Local living like a tourist in the Myrtle Beach area: Ripley's Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach

Ripley’s Aquarium at Broadway at the Beach has been in the news lately;  it has recently been named one of the top 12 best aquariums in the nation, according to the editors of Destinations Travel Magazine.

We in the Grand Strand knew it was great, but now the world knows!

Ripley’s Aquarium is one of those feel good places for all ages. Who doesn’t love to be surrounded by nature in such a warm and inviting atmosphere?  Once you walk through the doors you immediately sense that the exhibits and animals are well cared for.  You can smell the fish, but it doesn’t smell fishy.

I visited the Aquarium on a sunny Tuesday morning thinking it would be less crowded than on a rainy day.  Surprisingly, there were many families already there but I was still able to get close to most of the exhibits.

Many of the animals have lived there for much of the 17 years that the Myrtle Beach SC attraction has been at this location. Other exhibits are new, such as “Swarm,” which is the newest hands-on exhibit that allows guests to touch or turn handles to experience how certain critters live.

My favorite areas to spend quiet moments are the mermaid tank because of the beautifully colored fish and the stingray “lake” where you can actually get in the water (for an additional free) and swim with the stingray.  I also love to walk around the big tanks and watch as the sharks swim freely with other fish life.

For those who want to learn more about marine life, Ripley’s has an education center that conducts classes as well as summer camps. At certain times during the day there are speakers by the tanks sharing information about the sea life.

You can easily spend many hours at the attraction without getting bored, but if the little ones need a break from all of the excitement there is a snack bar as well as an area for them to create their own critters..

A new penguin exhibit and larger lobby are in the works, and roughly 6,000 square foot addition is planned to extend the building toward the Broadway parking lot by next summer.

Until next week … enjoy all the Grand Strand has to offer.

Since July 2011, Sherrie has been living in North Myrtle Beach and sharing the best that the Grand Strand has to offer. From people to events, Grand Strand Happening is your source for everything fun from Little River to Murrells Inlet.

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