/Green line. More details can be found on our directions and parking page.

Another convenient option is to use ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft.

Onsite Georgia Aquarium Parking Lots

If driving, Georgia Aquarium offers onsite parking with two entrances:

  • 357 Luckie Street, NW Atlanta, GA 30313
  • 242 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
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When parking, you can purchase your parking ticket online in advance. If you choose to purchase prepaid parking vouchers, please note that they are one-time use only. You can also pay for parking onsite at the kiosks, which are located in the parking lot and at the elevators, or at the gate when you leave. If your parking barcode is not scanning properly, we have attendants posted at each exit to assist you.

Georgia Aquarium Members can access their 25% off parking discount barcodes in our mobile app. Download now from the App Store or Google Play.

After parking in the lot, head to the Main Entrance. There is signage to guide you along the way. Pro Tip: You may notice we have an Oceans Ballroom entrance. This entrance is for special events only.

Other Parking Options Near Georgia Aquarium

If the onsite parking lot is full, there are alternative parking options available. You can park in the Coca-Cola parking lot, as these lots are shared. However, please note that prepaid parking cannot be used. Additionally, there may be available parking on the street or in private parking lots nearby. If you have an oversized vehicle, the private parking lots are best to accommodate your needs.

Getting Back to the Parking Lot After Your Visit

When you first arrive, make note of where you parked to make it easier to find your spot after your visit. On each level, there is a sign near the elevators with a designated animal for your floor. We recommend taking a picture of this animal to serve as a helpful reminder when you’re ready to return to your vehicle.

Did You Know?

As a Georgia Aquarium Member, you save 25% off parking every time you visit.

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Dining at Georgia Aquarium

When visiting, we kindly ask that you refrain from bringing outside food and drink. Our onsite dining option, Coastline Cafe, offers a range of meal options and snacks. From sandwiches and salads to burgers and pizza, the menu has something for everyone. We also have select vegetarian and gluten-free options available to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions.

To maximize your time and skip the lines, you can order ahead of time. Simply place your order online and pick up your meal at the Coastline Café when it’s ready.

While Georgia Aquarium offers onsite dining, we are located in the heart of Atlanta, where there are many food options nearby. If you prefer to explore the surrounding area for dining options, you’ll find a wide range of restaurants and eateries to choose from.

Navigating Peak Visit Times to Avoid Crowds

Peak visit times are typically on weekends (particularly Saturdays) and holidays (such as Labor Day, 4th of July, and Spring Break).

Want to avoid large crowds during your visit? Plan your trip during weekdays, specifically Monday through Thursday. During these times, the Aquarium tends to be less crowded, allowing you to explore the exhibits with ease. However, please be aware of field trips if you’re visiting during the school year, as this may increase the number of visitors.

Insider Tips:

  • Occasionally, you’ll encounter heavy congestion when visiting the Ocean Voyager Built by Home Depot or Tropical Diver exhibits. If you experience this, consider visiting one of our other galleries, such as Sharks! Predators of the Deep or Southern Company River Scout first.
  • The popular dolphin or sea lion presentations fill up fast, so make a reservation as soon as possible on the day of your visit. Reservations can be made via the mobile app, on our website, or in person.
  • Take advantage of the designated quiet zones throughout the Aquarium. These areas provide a peaceful retreat if you need a break from the hustle and bustle.
  • Consider leaving your stroller behind to avoid congestion in narrow exhibit hallways. If possible, opt for baby-wearing or other alternatives to navigate more smoothly.
  • Typical visits to Georgia Aquarium last 2-4 hours. However, if you plan to attend animal presentations, we recommend allocating 4-6 hours to fully enjoy the shows and explore the exhibits at a leisurely pace.

Prepping for Your Day at the Aquarium

Ahead of your visit to Georgia Aquarium, we recommend you take a look at the map to get a lay of the land. Here are a few other things for visitors to consider to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Accessing Your Ticket

If you purchased your tickets online, check your email for the confirmation and ticket details. If you have a Georgia Aquarium account, you can access your tickets through our website or mobile app. You can also download tickets to your Apple Wallet or Google Wallet for easy access.

Mobile App

Our mobile app offers a range of benefits and features to enhance your visit. It provides access to your tickets, daily schedules, a map of Georgia Aquarium, and more. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.

Water Bottles

To stay hydrated during your visit, we encourage guests to bring a refillable water bottle. There are refillable water stations throughout the Aquarium, allowing you to limit the use of plastic and help further our conservation mission.

Bags & Backpacks

Security checks may be conducted upon entry to ensure the safety of all visitors.

