Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Gatlinburg, TN

2 10 2009
  • 88 River Road
  • Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • (865) 430-8808
  • Website
Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN

I wasn’t going to write about any of the attractions we went to, but this was too good to not say something about. 

Usually, I’m not a fan of aquariums. When I was little, I was forced to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago more times than I would have liked. In fact, one was too many. I hated it. It was so boring. So, when one of our friends recommended Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies we were skeptical but willing to give it a shot. 

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is just off The Parkway in Gatlinburg. It’s one of the first things you run into if you’re coming from Pigeon Forge (which is a beautiful drive, btw). In true Ripley’s fashion, the building itself is something to look at. It doesn’t have the stuffy feeling of a museum and it’s not an old building with Gothic architecture. It’s a modern design with a lot of glass. 

The ticket window is actually outside before you get to the main doors. The cost for adults was $20, but like I told J, that was cheaper than the freakin ferry ride to Mackinac Island, so in the grand scheme of things, it probably wasn’t that bad. The ticket lady tried to get us to buy tickets to other Ripley attractions in town which would have saved money if we were going to more than one, but we weren’t. 

After getting tickets, we headed inside where another person ripped our tickets and sent us on our way.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Funnel Cake – Gatlinburg, TN

2 10 2009
  • 631 Parkway
  • Gatlinburg, TN 37738
  • (865) 436-7230
  • Website
  • Menu
The Funnel Cake on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN

The Funnel Cake on the Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN

Before leaving on this trip, I had been warned by several people that Gatlinburg is not some hidden treasure in the Smokies. It’s a giant tourist attraction. After seeing it, the first thing I thought was Wisconsin Dells. My family went their yearly before my brother and I got too involved in Little League. 

Still, we had fun. The Parkway is a large area of downtown that is just lined with shops, restaurants, and attractions. You know when you see “Old Timey Photos” and airbrushed T-shirt shops where you’re at. Why people spend money on crap they wouldn’t normally buy when they’re on vacation still baffles me. 

J and I took a chair lift ride up to the top of one of the mountains where we had a great view of the rest of the mountains as well as Gatlinburg down below. After that, we kept walking towards our next destination farther down the Parkway.  Read the rest of this entry »