Georgia Aquarium among top U.S. attractions

8:40 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 Things to Do in Atlanta
The whale sharks are among the star attractions at the Georgia Aquarium. Photo contributed by Georgia Aquarium

TripAdvisor, the online travel service, released its list of the top 25 attractions in the U.S., and the Georgia Aquarium was listed at No. 16.

TripAdvisor wrote “With an 8% year-over-year increase in search activity, the Georgia Aquarium has proven to be a must-visit destination for travelers to Atlanta.”

Veterans Immersion Program participants dive in one of world's largest aquariums at Georgia Aquarium on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 for a unique adjunctive therapy that compliments current rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

The TripAdvisor index lists the top 25 attractions with the greatest increase in traveler interest.

At the head of the list was the south rim of the Grand Canyon.

Also in the top five were the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Ariz.,  the Coit Tower in San Francisco and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

This hammerhead shark is among the 100,000 creastures at the Georgia Aquarium.

Rankings were determined based on the percent increase in search sessions on TripAdvisor for U.S. travelers. between 2016 and 2017. Analysts looked at searches during the period of Sept. 1 through Oct. 7 in each year.

The Georgia Aquarium which opened in 2005, houses 100,000 animals. Its massive ocean and cold water habitats contain 10 million gallons of water.

It was the largest aquarium in the world at that time, until 2012 when it was replaced by the Marine Life Park in Singapore.