Monterey Bay Aquarium
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- 98%Family Travelers
- 59%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 58%Local Culture
- 56%Green Travelers
- 53%Adventure Travelers
- 52%Budget Travelers
- 51%Business Travelers
Member Reviews (130)
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodiesBackpackers+ 1Mar 05, 2014
Always enjoy coming here once every couple of years to see what's changed. As an adult I still love the sealife "touch" exhibit where you can handle starfish and other sea creatures.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMar 03, 2014
Monterey Bay Aquarium is a phenomenal place for kids and adults alike. You'll find sea creatures of all sorts--from sea birds and otters to octopus and penguins. (And of course, all sorts of fish.) The museum is well designed with huge tanks (some a couple stories high), well-written placards, petting areas for kids (rays and star fish mostly), and daily activities like feedings and presentations. It's a bit pricey--almost $20 per kid, $30 for adults--and can get pretty crowded on weekends but it's definitely a must-see if you're in the area.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesWellness+ 2Nov 12, 2013
I really enjoyed my visit. The jellyfish exhibit was so cool... I also really like the sea otters and the penguins. Its a little pricy but if you take your time its worth itRecommended for:Local Culture
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 2Nov 05, 2013
I have been to Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta and Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. Both of their own charms but Monterey Bay is still my favorite. i don't know if I am just partial because it was the very first aquarium I have been to. It is not an exaggeration to call it my first love. The jellyfish exhibit is still the most mesmerizing even after all these years.
Note that this Aquarium do not have any mammals except otters. If you are looking to see some whales and dolphins you will be very disappointed. It is also a non profit organization so the main focus is to educate rather than to entertain. That doesn't mean you won't have a great time here. You will learn a lot about the sea and the nature. There are no better place to bring your kids to. They will love it and so will you.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersWellnessOct 19, 2013
Perhaps the West's best aquarium, this awesome paen to California's underwater wild-life is definitely worth the price of admission. In addition to the usual exhibits, big viewing tanks, and scads of sea otters frolicking nearby, this museum also gets points for constantly updating its programs. Plus, this aquarium is responsible for the seafood education pamphlet that's helped many West Coast restaurants provide more ecological dining options.
- Monterey Bay AquariumOct 19, 2013
Without doubt, the best aquarium I've ever been to California, and maybe in the entire country (or even the world, and I've been to over 30 countries so far and still counting...). The aquarium not only has a wealth of wildlife on display in its tanks, but it's also focused on teaching environmental responsibility, ocean conservation and animal welfare. From the floating moon jellyfish to the animated sea otters being rehabilitated, Monterey Aquarium is one of the places I most love in California. Save almost a whole day to explore the aquarium, which inhabits a rehabbed sardine canning factory that dates back to John Steinbeck's Cannery Row days.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsAdventure Travelers+ 3Sep 22, 2013
Well first of all, can I live in the wave tunnel? Monterey Bay Aquarium is spectacular, and everything an aquarium should be. It really breaks down the stiffness you would expect from squinting into glass, as the whole architecture feels like the glass is barely there and the tanks do not feel like tanks at all. Everything is so encompassing it feels like you are actually underwater. They also project high definition videos aside the real thing, so everything looks ethereal. The jellyfish room is stunning, and you can flip special lights on and off to make them appear and disappear in the darkness. There are stingrays to pet, gadgets to play with, and so many corners to explore.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness Travelers+ 3Sep 20, 2013
Just a gorgeous looking aquarium. My personal favorite was the jellyfish exhibit, and even though it was a little crowded than I anticipated when I went (Friday), it was fun to see. The ticket is a little pricier than I thought it would be, even with my friend's military discount (saved around $1.25/ticket?).
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 11Sep 13, 2013
This is one of the Gems of the Monterey Peninsula, an area with a lot of gems just 2 hours south of San Francisco.
I grew up through a lot of my formative years in the area. My Mom used to sew car seat covers in a small factory halfway between the Aquarium and Pacific Grove's Lover"s Point many years ago, and she worked as a waitress right on Cannery Row before the aquarium existed.
Cannery Row, with legendary local writer John Steinbeck making it famous, went from fish canneries to a tourist area over the past century. Now with the aquarium about 25 years old, it has brought a lot more visitors to the area and is a go to desitation for families and a tourist area trying to look like San Franicsco's Fisherman's Wharf in tourist traps, but with a moderated and mellow vibe.
The aquarium is different than most, as it is constructed with Monterey Bay as part of it, and is as much a research institution for the deep depths of Monterey Bay and sourronding areas. It has had 2 Great White sharks here, the only ones in the world, which were released. It has great collection of other sharks, though, including Hammerhead, 7 Fin and Leopard.
One of its popular attractions, which I grew up seeing off Cannery Row in the Kelpbeds, are the Sea Otters. These cute, playful creatures are fun to watch, and the vertical tank is a great way to see them above and under water.
The Kelp Bed exhibit, the Deep Ocean exhibit, the Jellyfish, the shoreline habitat, the interactive touch and feel counters, the Bat Ray interactive area, there is so many great things at this Aquarium. And they have taken a vertical approach to most of the large tanks, giving you a depth dimension you won't find at most major city aquariums.
The goal of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was created in part out of the passion of Hewlett Packard's founding family members to help make it, is to teach us about ocean and sealife preservation. As such, a unique exhibit is a video Seafood Cafe, which teaches which seafood are best to eat because of the techniques to catch them and keep them sustainable for the future. It is very educational, and take the little wallet guide with you, and you will change your seafood selections at any restaurant or store as a result.
A tip: to avoid some of the crowds and lines getting in, order tickets on-line, and will call them. ($24.95 for adults, slightly less for students, seniors, and more off for kids ) Also, come before the summer tourists arrive en masse to the Monterey Peninsula, and come early if you can.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the many things to enjoy in the area, and it has helped the economy and sense of pride, since visitors come from around the world by the millions to this beautiful place.
Being a semi-regular (I have been here many times) the only thing for me is that the displays, by their nature, do not change much.
So when the Great White was caught and put in, it was very exciting.
The sun fish and sea turtles are great, the jelly fish fantastically soothing, love the sea otters and everything is wonderful, but I go less frequently now.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5Sep 13, 2013
It feels like it was just yesterday that I came here as a 4th grader. Next thing I know, I'm a chaperone for a group of 5th graders! However, not too much has changed for me since the time I was there as a kid:
- While eating lunch outside of the aquarium, enjoying the beautiful ocean view, a kamikaze seagull snatched a cookie right out of my fingers as I was about to take a bite. That stealthy bugger did it so fast that I couldn't wrestle it away with my kung fu grip! I cried, like I did when the little boy who yanked my ponytail, took my Hostess Cupcake and ran away in 4th grade.
- During the sea otter feeding (which only happens 3 times a day for 15 minutes), I had to stand on my tippy-toes to get a glance at the otters in the tank. After a couple minutes, I gave up and resorted to watching it on the plasma tv. Adults are so selfish, getting there super early and standing up front! The poor little kids had to crawl through their legs to get up to the window to see. Yeah, so I'm pretty much the same height I was in 4th grade.
- The kids splashing around in the touch pool still freak me out. Be gentle! The kids were about to jump into the pool and grab a bat ray - why do you think they're swimming all the way on the other end? At least the volunteers are pretty attentive. And now they have a hand sanitizer dispenser and towels so you can clean your hands.
- I still haven't seen the penguins. Where are those cute little guys?
Ah, the memories. Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of those places that is always fun for kids and remains fascinating for adults. Just beware of the seagulls, they have no fear! Don't say I didn't warn you!