Stroller Policy

Because exhibits can become crowded, we recommend leaving strollers in the car unless they are absolutely necessary. Note that strollers cannot be larger than 29” (72 cm) in width and 52” (132 cm) in length and wagons, wagon strollers, push cars, jogging strollers, and ride-ons are not permitted. Babywearing is a convenient alternative if your little ones can’t walk the whole time. For the full policy click here.

Changing Your Plans

We understand unforeseen circ*mstances arise and you need to make changes to your ticket. While we do not offer refunds for purchased tickets, you will be able to change the date of your visit up to 24 hours in advance for a small processing fee. After the date of your visit, we are unable to make date changes.

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Photography at the Aquarium

You are welcome to take photos that capture the beautiful marine life and special moments with friends and loved ones during your visit. We welcome personal cameras, smartphones, and small handheld video cameras. However, we ask that you do not bring professional cameras with detachable lenses, tripods, monopods, and drones.

When taking photos of exhibits, we ask that you please do not use flash photography for the safety of our animals. The Aquarium offers many ideal spots for capturing memorable photos, including the Ocean Voyager exhibit with its massive viewing window and the vibrant Tropical Diver exhibit. Please be mindful of other guests when taking photos and avoid blocking walkways.

Georgia Aquarium offers an optional souvenir photo upon entry to help you preserve your memories. You can view and purchase your photo at kiosks located at Guest Services, on the second floor, and at the exit. Please note that you will need your ticket number to access your photo.

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Georgia Aquarium is Accessible to Everyone

Georgia Aquarium is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all visitors. We welcome guests with special needs of any kind, including needs related to mobility, hearing, or vision.

Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis for visitors who may need assistance. Accessible ramps are also provided to ensure ease of movement. For nursing individuals, there is a private nursing/pumping pod available on the second floor.

Georgia Aquarium has been named the first Gold Certified organization by WheelChariot, a pioneering platform dedicated to promoting accessibility for people with disabilities, for our unwavering commitment to inclusivity—making us a leading accessible destination in the Atlanta metro area. Georgia Aquarium was also recognized as a 2022 KultureCity Certified Sensory-Inclusive Venue. This certification acknowledges our commitment to providing a friendly experience for individuals with sensory sensitivities, including a sensory room and quiet zones. Sensory bags are available for pickup at Guest Services. And in 2018, Georgia Aquarium became the first aquarium designated as a Certified Autism Center.

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Visit the Aquarium Gift Shop for Souvenirs

The gift shop at Georgia Aquarium offers a wide range of souvenirs and gifts that will help you remember your experience and support our mission of conservation. Whether you’re looking for t-shirts, plush toys, keychains, or unique marine-themed items, you’ll find something to suit your taste and budget. Souvenirs are also available for purchase online. A portion of the proceeds from online gift sales support our mission and conservation efforts.

SHOP MERCHANDISE ONLINE

Continue Experiencing the Aquarium, Even After Your Visit

Georgia Aquarium’s mission is to entertain, inspire, and educate guests about aquatic biodiversity and ocean conservation through engaging exhibits. After your visit, we encourage you to check out our resource center for additional educational materials, articles, and resources for further exploration and learning. There are several other ways to continue learning about the Aquarium and its initiatives:

  • At-home learning programs provide resources, activities, and educational materials that you can access from home.
  • Listen to Georgia Aquarium’s podcast, “Life Below the Surface,” which covers various topics related to marine life, conservation, and the Aquarium’s initiatives.
  • Explore volunteer opportunities to contribute your time and skills to help with various initiatives and programs.
  • Make an impact with a donation.
  • Purchase a membership to receive benefits like unlimited visits, discounts, and exclusive access to special events.
  • Check out our live webcams to see our marine life in real-time.
  • Watch Georgia Aquarium featured on Animal Planet TV series to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work and conservation initiatives.
  • Learn more about our research and conservation effortsand how you can help make a difference.
  • Stay connected by following us on social media: Facebook, Instagram, X, Pinterest, and TikTok.

Thank you for choosing to visit Georgia Aquarium as your destination! We look forward to welcoming you and hope you have a truly memorable experience.

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ABOUT GEORGIA AQUARIUM

Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Atlanta, Ga. that is Humane Certified by American Humane and accredited by the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Georgia Aquarium is committed to working on behalf of all marine life through education, preservation, exceptional animal care, and research across the globe. Georgia Aquarium continues its mission each day to inspire, educate, and entertain its millions of guests about the aquatic biodiversity throughout the world through its engaging exhibits and tens of thousands of animals across its eight major galleries.

How to Visit Georgia Aquarium - Georgia Aquarium (2024)
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