Trip Planner:   USA  /  California  /  Monterey County  /  Monterey  /  Zoos & Aquariums  /  Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey
(4.4/5 based on 9,500+ reviews on the web)
Located on the site of a former sardine cannery on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay Aquarium features an 8.5 m (28 ft) viewing tank that was the first in the world to grow giant kelp. The aquarium also holds thousands of plants and animals representing more than 600 different species. You can inspect the creatures of the kelp forest from several levels in the building. Visit the largest tank in the aquarium--with one of the biggest single-paned windows in the world--for a rare chance to observe a population of ocean sunfish in captivity. Other highlights include exhibits of stingrays, bluefin tuna, jellyfish, and sea otters, viewable from above and below the waterline. Using our world travel planner, Monterey attractions like Monterey Bay Aquarium can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create a full Monterey itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Monterey

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Monterey by other users

1 day in Monterey BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: March, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in California BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in California BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in California & Las Vegas BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in California BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 25 days in California BY A USER FROM SINGAPORE May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 6 days in California BY A USER FROM CANADA April, culture, outdoors, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 21 days in California BY A USER FROM NORWAY December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 32 days in Monterey County BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 40 days in United States BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM ISRAEL June, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We have the family membership with 2 guest passes. It's gorgeous here and both kids and adults have a great time 
  • This attraction is interesting, but for those who have visited other áquarios, for example the Oceanarium in Lisbon, you won't find anything more on that. But if you're doing the path of Big Sur, the city of Monterrey is a great site and visit this Aquarium becomes interesting.
    View original
  • This is a excellent place! Everything is done so nice. Lots of neat things to see that you wouldn't see anywhere else. And our hotel offered discount tickets that let you use it for two days. Great fo...  more »
Google
  • Certainly one of the premier aquariums in the USA, perhaps even the world. The huge kelp displays are the highlight of a visit here. Seeing all the interactions between the kelp forests and the critters that depend on them is very educational. The entire facility is clean and very well maintained. The information placards detail most everything you are seeing on the other side of the pane. The gift shop has an enormous selection of educational and entertaining products.
  • This is my second trip in 15 years. The first time I took relatives that came for a visit to California. It was very fun, entertaining, and interesting. This time was more special since my two granddaughters were going for their first time. It's better than I remembered and is well worth the admission price. We took a break and had lunch in their food court. Great selections, and great tasting food, though a bit pricey for a family.
  • This is a spectacular aquarium and I highly recommend you to go. I loved seeing the otters and the penguins right up close! Also, the indoor habitats they had for the birds and some of the fish was so surreal. I could not get over the size of some of the tanks (three stories high!). You can easily spend 3 hours here.
  • First off, the brochure gave the wrong times for closing during winter. We arrived with what we thought was 90 minutes to explore but were told they would close in 30 minutes. We were still expected to pay full price, so I told them we were from South Africa and it wouldn't be worth the cost for us just to go in for 30 minutes. The very nice ticket booth ladies then said we could just go in for free since there wasn't much time left. The actual aquarium is very good - comparable to South African standards and has plenty on offer for people to enjoy. We did a whirlwind tour but it was still good! And for the price of admission (for us, free :)) it was priceless!
  • Most animals are trapped in small containers. All animals look sad and miserable. Although we went during the week, way too many kids were around screaming and making a mess. There's even a petting corner which really made me feel sorry for the poor things. No exhibit made us go "wow". Disappointing.