Two fins up! The Tennessee Aquarium has been named one of the nation's top aquariums based on traveler popularity by TripAdvisor, the world's largest online travel community.
Two surveys released by Trip Advisor rank the best aquarium and zoo experiences in the United States. The Tennessee Aquarium's "mountains to the sea" theme is the type of experience many aquarium visitors are seeking today. "These aquariums and zoos offer wonderful learning experiences about animals and their habitats, and truly let travelers take a walk on the wild side," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor.
The Tennessee Aquarium allows visitors to "take a walk on the wild side" throughout two buildings with living, walk-through forests, touch tank experiences, a spacious butterfly garden and daily animal encounters designed to get guests face to face with interesting creatures like screech owls.
Here are the Top Ten Aquariums and Zoos as chosen by traveler popularity and TripAdvisor editors.
1. Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, Tn.
2. Tennessee Aquarium, Chattanooga
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey, Ca.
4.. Ripley's Aquarium, Myrtle Beach, S.C.
5. Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Or.
6. Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas, Tx.
7. National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, Dubuque, Ia.
8. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Il.
9. Downtown Aquarium, Denver, Co.
10. Florida Aquarium, Tampa, Fl.
Top 10 U.S. Zoos
1. Memphis Zoo, Memphis, Tn.
2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Az.
3. St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, Mo.
4. Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Ne.
5. San Diego Zoo, San Diego, Ca.
6. San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park, Escondido, Ca.
7. Miami Metrozoo, Miami, Fl.
8. Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, In.
9. Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Wa.
10. Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, West Palm Beach, Fl.
Right now is a great time to experience the Tennessee Aquarium and save on admission. Chattanooga area visitors can bring their old phone books to the Tennessee Aquarium or IMAX 3D Theater Aug. 8 and 9 to save up to $10 off an admission. Bins for recycling outdated directories are located at each venue. Visitors may drop off their old phone books and get a coupon for $2 off each ticket for up to five people good through Dec. 31. Or guests may choose to save 10% off of an Aquarium membership (up to $10): limit one phone book offer per membership.