Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach uncovers some of the best experiences for visitors. It is a great destination if you are looking to spend a fun-filled day with your family and kids.
Located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, it offers visitors a unique experience who want to know more about marine species. The aquarium has some of the best exhibits that allow you to get close to various marine animals.
If you want to explore a holiday destination that blends fun and education, you must head here. We’ve compiled every piece of information that would make you plan your holiday to this destination seamlessly.
|Best Time to Visit||Any time of the year as it is an indoor aquarium|
|Suggested Visit Duration||2-3 hours|
|Visiting Hours||Opens daily from 9 am to 10 pm|
|Ticket Prices||Starting from $32.99|
|Specialty||Dangerous Reef Exhibit, a 750,000-gallon tank, Houses more than 10,000 sea creatures|
|Address||1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, USA (View on Maps)|
|Contact Number(s)||+1 843-916-0888|
|Links||Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach allowed visitors for the first time in 1997. It was designed to be a world-class facility. From the beginning, it showcased the diverse and fascinating marine life in the world’s oceans.
The aquarium has had several expansions and renovations over the years. In 2005, it added a 3,500-square-foot exhibit called “Planet Jellies.” This exhibit featured a collection of jellyfish from around the world.
Again, in 2011, it added a new exhibit called “Rio Amazon.” It features fish and other aquatic creatures found in the Amazon River. The aquarium is also known for its several research and conservation efforts.
- It is home to more than 10,000 exotic sea creatures worldwide.
- The largest exhibit, the Dangerous Reef, is a 750,000-gallon tank. Visitors can walk a 340-foot-long glide path while sharks, sea turtles, and other marine life swim overhead.
- A Rainbow Rock exhibit shows colorful tropical fish and live coral.
- The “Sleep with the Sharks” program allows guests to spend the night in the Dangerous Reef exhibit.
- During holidays, you can witness South Carolina’s largest collection of decorated Christmas trees here.
For some people, free admission to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is possible.
- Members: If you get the membership, you can enjoy free entry around the year.
- Annual Passes: People who purchase the annual passes do not need to queue up for the ticket. The annual pass allows you to enter without a fee round the year.
- Children Under 2: If you have a child below 2 years, you do not need to purchase tickets.
The tickets are available online and on-site. It is best to reserve your slot online to avoid the inconvenience of queuing up for the ticket,
The ticket price depends upon the type of experiences or attractions you choose.
Aquarium + 1 Attraction
- Children below 2: Nil
- Children (3-11): $32.99
- Adults (12+): $44.99
Aquarium + 2 Attractions
- Children below 2: Nil
- Children (3-11): $36.99
- Adults (12+): $49.99
- Children below 2: Nil
- Children (3-11): $24.99
- Adults (12+): $39.99
- Children below 2: Nil
- Children (3-11): $74.99
- Adults (12+): $94.99
There are a few ways that allow you to get a discounted ticket. You can claim these discounts while getting your ticket on-site by showing proof as required. These discounts might not be available while booking online.
- AAA Discount: If you are a member of the AAA group, you can opt for the AAA discount. It is available for both adults and children.
- Active Military Personnel: Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach offers active military personnel a 30% discounted ticket. You can bring up to 4 members with you at this discounted price.
- First Responders: A 30% first responder’s discount is available at the aquarium. This discount allows you to get 4 guests at a discounted ticket price.
- Horry County Residents Discount: The residents of Horry County get 50% off on ticket prices. To avail of this discount, you must show the residence address proof.
- Costco Discount: If you book via Costco, you might be eligible to avail yourselves of discounts on ticket prices.
- Groupon: Visitors can also use several Groupon discount codes to save some bucks on ticket prices.
If you want to cover the visit of your loved ones, you can send them gift cards. The gift cards are available for admissions and purchases at the aquarium. You can check at the ticket counter for the availability of gift cards.
Other than this, you can also get a gift card for your family and friends from many other sites.
Visitors to the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach can enjoy several animal encounters. These encounters allow them to get close to various marine species and take photos with them. In some encounters, you might be allowed to feed the marine animals.
Some of the top animal encounters here include the following.
This experience allows visitors to meet the aquarium’s South African penguins. Participating in this encounter can teach you more about the penguins’ habitat and behavior.
You will have the opportunity to feed them and take photos with them. This encounter lasts approximately 30 minutes. You might need a reservation to enjoy this experience.
Behind the Scenes Tour
The guided tour takes visitors on a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium’s operations. You can learn about animal care and feeding, water quality management, and exhibit design.
