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Wildlife & Zoos in Tennessee

Discover nature and visit with your favorite zoo animals at some of the top animal attractions and sites across Tennessee.

Obed Wild & Scenic River

Set along the Cumberland Plateau, the Obed Wild & Scenic River is located in eastern Tennessee – just northwest of Knoxville. Found between Interstate 40 and I-75, the Obed offers paddling, rock climbing, hiking, and bird watching.

Hikers at Obed enjoy Point Trail, Lilly Bluff Overlook Trail, Lilly Bridge Trail, Lilly Boulder Trail, and the Emory River Nature Trail. The Obed Wild & Scenic River Visitor Center is open daily in downtown Wartburg, and features exhibits, interpretive programs, and a bookstore.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Enjoy an aquatic adventure fit for the whole family during your next visit to Tennessee. Head for Gatlinburg out in the eastern region of the state and plan for a full day exploring Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies. The Volunteer State has a wide range of family-first attractions, and Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the best.

You can find this exceptional aquarium and museum just on the outskirts of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, right in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. You'll have much to see and do at Ripley's – be sure to visit the Discovery Center, the Touch a Ray Bay, the Penguin Playhouse, and the Tropical Rainforest.

Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium, a top-ranked aquarium in the United States, is a favored attraction in Chattanooga.

Visit this southern Tennessee aquarium to see 10,000 animals and have fun riding the River Gorge Explorer, an exciting riverboat cruise.

Kids and adults alike, love the Animal Encounters exhibit offering the chance to touch select animals.

Be sure to schedule time to view the current IMAX 3D movie in the aquarium's IMAX theater. It's one of the world's first official "Certified Giant Screen" theaters. Be prepared to be amazed at the imagery.

Reserve a Backstage Pass for a behind-the-scenes tour including a chance to touch and feed the animals.