MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Nestled at Broadway at the Beach, Ripley’s Aquarium has provided family-friendly fun for more than two decades.

“I’ve been here for the past 10 [years] and I’ve really seen it grow and I love hearing the stories of guests when they come back and see all the changes and the kids that they brought — now they have their own kids so it’s really fun to see those generations and having a good time,” Marketing Coordinator Alex McMinn said. “It’s not every place you can see a mermaid or sleep under a shark tunnel or ride a glass-bottom boat. You get to ask all those questions and really enjoy being at the aquarium.”

The aquarium has exhibits like the penguin encounter, the jellyfish exhibit and the dangerous reef shark tunnel — a 330-foot tunnel that has 22 sharks and 6,000 fish.

“You can see the penguins, which is a brand new exhibit,” McMinn said. “It’s our largest expansion ever. You also can pet stingrays, so they kind of feel like a wet mushroom is the best way to describe it.”

One of the most popular penguins at Ripley’s Aquarium is Saba.

“Saba came here in February of 2020 when we opened our habitat, but he came from the adventure aquarium in New Jersey,” said Taylor Foster, an Aquarist at Ripley’s. “We have 21 penguins in total.”

The aquarium has a little something for everyone, but it also provides a learning experience for children by providing an up-close experience with animals.

“We as a staff love when we hear kids going up to their mom saying, ‘This is the best day ever’ and I originally have an education background and it’s so nice to see those kids make that connection like I saw this in a book but now I’m seeing it in person,” Foster said.

There are also monthly events held at Ripley’s Aquarium. Later this month, Ripley’s will host “Bubbles and Bow Ties,” a mom and son event. It also welcomes group tours and will even host a sleepover under the tunnels for your group.

General day passes are $36.99. A season pass is $74.99 plus tax and gets you access for the entire year. The aquarium is also open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with last tours at 7 p.m.

More information can be found on the Ripley’s Aquarium website.