People who book this encounter can also learn about conservation efforts and research projects. This tour lasts approximately 45 minutes.
It is a hands-on experience that allows visitors to touch and feed stingrays in a shallow pool. Visitors can learn about their habits and behaviors from knowledgeable staff members.
This encounter lasts approximately 20 minutes, and it does not require reservations.
This experience allows certified divers to enter the Dangerous Reef exhibit and swim alongside the sharks under the guidance of a divemaster. You can participate in this animal encounter to learn about the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach’s shark conservation efforts.
This animal encounter will allow you to have the opportunity to observe these fascinating creatures up close. It lasts approximately 1 hour and requires reservations and proof of certification.
Glass Bottom Boat Adventure
This tour at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach takes visitors on a boat ride through the Dangerous Reef exhibit. It provides a unique perspective on the sharks, sea turtles, etc., part of this exhibit.
The boat’s glass bottom allows visitors to see the animals swimming beneath them. This tour lasts approximately 15 minutes. You might be able to enjoy this experience without making a reservation.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has several exhibits offering a unique experience. These exhibits offer a unique perspective on the world’s oceans and the animals that inhabit them.
Visitors can learn more about marine biology and conservation by witnessing these exhibits at the aquarium.
The Rio Amazon exhibit is home to various freshwater fish and other animals in the Amazon River basin. Visitors can observe piranhas, arapaimas, electric eels, and several species of catfish and tetras.
The exhibit is a replica of a flooded rainforest. It provides information on the importance of freshwater ecosystems.
The Dangerous Reef exhibit is one of the most popular exhibits at the aquarium. It features a tank filled with a variety of sharks. You can spot a sand tiger, blacktip reef, and nurse sharks.
Visitors can view the sharks from a 340-foot-long moving walkway. The exhibit also includes a replica of a shipwreck. It also allows visitors to brush up on their knowledge about shark behavior and conservation.
This exhibit features a variety of animals found in tidal pools and along the shoreline. You can witness sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and hermit crabs.
Visitors are allowed to touch and observe the animals up close. They can also learn about their adaptations and habitats.
The Living Gallery exhibit features a variety of colorful and exotic fish like angelfish, lionfish, and pufferfish. Visitors can observe the fish in tanks designed to mimic their natural habitats.
The Discovery Center is for younger visitors and features interactive displays and activities related to marine life and conservation. Children can touch live animals, play games, and learn about the importance of protecting marine ecosystems.
The Ray Bay exhibit at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is home to various stingrays. There are southern stingrays and cow nose rays present in this exhibit.
Visitors can touch and feed the rays in a shallow pool while learning about their anatomy, behavior, and habitat. The exhibit also features a touch tank with horseshoe crabs and other marine invertebrates.
The live cam at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach allows you to witness penguins from the comfort of your home.
It offers a view of the Penguin Playhouse exhibit, home to a colony of African penguins.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach offers learning opportunities for visitors of all ages.
If you are a marine enthusiast, these learning opportunities offer a perfect way to add to your knowledge.
Here are some learning opportunities available here.
It offers several education camps for kids throughout the year. These camps are interactive and educational, providing kids with a fun way to learn about marine life and conservation.
The following camps are available at the aquarium.
Jr. Aquarist Camp
This camp gives visitors a tour of the Marine Science Research Center. You can enjoy a stingray experience, hands-on activities, and lunch at the camp.
- Time: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.
- Age allowed: 13–18
- Cost: $99.99 +tax
The STEAM Camp allows you to enjoy a Stingray Experience, behind-the-scenes tour, and Crafts and games. You can also enjoy a 3D project and STEAM-related activities.
- Time: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
- Age allowed: 8–15
- Cost: $229.99 +tax
Summer Night Swim
The Summer Night Swim highlights the Stingray experience and the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. Kids can enjoy crafts, games, and dinner.
- Time: 6:00 to 9:30 pm.
- Ages: 8–13
- Cost: $79.99 +tax
Field Trips and Classes
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach offers field trips and classes for school groups and other organizations. These programs provide an educational and interactive experience for participants.
The field trip is possible with a minimum of 10 members and is chargeable at the following price.
- Grades K–12: $12/student
- Preschool Children: $5.50/student
- Teachers: $5/person (SC/NC teachers only)
Homeschooling families can show a homeschool ID to enable their child to attend this learning opportunity. The cost of homeschooling at the aquarium is as follows.
- Child (3–5): $6
- Child (6+): $15
- Adults: $25
The aquarium hosts a variety of events throughout the year. You can join these events and even host an event of your own here.
Visitors can space for the birthday party at the aquarium. You can connect with the management team and choose a birthday party slot. The management will offer you a private room from 12:00 to 1:45 pm and optional add-ons.
A package of up to 30 people will cost approximately $500 fewer taxes.
You can contact the management team to book a place for your business meetings at the aquarium.
If you want to host a Christmas Party, it can be a perfect option. The sales team will help you reserve a place and negotiate the best price.
Other than these, you are allowed to host a range of events here. These include:
- Corporate Parties
- Holiday Parties
- Church Socials
- Birthday Parties
- Rehearsal Dinners
- Retirement Parties
- Themed Events
- Bar Mitzvahs
From time to time, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach hosts certain events that allow visitors to have a fun time and an entertaining experience. Attending all these events requires a prior reservation.
Every event has a different rate. You can find the list of events frequently updated on the event calendar.
Dining at the Aquarium
There are no restaurants inside the premises. However, there are many good and healthy options that you can explore around the aquarium.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has a large gift shop called the Cargo Hold. Visitors can purchase souvenirs, gifts, and merchandise related to the aquarium and marine life from this gift shop.
You can shop for clothing, jewelry, home decor, etc. There are also many luxury gifts and handmade souvenirs that are perfect for gifting.
Rescue and Conservation
Upon visiting the aquarium, you can learn more about the aquarium’s conservation efforts. The volunteers here can guide you about conservation at home and globally.
You can learn much about sea turtle rescue, release, and the best zoological practices. Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is highly determined in penguin conservation and habitat restoration.
Exploring a big place can sometimes be challenging. The aquarium map makes it simple to explore the place on your own. The map will show you the layout of the exhibits, restrooms, gift shops, and other important locations within the aquarium.
Visitors can also pick up a physical map at the aquarium entrance. It will help you plan your visit and ensure you don’t miss any exhibits or attractions.
How to Reach & Parking
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach opens daily from 9 am to 10 pm. It is situated at 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577. You can reach the destination easily, no matter your mode of transportation.
- By Car: Visitors can reach the aquarium via Highway 17 or 501. It is located near the intersection of these two highways.
- By Public Transportation: Visitors can also take public transportation to Broadway at the beach and walk to the aquarium.
The aquarium does not offer any parking facilities for visitors. However, there are many free parking lots available nearby. Visitors can drive to one of these parking spots in Myrtle Beach and park their vehicles.
Since no hotels are at the aquarium, visitors can explore some options nearby to stay comfortable. There are several good hotels near Ripley’s Aquarium that you can book in advance if you plan to stay the night.
Here are some good stay options you can consider.
Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center Hotel (Best Comfort)
Distance: 1.5 miles
This hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms and has many great amenities. Visitors can access an outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant. You can consider this option if you want a luxurious and relaxing stay.
Fairfield Inn Myrtle Beach (Best for Families)
Distance: 0.3 miles
Fairfield Inn offers a convenient location near the aquarium. It is located close to other family-friendly attractions. There is an outdoor pool where you can relax. You might also get a complimentary breakfast when booking a room here.
It’s a great choice for families visiting Myrtle Beach.
Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Beach Front Central (Best Budget-Friendly Hotel)
Distance: 1.8 miles
This hotel offers affordable accommodations. You can get a complimentary breakfast, an outdoor pool, and easy access to the beach. It can be the best fit for you if you are a budget-conscious traveler.
Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway (Best for Business Visits)
Distance: 0.9 miles
Courtyard Myrtle Beach Broadway Hotel offers modern amenities such as a business center, meeting rooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi. It has a convenient location and is a great choice for business travelers.
Marina Inn at Grande Dunes (Best Location)
Distance: 5.3 mile
This hotel offers luxurious accommodations and has many modern amenities, such as a spa, on-site restaurant, and private beach access. It is a great choice to make your visit more comfortable and private.
You can explore several options if you want to enjoy some amazing food near the aquarium. Many great food joints offer you the best meals.
Here are a few restaurant options that you must not miss!
Sea Captain’s House (Best Seafood)
Distance: 2.6 miles
This restaurant is a Myrtle Beach institution. It serves delicious seafood dishes such as crab cakes, shrimp and grits, and fried flounder. It also offers a beautiful oceanfront location and excellent service.
