The Georgia Aquarium


America’s Largest Aquarium

Ocean Voyager

Ocean Voyager Gallery

Georgia Aquarium is home to many creatures, from teensy frogs to sizeable beluga whales and whale sharks. The picture above was taken inside the Ocean Voyager tunnel, one of seven galleries within the facility built in the heart of Atlanta on land donated by Coca-Cola.

DSCN7194Two of my Romance Writers of America pals and I took a break from the frenetic pace of our national writing conference to explore this beautiful underwater world on a rainy Saturday. Despite the sell-out crowds, the visit was worth the thirty dollar admission price.

Bernie and Billi Marcus of The Marcus Foundation are the aquarium’s benefactors, and companies such as Southwest Airlines, Home Depot, and AT&T sponsor exhibits.


Coca-Cola World next door

We arrived at about two in the afternoon, and were able to explore five of the seven attractions before having to return for our conference. We experienced all but the dolphin show and the 4-D theatre that allows guests to see the world from a marine animal’s point of view. Okay by us, as my friends and I had seen previously seen these types of attractions, but if you’re traveling with children and/or want to squeeze every penny out of your admission dollar, arrive early. Allot at least three hours; more if you plan to eat and shop for souvenirs.

Love the blue fish and pink starfishies

In Cold Water Quest, you’ll see cool creatures like the ones above, as well as beluga whales, Japanese spider crabs, and an odd creature that made me wonder if dragons really do exist.


Can you see the two Australian weedy sea dragons?

Humboldt Penguins

Humboldt Penguins

If you like cuddly puppies and kittens, you may enjoy crawling through a tunnel to pop up and view the world’s smallest penguins.


For those traveling with little ones, your favorite part of the aquarium may be the Georgia Explorer. According to the facility’s brochure, this interactive gallery “includes touch pools full of horseshoe crabs, sea stars, rays and shrimp.” The children I observed were having fun playing in the mock fishing boat and crawling through what I’d call an overhead hamster trail.

Tropical jellyfish, like from Nemo

Tropical Jellyfish

The Tropical Diver was my second-favorite, with its colorful fish, coral reefs, and simulated ocean surf. The exhibits make it easy to imagine yourself snorkeling in warm, salty waters. Or perhaps that’s just me?

Snorkling Visions

After oohing and ahhing over the vibrant tropical sea life, we anticipated the River Scout gallery to be bland. We were wrong. The fish colors may be predominately brown, but the water cascade, playful otters, and overhead river for much of the walk made for a fascinating experience.


At first glance…

These river fish (below) don’t strike one as particularly fearsome. That is, until you read the exhibit plaque.

"I'm a piranha!" ~ Darla in NEMO

“I’m a piranha!” ~ Darla in NEMO

Last but not least, here’s my favorite photo from our aquarium adventure. Enjoy!

Tropical Diver Gallery Exhibit

Tropical Diver Gallery Exhibit

What’s your favorite activity on a rainy summer day?

Coming Up…

Fan Girl Moment with THE Nora Roberts

Fan Girl Moment with Nora Roberts

For those of you interested in romance books and such, check back Wednesday for this writer’s take on RWA13. For next week, Rylie has promised to post about Merano, Italy. I’m homesick for Key West, so I may sneak in a bonus Conch post along the way.




15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcia
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:10:19

    Hi Jolyse! Looks like you had a fab time in Atlanta! Your pics are gorgeous and what a great place to cool off! Love those Australian weedy sea dragons! Glad you arrived home safe and sound!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:55:13

      Hi Marcia!

      Thanks for stopping by to enjoy the fishies. I’m in complete awe of the sea dragons, too. From my understanding, they are a distant relative of sea horses. Cool, huh. 🙂

  2. Nicole Basaraba
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:21:18

    Love the colours of the sea creatures! Looks like you had a great time. I’d love to hear about the conference as well. So cool at Nora Roberts was there!

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:59:04

      Thanks, Nicole. I’m so glad I decided to go. A group of my chapter mates managed to talk me into it, and it was worth every penny. Next year is San Antonio and after that, back to NYC. I’ll definitely be there in two years, if not the Texas conference.

      I wish I’d been able to photograph the adorable sea and river otters, but they were far too quick for me to capture. 🙂

  3. James P. Teele
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 18:38:04

    Looks like you had a good time, in Atlanta. I wish you could have been in Key West for the 2013 Himingway Look-a-Like contest. I did not win, but like I always say “There is always next year”.

    Also, there is a get together planned in Key Largo, next February, of the Papa’s. It was a good time last February.

    Miss you
    Papa James

  4. Jolyse Barnett
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 19:04:45

    Hey Papa James! Disappointed to learn you didn’t win yet, but I know you will one day. I love your attitude and am so impressed with the charitable works of your group. Proud of you! I will mention the possibility of a Key Largo getaway to my husband. Sounds like a great time. (((hugs)))

  5. PJ Sharon
    Jul 22, 2013 @ 20:35:14

    I had so much fun with you at the conference, Jolyse. I wish I’d taken time to see the aquarium. It looks and sounds awesome:-)

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 22, 2013 @ 21:07:23

      So great to see you here, PJ. You CTRWA gals rock! I loved getting to know you in person. Hope you’ll get a chance to see the aquarium another time. 🙂

  6. Jill Weatherholt
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 12:52:29

    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures, Jolyse! I can’t wait to hear about the conference. I’m so happy you were able to attend! And a picture with Nora Roberts…..awesome!

  7. Rebecca Enzor
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 16:47:02

    I love the GA Aquarium! It’s huge and packed but always so worth a visit 🙂

  8. Donna Coe-Velleman
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 23:21:16

    Looks fantastic!. I love aquariums. Thanks for the great pictures.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 25, 2013 @ 11:00:02

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Some of my videos turned out pretty well too. Thinking about putting them up on YouTube when I get a chance. Oceans and outer space are our last frontiers. Pretty amazing thinking about how many creatures we still haven’t discovered. 🙂

  9. Trackback: My Favorite Ten Quotes from RWA13 | JOLYSE BARNETT'S Margarita Moments & Other Escapes
%d bloggers like this: