Monterey Bay Aquarium
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- 98%Family Travelers
- 62%Outdoor Enthusiasts
- 58%Green Travelers
- 57%Local Culture
- 55%Adventure Travelers
Member Reviews (148)Write a review
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 5
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!Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofFamily TravelersFoodiesWellness+ 5
I love this aquarium! It's fairly modern and full of great sights for adults and children alike. The aquarium has wonderful activities for children throughout, such as stations where children can touch starfish and an outdoor seating area where they can participate in fun, educational shows. They don't serve alcohol in the aquarium, so if you're looking for a little boost to your trip, grab a drink at one of the many restaurants and bars outside the aquarium.Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6
Great place to visit with the family located by Cannery Row. It's about $35 for Adults and $22 for Children. Try to buy your tickets online because its about a 10-20 min wait time in the ticket line. Favorite exhibit is the jellyfish exhibit in the bottom make sure you see that!Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersFoodies+ 2
As far as aquariums go, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is spectacular. It was even featured in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. They have a wide variety of invertebrates such as jellyfish, sea slugs, crustaceans, and mollusks. My favorite room was the jellyfish room where they dim the lights and turn on the black lights for an eerie glow. The jellyfish are quite beautiful in their habitat. They also have exhibitions that change from time to time. Great for the whole family.Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureFoodiesLuxury Travelers
You could easily spend all day in this place (and I have)! Highlights: Otter feedings, Kelp Forest and the Open Sea. It's really an astonishing amount of stuff that they have put together under one roof.
If I were going here for the first time, I would start with looking at the feeding schedule as soon as you walk in -- plan your day around those events. They're so interactive and fun for kids and adults!Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsWellness+ 4
I could watch the otters and ethereal jellyfish tanks all day, but I especially like the conservation they're doing. Kids can learn quite a bit about the oceans here, and the website is extremely thorough (there's a great section about eating fish sustainably: what's best, what's worst, etc). Plus, from time to time now, they have a few of the only white sharks ever in captivity.Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay Aquarium
From the outside, it doesn't look like much. But, once inside, you really get a sense of why so many people love Monterey Bay Aquarium.
While this place would appeal more to kids, as an adult, it still did not disappoint! The different sections of the aquarium were very informative, educational and fun. Definitely worth the $30 admission.
The exhibits are focused on the delicate marine ecology, environmental protection and conservation.
Inside you can find:
- Jelly Fish - my favorite exhibit featuring various types of ethereal and other-worldly Jelly Fish. So beautifully showcased. AMAZING!
- Penguins - so cute!
- Sea otters - super cute cute cute!
- Sea horses - exotic and intriguing
- Kelp forest - a giant fish tank showcasing marine life found along California kelp forest complete with schools of sharks, eels and countless other fishes among towering sea kelp
- Giant octopus - interesting to see up close
- Large schools of fish swimming in formation
- Sea anemones - beautiful colors!
- Tide pools where you can touch star fish, rays, sea urchins and other critters of the sea
- Fascinating history of cannery row
- And MORE!
They also have different events being shown inside the theatre at various times throughout the day. The one we saw was a fascinating look at how animal anatomy help inspire inventors to solve problems. We learned how whale flipper shapes help design more efficient wind mills for harnessing wind power and how the box fish shapes (found near reefs) helps shape a more-aerodynamic car with much improved fuel efficiency.
Overall a great way to spend a few hours of your day and a definite must-visit destination in Monterey if you have not been.Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness TravelersFamily TravelersVegetarian
I put 3 hours worth of parking in my meter and it wasn't nearly enough, I had to go and refill.
The place is packed with very interesting stuff, it is very clean and well maintained.
We were there with an 18 months old baby and the kid playground there was an absolute gift.
Also, there are touch aquariums kids size.
Overall great experienceRecommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofOutdoor EnthusiastsBusiness TravelersGreen TravelersAdventure Travelers
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is certainly one of the most beautiful of aquaria in the US. Although, it's magnificent Outer Bay tank has now been surpassed by places such as the Atlanta Aquarium and others in Lisbon, Okinawa and Dubai, it is still something very worth seeing and the best by far on the US west coast. The facility itself is very nice, built from a former cannery, but designed to enhance the experience of the Bay, it somehow pulls off both historic charm and natural beauty. Finally, the Aquarium is a leader amongst zoos and aquaria globally for its efforts in ocean conservation. Not restricted to outreach at the visitor level, the aquarium engages in public policy, corporate best-practices and mainstream media and outreach - all for the benefit of the ocean and all of us humans dependent upon it!Recommended for:
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 8
Really enjoy visiting here. It has a ton of exhibits and keeps your interest with lots of marine biology. You can also visit Cannery Row and take advantage of the in and out privileges of your aquarium ticket.
- Monterey Bay AquariumCommunity ManagerMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 2
Amazing aquarium with a spectacular range of exhibits and a rich history. A former boiler room for the sardine factory, this aquarium is one the finest in the country. Observe tanks of swaying sea kelp, habitated by a range of ocean life. A beautiful place to appreciate what lives below the waters.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsFoodies+ 3
I daresay this is the most amazing facility of its type in the world. Strike that - there is no other facility of its type. They started with much loftier goals than your garden variety aquarium, and they've only gotten better over the years, especially in the advances in animal rescue, repatriation and research evidenced in Luna's story. You may not think it's possible to spend an entire day at an aquarium, but it most certainly is...and you'll want to come back for more mesmerizing jellies, stunning seahorses, adorable otters, etc. etc. And, oh yes, it is "the Cetatean Institute" of a certain film universe.
- Monterey Bay AquariumMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6
The Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) was founded in 1984 and is located on the former site of a sardine cannery on Cannery Row. I've been one of the happy tourists that has waited in line to get in and enjoy this fantastic facility. However, I don't feel the same way about the rest of Cannery Row. After the visit to the MBA has concluded, we're usually quickly on our way to the sights of Carmel or 17 Mile Drive.
The Aquarium holds thousands of plants and animals, representing hundreds separate named species on display. The aquarium benefits by a high circulation of fresh ocean water which is obtained through pipes which pump it in continuously from Monterey Bay. Among the aquarium's numerous exhibits, two are of particular note: The centerpiece of the Ocean's Edge Wing is a 10 33-foot high, 1.3 million liter tank for viewing California coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp, using a wave machine at the top of the tank, allowing sunlight in through the open tank top, and circulation of raw seawater from the Bay. The second exhibit of note is a 4.5 million liter tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows. Sea life on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. For displaying jellyfish, the MBA uses an aquarium called a Kreisel tank which creates a circular flow to support and suspend the jellies. Visitors are able to inspect the creatures of the kelp forest at several levels in the building.
But what really makes my pointed ears twitch is the Aquarium's appearance as the Cetacean Institute in Sausalito in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. The main aquarium was overlaid with special effects to appear to be the tank home of two humpback whales - George and Gracie. At the end of the movie, humanity was saved, and like me you might learn some similar sustainability lessons after spending several hours here.
Open Hours:10am-6pm daily; 9:30am-6pm summer and busy holidays; closed Christmas Day