Ask everyone you know (unless they live in the Southeastern U.S.) where the world's biggest aquarium resides and you'll hear a potpourri of answers that range from San Diego to Orlando and other beach cities and theme park regions in between. When you tell them the answer is Atlanta, Georgia, a puzzled expression bounces back in your direction, at which point a feeling of satisfaction washes over you in that you introduced some new trivia into their repertoire. Then you tell them how the Georgia Aquarium holds over 8,000,000 gallons of water to house more species than any other aquarium on the planet with over 60 exhibits that follow a global tour pattern as if one was walking along the coastal pathway that ran the expanse of the entire world. Pretty awesome stuff.
Then you hit your audience with an even cooler anecdote when you tell them how Home Depot tycoon and co-founder Bernie Marcus was so gracious for the support from the Atlanta community when opening his own company's doors in 1979 that he bestowed the 250 million dollar project beginning in 2003 that became the completed Georgia Aquarium in 2005. Really awesome stuff.
With so many things to see here it is a daunting task to keep the details short enough that you don't scroll passed what we consider to be the greatest attraction in Atlanta. Without question, the absolute must see and experience at the Georgia Aquarium is the Journey With Gentle Giants Swim and Dive programs where you get as up close and personal with one of the ocean biggest tenants, the Whale Shark as well as thousands of other species of fish, sharks and rays. The only glass barrier between you and the 35 foot whale shark is the one on your underwater mask. The dives runs approximately 30 minutes each with an additional 2 hour prep time. Depending on which option you choose, the $225 (Swim) and $325 (Dive) cost (includes aquarium admission) might seem steep until you dry off, at which point you realize you have had one of the most monumental experiences of your life for only $250 or $325, not to mention the t-shirt, Certificate of Participation and souvenir photo that accompany the package. For more information, download a printable pdf file (courtesy of Georgia Aquarium) here
At a ripe age of only 7, the aquarium has gained tremendous momentum and has drawn over 11 million (and counting) visitors into its tempered glass walls. In a couple of more years everyone will know about Georgia Aquarium leaving your anecdotes completely outdated. so be sure to spread your aquatic trivia tales as quickly as possible. You are running out of time.