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USA TODAY -- It seemed to be a case of Bigger is Better in USA TODAY's Best Aquarium Contest!

The Georgia Aquarium, with its massive tank the size of a football field, took top honors, while voters keen on The Lone Star State voted their Texas State Aquarium into a very close second.

Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, in America's beloved Smoky Mountains, landed a solid third place finish and Chicago's Shedd Aquarium demonstrated its fans and followers with a very large fourth place finish.

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Rounding out the top five? A second Tennessee nominee, the Tennessee Aquarium in beautiful downtown Chattanooga.

The original 20 nominees were very carefully chosen, based on data provided by the AZA, so inclusion in the contest was an honor in itself.

The full list of winners in the 'Best Aquarium' contest category for 10 Best Readers' Choiceis as follows:

  1. Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta
  2. Texas State Aquarium - Corpus Christi, Texas
  3. Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies -Gatlinburg, Tenn
  4. Shedd Aquarium - Chicago
  5. Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga, Tenn.
  6. Monterey Bay Aquarium - Monterey, Calif.
  7. Vancouver Aquarium - Vancouver
  8. Mystic Aquarium - Mystic, Conn.
  9. Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium - Omaha, Neb.
  10. National Aquarium - Baltimore

Congratulations to all our winners!

The other 10 nominees - all well worth a visit - were:

  • ABQ BioPark Aquarium - Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Adventure Aquarium - Camden, N.J.
  • Aquarium of the Bay - San Francisco
  • Aquarium of the Pacific - Long Beach, Calif.
  • Audubon Aquarium of the Americas - New Orleans
  • New England Aquarium - Boston
  • New York Aquarium - New York
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium - Newport, Ore.
  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium - Tacoma, Wash.
  • Seattle Aquarium - Seattle

More on The Georgia Aquarium:

- Whale of a fight over Belugas at Georgia Aquarium

- Sign directing visitors to Aquarium spelled wrong on Connector

- Dream Job: Woman becomes dolphin trainer for a day

- Swim with whale sharks at Georgia Aquarium

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