Tennessee Aquarium

One Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37402

happyly approved

Awesome aquarium in downtown Chattanooga.

The Tennessee Aquarium is conveniently located in downtown Chattanooga – right on the river – and is a great way to spend several hours.  You purchase tickets in a building right on the courtyard and then hold on to your ticket to go into two separate buildings: one for the ocean and then a separate one for rivers.  In the ocean building, you can see sharks, penguins, jellyfish, crabs, etc.  The river building holds otters, alligators, catfish, snakes, etc.  There are several special events throughout the day, so you’ll need to watch the clocks and pay attention to the daily agenda to ensure you’re in the right spot at the right time.  My kids and I spent more time in the river building – it felt like this was larger / more expansive.  We enjoyed walking down to the river after our visit to check out the views.  There are several kid-friendly thoughtful, interactive exhibits, making this one of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Chattanooga.

Note: I’ve been to the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta – and while this one is smaller – the Tennessee Aquarium was markedly less crowded and felt more manageable with younger kids.

Also note: there’s an annual family membership of $175 that may be worth your while if you live in Chattanooga or you plan to visit more than a couple of times each year.

Per the website, length of visitation averages 2.5 hours (this was true for us as well).  Your ticket includes admission to both Aquarium buildings, and allows you to come and go all day long.


Emily O'Grady
Nashville, TN
Emily O'Grady lives with her daughters Eloise (5) and Charlie (3.5), husband Mick, and their two senior dogs Porter and Francie, in Nashville. They’ve called Music City home for 7 years this September. After Emily and Mick met in New Zealand over 15 years ago, they’ve hiked and backpacked extensively across the globe for months at a time. In their new roles as parents, they’ve hit pause on their most extreme adventures for now, but they are consciously raising their daughters to love and appreciate nature, getting outside and exploring as much as they can in the hills of Tennessee and beyond. During the weekdays, you can find Emily leading teams across Asurion’s Product Development team, bringing the company’s service strategy to life across carrier clients. Before joining Asurion, Emily was an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company for 4 years, as well as held Analyst roles with Telephia (Nielsen) and Bank of America Global Corporate and Investment Bank. Emily holds a BBA in Finance, French and European Studies from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
More activities by Emily
An impressive waterfall a short drive east of Nashville.
An urban zoo that feels out there.
A friendly, neighborhood barbecue spot.


Good for All Ages

Nearby Recommendations

Recommended Gear