Tennessee Aquarium

  • 1 Broad Street
  • Chattanooga, TN 37402

Located on the banks of the Tennessee River, a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium traces water’s remarkable journey from the mountains to the sea. Along the way, you’ll encounter amazing animals living within two enormous buildings. Come see for yourself why visitors rate it as the No. 1 Aquarium in the country for guest satisfaction.

Begin your adventure with a five-story trip to the top of the River Journey Building to see the feisty North American River Otters at River Otter Falls. This introduction in a Cove Forest sets the stage for the rest of your self-guided tour, which mimics the epic voyage of a single drop of rain from the Appalachian Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. As you experience the world’s largest gathering of freshwater species, you’ll meet beautiful trout, touch a prehistoric-looking sturgeon and see an amazingly diverse collection of turtles from every continent except Antarctica. Before your River Journey concludes, you’ll also come face-to-face with a dozen alligators and many other wetland creatures in the new Alligator Bayou exhibit. You’ll also marvel at colossal freshwater fish from around the world in River Giants.

Across the Aquarium plaza, you’ll experience the stunning diversity of life in saltwater and tropical environments in the Ocean Journey building. Beneath its iconic, glass-peaked roof, you’ll see the newest addition to the Aquarium in Lemur Forest, a slice of Madagascar packed with adorably acrobatic Red-ruffed and Ring-tailed Lemurs. Nearby, you can lay fingers on a variety of ray and shark species as they glide peacefully through the warm waters of Stingray Bay. Then, wander into the beautiful swarms of jewel-winged butterflies flitting about a sun-warmed indoor garden.

You’ll travel from the tropics to the sub-Antarctic to meet Gentoo and Macaroni penguins. These active cold-climate birds spend most of their day jumping into, and rocketing out of, the water.  

As your Ocean Journey continues its descent, you’ll wind around (and eventually under) the Secret Reef, a 600,000-gallon recreation of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary packed with thousands of fish and a pair of sea turtles. Before your journey ends, you’ll also see the stunning, other-worldly beauty of a variety of jellyfish species housed in a pair of special galleries that also feature a collection of surreal glass sculptures and interactive displays.

Make the most of your visit! Download the FREE Tennessee Aquarium app, powered by Tennessee Tech University, from Google Play or the iTunes Store. This handy tool contains the daily lineup of dive programs and keeper talks offered free with Aquarium admission.

The Tennessee Aquarium is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Facility Info
Meeting Rooms
  • Largest Room 1000
  • Theatre Capacity 185
  • Banquet Capacity 200
Auditorium
  • Theater Capacity: 185
Function Space
  • Theater Capacity: 185
  • Classroom Capacity: 185
  • Banquet Capacity: 200
  • Reception Capacity: 1000
River Gorge
  • Theater Capacity: 70
August 21, 2017

Visitors to the Aquarium on Aug. 21 are invited to watch NASA’s Eclipse 2017 “megacast” in the auditorium of the River Journey building. This live streamed event, which will be viewable from noon to 3 p.m., will feature images captured before, during...

August 22, 2017

Curious about what the Aquarium’s team of researchers is working on in their new riverfront conservation science facility? Come take a tour, and see for yourself! We will visit the main learning, research, and conservation spaces in the new building,...

September 21, 2017

Enjoy Chattanooga’s tastiest event with a live celebrity cooking show, an elegant seafood dinner prepared by some of Chattanooga’s top chefs and served in an Aquarium gallery, and mingling with the celebrity chefs over dessert. For the 2017 event,...

October 27, 2017

Come in costume and celebrate a family-friendly night of spooky critters and yummy treats. Make friends with mermaids, lounge with lemurs, watch out for pirates, get your groove on at the Monster Mash dance party with some of the Aquarium’s lovable...

November 17, 2017 - December 31, 2017

During the holidays, special programming includes costumed divers, interacting with animal experts, watching penguins receive their own Christmas presents, special weekend appearances by SCUBA Claus, and much more. Special screenings of Polar Express...