Living in North Georgia, I frequently go up to Chattanooga, Tennessee just to visit the Tennessee Aquarium. I have yet to get tired of the exhibits there. I was especially pleased, though not with the CROWDS, at the first day of the "Venom" exhibit. This was a classic example of how the Aquarium can just really make a great trip.
The "Venom" exhibit that I spoke up featured all kinds of deadly creatures. Some of my favorites that were on display included jelly fish, sharks, stingrays, scorpions, etc.. Yes, the aquarium doesn't just feature water animals, they also have other exhibits as well. The Aquarium was done up in long pillowly tentacles and there were about six school buses the day I went just to see it. I guess I should have waited for the excitement to die down before seeing it, but I braved the lines anyway. Besides, most of the children really wanted to play in the waterponds instead of waiting in line.
The Aquarium has added an IMAX theatre, and you can purchase aquarium tickets, or Imax theatre tickets separately, or as a combo for a reduced price. There is a great gift shop there with gorgeous plush animals, jewelry, books, and anything you can think of. I bought a tree frog :-)
Close by, within walking distance, is tons of shopping places, restaurants, and little quaint shops to interest you in the hours that you have left after leaving the aquarium. Start your visit early and make an entire day out of it. You won't be sorry.
The Tennessee Aquarium is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is open every day except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving. Tickets are around $12 adult and $6 for children. Crowds are expected as it did draw a million visitors in the first 6 months it was open. Be warned about that, but also know its so worth it.
Pros: surpasses any aquarium I've been to
Cons: some of the really great exhibits are just limited engagements