What To Do

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

6 Must-Visit Attractions in the Smoky Mountains for Animal Lovers

Do you love animals? The Smoky Mountains are known for being a great place to see a variety of wildlife. If you want a more up-close look at animals while you’re here, make sure you check out these attractions in the Smoky Mountains that are perfect for animal lovers. You’ll get to see animals up close and even get the chance to interact with some!

1. Ober Mountain’s Wildlife Habitat

river otterThe Wildlife Habitat at Ober Mountain is a great way to see the local wildlife in an up-close way. This animal-centered attraction in the Smoky Mountains gives you a chance to view black bears, river otters, bobcats, and birds of prey. In the Nocturnal House, you can see skunks, raccoons, flying squirrels, snakes, and turtles. This is a great way to see Smoky Mountain wildlife in a safe environment! 

2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Another Smoky Mountain attraction with lots of animals is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg. This aquarium has both freshwater and saltwater exhibits to see the marine life that live in our rivers and streams as well as in oceans around the world! You’ll get to see all sorts of amazing fish and sea creatures as you explore these underwater exhibits, from piranhas to sharks to penguins and more! You can even interact with jellyfish in the Touch Jellies exhibit!

3. Parrot Mountain & Gardens

blue and yellow macaw on tree limbParrot Mountain is an attraction in the Smoky Mountains where you’ll get to see hundreds of birds and even interact with some of them! Visit the nursery to see hatchlings being fed by hand. In the bird garden, you can feed the parrots and have your picture taken as you hold one. In the walk-in aviary, you can hold a cup of nectar for colorful Australian Lorikeets to drink from. This is an amazing attraction for anyone who loves birds!

4. Smoky Mountain Deer Farm and Exotic Petting Zoo

Smoky Mountain Deer Farm is a great attraction in the Smoky Mountains for animal lovers! Not only will you get to see all sorts of animals, but you can also get up close and personal with them in the petting zoo! You can pet and feed a variety of animals, such as deer, elk, goats, camels, zebras, kangaroos, pigs, reindeer, horses, and more. Your kids can ride a pony, or the whole family can go on a horseback ride!

5. RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo

ring-tailed lemur on tree branchIf you want to see over 600 animals, head over to RainForest Adventures! Over 130 different species are represented at this zoo attraction. You’ll enjoy viewing animals like lemurs, monkeys, axolotls, parrots, porcupines, frogs, snakes, lizards, tortoises, servals, mongoose, and so much more. There’s even a petting zoo where you can interact with dozens of goats! You will easily be able to spend a whole day checking out all these animals from around the world!

6. SkyLand Ranch

One of the newest animal attractions in the Smoky Mountains is SkyLand Ranch. At this attraction, you’ll find all sorts of miniature animals to interact with. Meet miniature cows, miniature horses, miniature donkeys, sheep, and goats! You can also see the SkyLand Ranch Longhorns with their impressively massive horns! Animal lovers of all ages will have a great time encountering these four-legged friends at this Sevierville attraction.

Free Admission to Attractions in the Smoky Mountains

These Smoky Mountain attractions are great for animal lovers! If you are looking for more things to do in the Smokies, take a look at our Adventure Power Pass to see which attractions you can receive free tickets for when you stay in our Smoky Mountain cabins!