The Georgia Aquarium is the largest indoor aquarium in the world and one of the largest artificial marine life enclosures ever constructed. The immense environment boasts some of the largest marine mammals and fish in indoor captivity, including beluga whales and whale sharks. A half-dozen exhibits are home to over one hundred thousand animals of five hundred species, making it by far the preeminent aquarium on the planet.
The aquaruim is the brainchild of Atlanta businessman Bernard Marcus. Marcus, a fan of aquariums, personally put up most of the money for the land purchase and construction. Completed in just a few years, the record-smashing site opened in 2005. It immediately achieved world fame as one of the only aquariums which could house some of the largest-sized marine life. The aquarium is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Atlanta and the most popular aquarium in the United States.
There are a half-dozen exhibit areas here, with sixty animal habitats housing over one hundred thousands animals. These range from rainbows of tiny tropical fish to immense rays and sharks. There are dolphins and whales as well as sea otters and penguins. There is over 10 million gallons of water environment, including a single tank of 6.3 million gallons for the whales and other larger species.
The Georgia Aquarium is located in downtown Atlanta close to many of the city’s other attractions. It is open year-round from 10:00am-5:00pm (longer hours on Saturdays). The cost of admission is $29.95. Web: www.georgiaaquarium.org (official website).