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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

World’s Largest Aquarium, Atlanta, GA

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Sometimes, you get the best perspective about an attraction from a “local.” This month’s guest post is from an old college friend, Tina. “Old” as in, I’ve know her for over 20 years. Not ancient. In fact, I recently saw her at our 20th reunion (same trip as the World’s Largest Rotating Globe), and now think she’s made some sort of youth-extending deal with the Devil. Yet, I still like her. She took a Seussical approach to naming her sons Boy #1 and Boy #2 for the purposes of online embarrassment. I dig it.

Tina doesn’t live far from the world’s largest aquarium in Atlanta. The Georgia Aquarium features more animals than any other aquarium, in more than eight million gallons of water. Her report:

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

I went to the incredibly large, exquisitely fish-filled Georgia Aquarium, which has the largest tank in the world. I took along my 4 1/2 year old son on his maiden voyage. We made it a playdate with my neighbor Carla and her 7 year old.

Georgia Aquarium tunnel

Amazing overhead views of marine life, including those scary sharks with no eyelids!

I need to note that we went in August, when almost all the schools in the area are back in session. This meant that the crowds were far smaller than you might expect, even when you see a field trip enter alongside your party of four.

WHY did you go there, exactly?

My son is a water baby. Since his brother was already in school, I decided it was time to take the plunge and take the boy there. Man, he was excited! When we left, he actually thanked me for taking him there. There are few times when a four year old will — voluntarily — thank you for something, and this was one of them.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

Do I have enough space?  There’s a massive “dive” tank with a cool coral reef, and you can often see a human diver in the tank scrubbing the walls down from the inside.

Another room over, there’s the ginormous tank that holds the whale sharks, several other types of sharks, manta rays and the biggest “baby” grouper you’ve ever seen. Carla and I, being our usual snarky selves, wondered how many hushpuppies you would need to serve with it.

Lions Mane Jelly fish

Does anyone else think of Sponge Bob when they see jelly fish?

The seven-year old is enthralled with jelly fish, so we got to see tons of those. They’re really cool when they’re behind glass and not stinging you at the beach. The Aquarium has a new penguin exhibit, and now also houses sea otters. Oh, and did I say I fed a small ray a piece of fish? Yes, I did!

How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list)

8 if you’re doing the tourist thing. 10 if you’re really into aquatic life.

A little background info about the place:

The Georgia Aquarium opened in 2005 in downtown Atlanta. It was a gift to the state from Bernie Marcus, that dude who founded Home Depot. Be sure to secure a line of equity before coming to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are steep, parking is $10 onsite, and the Wolfgang Puck cafeteria prices are insane. This is definitely a splurge visit.

Hey YOU! Go BIG:

Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street, Atlanta, GA 30313. 404-581-4000

African Penquin

Contrary to popular belief, African penguins actually live in warm climates. Like Georgia, for example.

Atlanta Family Vacation on raveable

1 Comment

  1. Dante Harker said,
    September 24, 2012 @ 1:59 am

    Nice article, it is my dream to dive here one day :)

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