Hard Rock Cafe (Best American Cuisines)
Distance: 0.3 miles
Hard Rock Cafe is a popular chain known for its rock and roll memorabilia. They serve classic American dishes such as burgers, sandwiches, and ribs. They also offer live music and a fun atmosphere.
Travinia Italian Kitchen (Best Italian Food)
Distance: 0.4 miles
This restaurant is very close to the aquarium and offers a variety of Italian dishes. You can try pasta, pizza, and seafood. It also has an extensive wine list.
The restaurant has a comfortable and elegant atmosphere.
Nacho Hippo (Best Mexican Cuisine)
Distance: 1.1 miles
Nacho Hippo serves delicious and creative Mexican dishes such as tacos, burritos, and nachos. They also offer a range of margaritas and other drinks and a fun and lively atmosphere.
Ultimate California Pizza Game Zone (Best Pizza)
Distance: 0.4 miles
This restaurant serves up delicious pizza in a fun and interactive atmosphere. They offer many toppings and pizza styles. Their menu also contains items such as salads and sandwiches.
When visiting the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, there are many attractions nearby that you must not miss. You can explore the following attractions depending on your interests and time availability.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Distance: 7.1 miles
It is a state park that offers hiking trails, fishing, and camping opportunities. You can explore a beautiful beach and oceanfront boardwalk. If you are looking for a calming place to visit near Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, you can consider it.
Broadway At the Beach
Distance: 1.1 miles
This shopping and entertainment complex features a variety of attractions. An amusement park, a zip line, and a mini-golf course are near the aquarium. If you visit with your kids, you must explore this place.
Distance: 6.6 miles
This outlet mall features over 100 stores, including popular brands like Nike and Adidas. It is a great place for shopaholics.
Myrtle Beach National Golf Club
Distance: 10.4 miles
When visiting the aquarium, don’t forget to miss out on some fun at this amazing golf course. The golf course features three 18-hole courses, a driving range, and practice facilities.
Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum
Distance: 6.5 miles away
It is an art museum that has many exhibits and events showcasing the work of local and national artists. It is located at a beautiful oceanfront location. If you love art, you should definitely explore this museum.
Working at the Aquarium
The aquarium rolls out several employment opportunities for interested people from time to time. If you love marine life conservation, you can search for a job that matches your interests and passion.
Often, you can find an open position for:
- The animal care team,
- Guest care team
- Education team, etc.
The aquarium’s philanthropy program, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Unbelievable Giving” supports various charities and causes. It accepts donation requests from charitable organizations in the surrounding area.
You can contact the team by phone or email to submit a request. You can also visit them to learn about the donation request status.
Every donation will allow you to improve the living conditions of the animals.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has received many positive reviews from visitors. It has a wide variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, and many more.
All exhibits are well-maintained, and visitors can get up close and personal with the animals. No matter your age, you can explore a lot here. The interactive exhibits, animal encounters, and live shows are entertaining and engaging.
The ticket prices of the aquarium are reasonable. So, it is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves marine life.
Visiting this place can help you learn more about the ocean and have a fun and unique experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach?
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is at 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577, United States.
Is it free?
No, visitors have to pay an admission fee to visit here. Entry is free only for members, children below two, and annual pass holders.
How much are the tickets?
The ticket prices depend upon the number of attractions you want to see. The entry fee ranges from $32.99 to $44.99.
How big is it?
It is spread over an area of 85,000 square feet. With over 10,000 exotic sea creatures and 1.4 million gallons of water, it is one of the largest in the south-eastern United States.
How long to spend at the aquarium?
The time you want to spend at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach can vary depending on your interests. Most visitors spend between 2-3 hours exploring the exhibits and attractions.
Where to park?
There are no parking facilities available inside Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. There are many free parking options available nearby that you can explore.
How much is parking?
Most parking lots available near the aquarium offer you free parking.
Is the aquarium worth it?
Yes, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is worth a visit! The aquarium has received numerous positive reviews from visitors who have praised its impressive exhibits, interactive experiences, and educational opportunities.
Other Nearby Aquariums
A word from FIA
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is a top-rated attraction in the area. It is a must-visit holiday destination for anyone interested in marine life or looking for a fun and educational experience in Myrtle Beach.
With a wide range of habitats showcasing over 10,000 sea creatures worldwide, the aquarium is a fascinating and entertaining attraction for visitors of all ages.
We hope we have covered all the information for you about the aquarium. Don’t forget to share these facts with your friends and family or anyone planning a visit here.