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The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA
Awe Inspiring Aquatic Life at Premier Aquarium
by Tommy Ford
Since it's opening in November 2005, the Georgia Aquarium has become one of downtown Atlanta's premier attractions. It's easy to see why. At opening the aquarium had the most gallons of water of any aquarium in the world as well as the largest number of animals along with attractions you will see no where else in North America.
You will want to allot several hours to explore the aquarium, the more the better. Try to arrive at opening or later in the afternoon to help avoid crowds. This is a very popular destination and weekend crowds can be huge. Don't let that stop you. Take you time and enjoy every exhibit. There are many opportunities to sit and relax before continuing your expedition.
The Aquarium is divided into several areas. Cold Water Quest features African penguins, beluga whales and California sea lions along with many other animals. Georgia Explorer brings you up close with creatures living just off the Georgia coast. Tropical Diver displays a coral reef. River Scout exhibits creatures from the rivers of South America, Africa, and Georgia. Finally, Ocean Voyager will awe you with a huge tank featuring some of the largest denizens of the deep.
Everyone has their favorite exhibit but at the Georgia Aquarium it is truly difficult to settle on just one. The beluga whales can hold my attention for hours as the glide through their tank. The river otters are playful and really appear to be having a good time sliding and diving. A river flows above your head in River Scout letting you view the inhabitants of the river from a unique vantage point.
The true stars of the Georgia Aquarium have to be the whale sharks. If you want to see them this is where you want to come as whale sharks are not displayed in any other aquarium outside of Asia. Their habitat holds more than six million gallons of water providing a fitting home for the world's largest fish. A tunnel leads you through their home. Everyone stops and points when the great fish cruise effortlessly overhead. Truly awe inspiring when all of the sharks swim past together.
To see all of the creatures who make the Aquarium home will take several hours but they are not all the Georgia Aquarium has to offer. The kids will love Deepo's Undersea 3D Wondershow, a "4D," theater experience that involves a 3D film along with other special effects. If you're hungry you're sure to enjoy the Cafe Aquaria food court which features a variety of different foods to suit all tastes.