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Ripley’s Aquarium offers intimate views of ocean’s paradise

You are in Paradise, the oceanfront Myrtle Beach hotel you have chosen as your vacation resort. Here, living is serene and beauty is abundant as you survey the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean. More than likely, it is your love of the ocean that inspired your trip. If you desire to get even better acquainted with the wonders and mysteries of the ocean, Ripley’s Aquarium is an excursion worth your time.

It is South Carolina’s most popular attraction, where 85,000 square feet is dedicated to revealing and educating millions about the various ocean creatures dwelling in the Earth’s seas.

The Myrtle Beach aquarium is divided into seven distinctive areas dedicated to fascinating aspects of oceanic life and habitats. Each is brilliant and fascinating in its own right.

Rio Amazon is an exhibit that reconstructs the primordial, luxuriant world of rainforests, where more than 2,000 species of fish flourish in tropical waters. In addition, carnivorous and herbivorous piranhas call this exhibit home, as well as poison dart frogs, armored catfish, green iguanas and freshwater stingrays.

Other exhibits here are the: Living Gallery, where striking, odd and poisonous sea life dwells, including the weedy sea dragon, which is a fish that looks like a tiny dragon with appendage resembling green leaves and weeds; Dangerous Reef, where Jaws-like sharks live; and Rainbow Rock, which is the most colorful display because of its inhabitants – gorgeous, brightly-hued fish, such as the clown triggerfish and the Moorish idol, both of which look like pieces of art.

However, Ripley’s Aquarium isn’t merely a spectacular aquarium. It is also a museum of sorts and an interactive classroom. From now until the end of 2012, with the price of admission, you can enjoy the Festival of Trees. It is a display of more than 50 trees decorated with memorabilia from each respective state. Plus, year-around, Ripley’s Aquarium exhibit called Friendship Flats allows you to touch stingrays as they glide by. You can even for a cost of $75 or $85, depending on which experience you choose, swim with the stingrays in a two-hour adventure.

If you go:
What: Ripley’s Aquarium
Where: 1110 Celebrity Circle, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29577
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday through Saturday (open year-around)
(Online) Cost: Adults, $19.99; Children (ages 6-11), $12.99; Children (ages 2-5), $4.99
Information: Call  843-916-0888 or 800-734-8888 or visit
Directions from Paradise Resort: Start going northeast on South Ocean Boulevard/S.C. 73. Take the second left onto 21st Ave. S. Turn right onto South Kings Highway/U.S. 17 Business. Turn left onto 21st Ave. N. Turn right onto Robert M. Grissom Parkway. Turn left onto 29th Ave. N. Take the first left. Turn right onto Loop Road.

Posted on 11/27/12