Ripley’s Aquarium – Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has many different attractions and it has been one of the most visited vacation spots in the United States for decades. One popular destination is Ripley’s Aquarium. In fact, it is one of the most visited attractions in Myrtle Beach. The aquarium is located at Broadway at the Beach and is a fun place for children and adults.
The aquarium, which cost more than $40 million, was created to encourage people to become educated about the various marine creatures that exist around the world and to understand the importance of conservation. The facility achieves this goal by providing a fun and interesting environment where people can learn.
When inside, you can take a self-guided tour of the aquarium and take as much time as you want with the exhibits. Throughout the day, you will find a number of live presentations on the upper level. Also on the upper level, you can touch the stingrays and see some of the ever-changing traveling exhibits. There are many things to see and do.
In Ray Bay, you can view many different kinds of rays from a variety of viewing levels. See them from above and below and watch them glide effortlessly through the water.
The Ray Bay exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium is a fascinating and captivating experience. This expansive tank showcases a variety of rays, including the cownose ray, spotted eagle ray, southern stingray, and cowtail ray. Each species of ray is accented with bright colors and amazing designs that are sure to amaze each visitor.
As you explore Ray Bay, you’ll discover an array of interesting facts and behaviors. For instance, the cownose ray is known for its strong swimming ability, while the spotted eagle ray can use its powerful tail to dig into the bottom of the seafloor in search of prey. What’s more, the cowtail ray has an impressive 20-30 year lifespan – significantly longer than many other sea creatures.
Kids and adults will both love getting up close to a number of different creatures. In fact, you can get so close that you can actually touch the creatures! You can touch several different types of rays (Southern rays, Atlantic rays, Cownose rays, and Spotted Eagle rays) as well as Bonnet-Head sharks.
Filled with vibrant and exotic fish, this interactive exhibit is a great way to explore the wonders of the underwater world. Featuring tropical species such as clownfish, angelfish, and tangs, Friendship Flats gives visitors an up-close look at these aquatic creatures. Additionally, there are corals and sea cucumbers that can be seen up close.
This exhibit is a unique opportunity for kids to get a hands-on learning experience in which they can identify different species and learn about their behavior. There are also live feeding demonstrations that provide visitors with an insight into how species interact with each other in their natural habitat. With its interactive elements and educational aspect, Friendship Flats provides a memorable and rewarding experience for all guests.
Observe nearly a dozen species of sharks swimming in an imposingly large tank. The breathtaking array includes Sandbar Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Hammerhead Sharks, Leopard Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and more! As you watch these powerful animals glide gracefully through the water, you’ll be amazed by their beauty and size.
But don’t let your guard down—they could catch you off guard with their speed and agility! Moreover, the Shark Cave also features interactive kiosks for visitors to learn more about shark biology and conservation efforts. So not only do you get to witness these awe-inspiring creatures firsthand, but you can also gain a deeper understanding of why they are so vitally important to ocean ecosystems.
View many different kinds of interesting and colorful fish through the large glass walls in this section of the aquarium. The fish come from the waters around Hawaii, Australia, and from the Indian Ocean. It is a relaxing and remarkable experience.
This colorful ecosystem contains an array of coral and anemones, as well as numerous reef-dwelling species such as shrimp, crabs, starfish, and several species of tropical fish. Visitors to the aquarium can observe the mesmerizing beauty of a living coral reef up close and explore the unique wonders of each individual creature.
But Rainbow Rock isn’t only beautiful – it’s also important. The display serves an important purpose in educating visitors about the importance of preserving coral reefs and other marine habitats. As more people become aware of the importance of these fragile ecosystems and the threats they face, it becomes easier for organizations and individuals to take action to protect them. Rainbow Rock helps to bring this message home in an engaging and inspiring way.
In this freshwater exhibit, you can come face to face with the fearsome piranha, as well as many other interesting species from the Amazon.
Located at the far end of the aquarium, this sprawling exhibit takes up an entire section of the building. This habitat recreates a slice of the lush and majestic Amazon Rainforest. Visitors can explore the winding trails through the dense foliage and discover a stunning array of exotic species. From colorful fish to inquisitive reptiles, visitors can marvel at the vibrant life that inhabits this region. Rio Amazon is home to some of the most rare and majestic creatures on Earth such as the Giant River Otter, the Arapaima, and the legendary Discus Fish. With its breathtaking scenery, mesmerizing wildlife, and educational experiences, it’s no wonder Rio Amazon is considered to be one of Ripley’s premier attractions.
The Living Gallery
You can find a number of sea creatures here. The animals featured as “living art” include sea dragons, jellyfish, and a Pacific Giant Octopus. You will see a plethora of amazing sea animals here.
Guests will be treated to an up-close look at the many different species inhabiting the aquarium, including seahorses, jellyfish, octopus, sharks, rays, eels, and more! The exhibit features several interactive displays that provide visitors with a comprehensive look into the lives of these incredible creatures. Through educational activities and detailed depictions of habitats, the exhibit allows guests to gain a better understanding of aquatic life and how it affects our world. Furthermore, guests have the opportunity to be truly immersed in the exhibit by taking part in various activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling alongside the marine animals.
Schooling Fish Tank
This cylindrical tank holds a number of fish species native to the waters off South Carolina’s coast. It is interesting to see the variety of life.
Featuring hundreds of brightly colored fish swimming in unison, this mesmerizing display showcases the complex social behavior of schooling fish such as minnows and tetras. Guests can watch in wonder as they observe the synchronized movements of these creatures as they swiftly change direction in response to external stimuli. The exhibit also highlights the remarkable techniques that schooling fish use to protect themselves from their predators, such as forming defensive formations and using camouflage to blend in with their environment.
The Dangerous Reef
One of the most popular parts of the aquarium is the Dangerous Reef. While walking through this long, underwater tunnel, you will come face to face with some massive sharks and other species.
This vast and vibrant expanse of ocean life is filled with creatures that possess both beauty and danger. Among the remarkable species swimming within these waters are two of the most feared predators of the sea – hammerhead sharks and tiger sharks. Visitors also have the opportunity to view the magnificent manta ray, whose sleek, graceful movements make for an awe-inspiring sight.
The Dangerous Reef also houses some of the ocean’s tiniest yet mightiest inhabitants. From the venomous lionfish to the elusive seahorse, visitors can observe how even the smallest creatures play an integral role in maintaining balance within this fragile ecosystem.
Ripley’s Aquarium admission for adults is $18.99, children 6 – 11 $11.99, and children 2 – 5 are $3.99. You will always find something fun to see and do.