on July 13, 2012
Nick and I need something to do during the day before we headed out towards the House of the Blues, so we decided to head over to Broadway at the Beach to see the fishes at the amazing Ripley’s Aquarium. The aquarium is one of the most visited sites in South Carolina. More than 10,000 creatures from all over the world and 350 species called this place home. Guests enter on the upper level. There are not as many exhibits up here. There are guest services, the gift shop, the marine conservation center, and exhibit hall for traveling and changing exhibits. There is a small Amazon display here that highlights creatures from the Amazon and features the deadly piranhas. Then guests can head on down to the lower level which has an education area for children and lots of hands on exhibits. At ray bay guests can enjoy petting these gentle creatures as the glide effortlessly through the water. There is also the touch tank where guests can enjoy the thrill of holding a horseshoe crab. There was also some big funky fish for kids to explore inside. Before exploring the Dangerous Reef we go and explore several of the other exhibits. We first go to the Rainbow Rock where tens of thousands of brightly colored fish zoom about the exhibit and include the Clown Fish, Emperor Angel Fish, and Regal Blue Tang. These stunning fish can be found in the Pacific Ocean. The Living Gallery is a collection of amazing sea creatures including some very strange, unusual, yet beautiful creatures. Marvel at octopi, sea anemones, coral reefs, the delicate weedy sea dragon, and spider crabs. Then we step on the glide path to enjoy the Dangerous Reef. By far the most popular exhibit here. Guests hop on a glide pathway that slower glides you through the exhibit (though in off season the pathway may not be running). There is a 340 foot surround tunnel that features a variety of gorgeous sea creatures. Here guests can enjoy snappers, tarpon, grunts, incredible sea turtles, magnificent sting rays, and several varieties of sharks. Let me just state something. These sharks are not dangerous and most sharks aren’t. Sharks here include Hammerheads and Caribbean Reef Sharks. These sharks generally get no bigger than 10 feet and do not have a mouth big enough to bite humans. And despite how the movie portrays sharks, they have no interest in humans. These are the same sharks that you can go dive, uncaged, with in the Caribbean and no one has ever been harmed during these dives. Even if you fall into tank (which you never would) you would be in no more danger than you would be from the turtle! They do have restrooms here. There is a gift shop on the upper level with all kinds of souvenirs, stuffed animals, and books. They also have the squished penny machine here, so make sure you have 51 cents. You can have your picture taken at the entrance and then pick it up when you start to leave. You can also rent the facility for your next corporate event, party, or what a great place to hold your wedding and reception. The do offer a number of education programs for kids and schools. Throughout the day the do have dive programs where you can watch as divers interact with guests. They also host a number of different events through tut with the year. They do have a restaurant on the premises. They are handicapped accessible. Special experiences include Sleeping with the sharks where you sleep in the Dangerous Reef tunnel. It is available to groups of any ages. You can also get close to the sting rays. You can either just get in the pool with them or don a snorkel mask and swim around with them. They will also have other experiences to go with the changing exhibits. You can get tickets on line or when you arrive. AAA members can show your card and save. They also have combo tickets with other Ripley’s attractions in the area. Ripley’s Haunted Adventures is also in the Broadway at the Beach complex. The aquarium and the Hard Rock have teamed up and you can purchase a special edition Ripley’s Aquarium Hard Rock pin that benefits the aquarium. It is available at the nearby Hard Rock. The aquarium is located at the Broadway at the Beach entertainment complex. They have a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Squished penny collectors should know they have several squished pennies here as well. Get some change before you leave Ripley’s since you won’t be able to get it here. Recommendation: Very highly recommendWebsite: www.ripleyaquariums.com/myrtlebeachThey are on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And should you like information on saving sharks, here are several websites for you: www.worldlife.orgwww.savingsharks.comwww.sharkwater.comThis is a great place for the whole family. The first time I came here is why I decided to learn to scuba dive. No matter how old you get, this place is always a place of wonderment and awe.
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