Want to take the kids on an exciting adventure during your Myrtle Beach vacation? Take a trip to Broadway at the Beach and visit Ripley’s Aquarium and check out one of the top family-friendly attractions the Grand Strand has to offer.
While Ripley’s Aquarium is full of different exhibits, the main attraction is certainly the Dangerous Reef. Let yourself and your little ones be wowed as you travel along a 340 ft. moving walkway that passes directly through the middle of the exhibit. There is nothing quite like looking up and seeing a 6 ft. Sandtiger Shark swimming directly overhead. The Dangerous Reef has a variety of marine life including Sandbar Sharks, Nurse Sharks, Tarpon, Sea Turtles, Eels, Sawfish, and much more! The feeling of being inside the tank is something you and your children won’t soon forget.
The Rainbow Rock exhibit is home to hundreds of the most colorful fish in the sea. Fans of the movie Finding Nemo will love to get close to Nemo (clownfish) and Dory (Regal Blue Tang). Other vibrant fish like the Clown Triggerfish, Foxface Rabbitfish, and Emperor Angelfish also call Rainbow Rock home. Every couple hours Rainbow Rock also has a live show where SCUBA divers jump in the tank with the fish, perform some fun tricks and even feed the tank’s inhabitants while a Ripley’s employee shares fun facts about the animals and how they’re cared for.
If you and your little ones would like to get a little more hands-on, be sure to make a stop by Ray Bay. At the shallow end of the tank Rays will swim right up to the edge where guests are allowed to reach down into the water and touch the backs of these majestic swimmers. For an underwater view there is a massive tank where spectators can view these animals in a more natural habitat. You’ll see a variety of Rays such as the Cownose Ray, Southern Stingrays and the massive Spotted Eagle Rays that have the ability to grow to 16 ft long with a 10ft wingspan!
Ripley’s Aquarium even offers a special Stingray experience where guests over 6 years of age can actually don a mask and snorkel and swim out with the Rays in Ray Bay. If getting in the tank yourself doesn’t interest you, Ripley’s mermaid divers put on a Mermaid Show in Ray Bay a few times a day. While music plays in the background, mermaids perform underwater, doing tricks while swimming among the Rays. Being one of the more popular shows at Ripley’s space can be limited so it’s recommended that you show up at least 15 or 20 minutes before show time.
If playing dress-up excites the little ones, Ripley’s Aquarium offers the Fancy Fins Mermaid Boutique where they can become a mermaid, sailor or even a pirate. Mermaid packages include hair styling, shimmering makeup, jewelry, mermaid t-shirt, and a beauty bag with compact, comb and mirror for $29.99. The Sailor package includes a sailor hat and t-shirt for $19.99 and the Pirate Package contains an eye patch, bandana, facepaint, tattoos, and a pirate t-shirt for $24.99.
Ripley’s Aquarium is quite the adventure and while it’s geared toward children, adults will love it just as much. If you’re looking for a fun, educational experience while you’re on vacation Ripley’s Aquarium certainly won’t disappoint!
To get to Ripley’s Aquarium from Dunes Village Resort, head south on Ocean Blvd, make a right onto 29th Ave N. After crossing Robert Grissom Pkwy make the first left into Broadway at the Beach and Ripley’s will be straight ahead.