The Grand Strand is known for its many family attractions and variety of things to do. With beaches, shopping, restaurants, museums and more in abundant supply, excitement is available at every turn.
Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has been a staple attraction at Broadway at the Beach for 20 years. You can always find exciting exhibits and experiences at the aquarium, but the newest addition of the Penguin Playhouse is the largest expansion in the aquarium’s history.
The African penguin – the only penguin species found on the African continent – is one of the most endangered penguin species in the world. Unlike their friends in Antarctica, these penguins prefer warmer water temperatures rather than an icy cold climate. With the species population declining 60% in the last 28 years, the colony at Ripley’s will help conservation efforts and help educate people about the waning population.
The 5,500-square-foot extension includes eight new tanks showcasing fish from all over the world, two classrooms for students to get up close and personal to learn about the African Penguins, and a world-class penguin habitat. Visitors can view these birds in their full glory through 50 feet of floor-to-ceiling viewing glass and can even waddle through a 360-degree tunnel to be engulfed in the penguins’ setting.
A penguin encounter is definitely an experience to remember. Ticket holders are able to pet a penguin and learn all about these regal birds from an aquarium staff expert. If you’re not yet able to visit to see the penguins in person, get great views of the playhouse on the Penguin Cam!
Ripley’s Aquarium also has other unforgettable experiences like encountering stingrays and sleeping with the sharks. The 85,000-square-foot building hosts exhibits featuring species from many continents – from Africa and Australia to North and South America. See life in the reef, fish of the Amazon, jellyfish, seahorses, pufferfish and more. In addition to year-round exhibits like the Penguin Playhouse, the aquarium has seasonal and traveling exhibits so that there’s something new every time you visit! You’ll find interactive fun for the whole family year after year.