The Best Aquarium in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Written by Jude Speegle
Updated: August 10, 2023
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Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is known to be a great place to visit and a wonderful place to live. It is situated along 60 miles of coastline, with seafood restaurants for all tastes and plenty of shopping to help soothe the soul.

During the summer, the best time to visit, you can cruise through the city and enjoy all the sights to see. One of the best options available is the only aquarium in the town, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. These aquariums are always the ones full of surprises and entertainment you can’t find anywhere else.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach

Sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus) swimming with other fish in an aquarium.

View sand


sharks in Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.

©Valeri Potapova/

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach
Address 1110 Celebrity Cir, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Animal to SeeSharks
Known ForGlass Bottom Adventure Boat

Aquariums have never been a better experience than the Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. With two levels to explore, there is so much to learn and experience. Let’s do a deep dive into what there is to know about this aquarium.

Upper Level

Deadliest Jellyfish - Box Jellyfish

Check out the jellyfish you can find at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.

©Nuttawut Uttamaharad/

  • Rio Amazon: Picture the lush vegetation of the rainforest: ferns pop up from the ground, circling avocado trees, and orchids bloom brightly. The rainforest is its unique habitat containing all types of plants and animals, many of which can only be found there. A few of the animals you can find among the displays include freshwater stingrays, poison dart frogs, armored catfish, arapaima, and piranhas. Each animal serves a purpose in this habitat, and you can discover what they are.
  • Friendship Flats: If you have ever wanted to feel the silky flesh of a stingray, then you are in luck. There are stingrays gliding by in a shallow pool where you can caress them as they swim by. Remember to only touch their backs as their mouths are on their undersides. Any questions you have on rays can be answered in this exhibit.
  • Planet Jellies: Color-changing displays of jellyfish are situated for you to get the most out of your experience. The tanks are backlit and change colors, so get ready to be mesmerized. There are moon jellies, Japanese sea nettle, Atlantic sea nettle, upside-down jellyfish, and spotted lagoon jellies.
  • Penguin Playhouse: Twenty-two named penguins make their home in the Penguin Playhouse. You can even meet the penguins on Ripley’s Aquarium website. African penguins live in the playhouse, but they also have a nursery for hatching their chick and a Penguin Encounter where you can experience a meet and greet.
  • Cargo Hold Gift Shop: Stow away inside the cargo hold and revel in the series of perfect tchotchkes and souvenirs from your trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. Handmade crystal sea life sculptures are also available for those looking to make their memories indelible.

Lower Level

Animals That Change Color- Seahorse

Spot nature’s artwork at Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.


  • Rainbow Rock: Don’t worry. When it comes to fish, this aquarium also has you covered. Every color of the rainbow exists down under, beneath the glimmering waters of the ocean. From clown triggerfish to the regal blue tang, there are many rainbow fish to uncover in the Rainbow Rock exhibit.
  • Dangerous Reef: Danger beckons within the Dangerous Reef- spot the ocean’s deadliest predators, along with a wonderful variety of animals. There is an acrylic tunnel that swirls around to showcase the variety of animals like tarpons, snappers, green sea turtles, sawfish, and of course, sharks.
  • Living Gallery: This gallery is considered to hold nature’s artwork, including animals like the Pacific giant octopus, sea anemones, living corals, jellies, and weedy sea dragons. These animals reveal the complexity and beauty of living creatures and how nature truly has so much to offer.
  • Ray Bay: Get to know the stingrays up close and personal in Ray Bay, where you can swim with the rays and make a new best friend. Divers can swim in close and even hand feed the sting rays, who revel in the attention people can give them. When in the wild, sting rays bury themselves away in the sand, but that’s not the case here. In this aquarium, they are far more social.
  • Systems Control: 1.4 million gallons of water are used to keep this aquarium going and the animals comfortable and happy. You can rest assured that there is nothing to worry about with over 1,000,000 feet of electrical wiring and a filtration system that can filter 11,664,000 gallons of water every 24 hours.

Other Experiences to Enjoy

  • Virtual Tours: You don’t have to worry about getting out of bed when you can take a virtual tour from the comfort of your home. A live educator will narrate pre-filmed footage of the aquarium and answer any questions you may have concerning the content. Having a live educator is a plus you don’t get just from walking around the aquarium, so you can feel special knowing it’s just for you on a virtual tour.
  • Penguin Encounters: As mentioned earlier, penguin encounters are just another treat offered at the aquarium. You can offer a treat to a fun little guy while posing for a quick photo. You can touch a penguin and even help one paint a work of art.
  • Stingray Experience: Swim with a stingray and get to know them personally. You can even feed them straight out of your hand.
  • Mermaid Photo Cove: Explore the Mermaid Cove and have your picture taken with a professional mermaid in various colorful outfits. The mermaids love taking their time for a photo opportunity with a guest; they’re very vain.
  • Glass Bottom Boat Adventure: This Glass Bottom Boat Adventure is the first of its kind in North America. You ride in a boat with a three-inch-thick glass bottom, peer into the depths below and experience the wildlife like never before. Gliding around the Dangerous Reef, sharks, sea turtles, and sawfish can be seen. The sharks here are sand tiger sharks and nurse sharks. There are more than 8,500 fish to spot and learn about on your boat ride.

Where Is Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach Located on a Map?

Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach is located in the Broadway at the Beach mall in Myrtle Beach. It is in Horry County. The aquarium is around six miles’ drive from Myrtle Beach International Airport and about 100 miles’ southwest drive from Charleston.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Olesia Bilkei/

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About the Author

Jude is a writer both by trade and by heart. They have been writing since a very young age and have eight years of professional writing experience. Passionate about animals, Jude has three birds and three cats.

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