If you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day in Chattanooga, or any day for that matter, the Tennessee Aquarium is the perfect solution. With all they have to offer, you’ll find yourself completely immersed within minutes. Let me show you a few of my favorite exhibits from our trip!

We started on the river side and got there just in time to see the otters have a meal. Otters easily top my personal list of cutest animals. Did you know that sea otters hold hands while sleeping so they won’t drift away from each other? That melts my heart and it “otter” melt your heart, too.

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Less cute and more terrifying were the alligators that we saw next. One is donning what I easily recognize as the sweet smile of insanity and the other is sizing up a human snack. Thank God for glass enclosures.

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The gorgeous ray below can be found in fresh water… and that’s something I could have gone my whole life without knowing.

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The salt water rays on the ocean side present aquarium goers with one of many opportunities to both look and touch. I suddenly found myself apprehensive to reach into the water when the biggest ray in the tank made direct eye contact with me and stared into my soul. Then a tiny little girl squealed with delight as she gingerly touched two fingers to the rays and I realized I probably needed to take it down a couple notches.

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I have it on good authority that conspiracies (groups of lemurs) are matriarchal and the head of the lemurs at the Tennessee Aquarium is Queen Josephine. She’s a red ruffed lemur and rules over both her own species and the ring-tailed lemurs nearby. Long live the queen!

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I’m happy to report the interactive butterfly exhibit is still going strong! I went when I was a student at UT Chattanooga and this room stood out as a vivid memory years later. Aren’t they lovely? There was a dark orange beauty that landed on my arm for a brief moment but we weren’t fast enough to snap a picture.

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Next up are the penguins. The colored arm bands serve as name tags so the aquarium staff can tell these monochromatic seabirds apart. I believe I captured “Beaker” swimming below.

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Make sure to check the schedule that’s handed to you when you buy your tickets. We used it to plan our visit. That’s how we were able to see the otters being fed and the dive show. What was especially neat about the dive show was that the divers could speak to the audience and answer questions.

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Check out the sting ray photo bomber!

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Last but certainly not least we saw “Pandas” in IMAX 3D narrated by Kristen Bell. The documentary showcases the conservation efforts of China to save the endangered Giant Panda. One look at fluffy baby pandas and I was sold. I truly can’t imagine a world without them.

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We had the best day in Chattanooga exploring the Tennessee Aquarium. The skies might have been gray but we were all smiles after seeing so many amazing creatures. Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below!


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