Tennessee Aquarium named country’s best aquarium in Newsweek readers’ choice poll

Tennessee Aquarium named country’s best aquarium in Newsweek readers’ choice poll

Chattanooga, Tenn. (April 29, 2024) – The Tennessee Aquarium’s legacy of introducing guests to the wonders of aquatic life for more than 30 years has been recognized with a top honor from one of the country’s most prestigious publications.

Newsweek Magazine readers chose the Tennessee Aquarium as the nation’s best aquarium in a recent readers’ choice poll. Voters chose from a selection of aquariums nominated by a panel of comprised of travel writers, journalists, bloggers and editors.

“We are thrilled that the Aquarium’s dedication to preserving freshwater ecosystems and connecting visitors to Chattanooga with water and wildlife is reflected in this recognition as the country’s top aquarium,” says Aquarium President and CEO Keith Sanford.

The Tennessee Aquarium was among a who’s who of preeminent competitors, including Monterey Bay Aquarium (No. 8),  Shedd Aquarium (No. 9), Audubon Aquarium (No. 6) and Georgia Aquarium (No. 3).

The selection committee cited the role aquariums play in ocean and wetland conservation and highlighted the “diverse array of aquatic environments and engaging education opportunities” offered by the ten finalists.

The Tennessee Aquarium is currently in competition for another top spot in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2024 poll to select the country’s best aquarium.

Readers can vote in this latest contest once per day until noon on Monday, May 13. Registration is not required to cast your vote. A winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 22.


The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and inspire them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Admission is $39.95 per adult and $29.95 per youth, ages 5-17. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices for 45-minute films are $9.95. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.

The Tennessee Aquarium is seen on the Tennessee River at Ross’s Landing in Chattanooga.

Stewy the Green Sea Turtle swims in the Tennessee Aquarium’s 618,000-gallon Secret Reef exhibit.

Guests visit the Tennessee Aquarium’s Stingray Bay touch exhibit.