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Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

4.4
#1 of 67 in Things to do in Monterey
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
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.
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10,908 reviews
Google
4.5
  • Great time had by all. Surprisingly it too crowded. I've taken my nephews to three aquariums and they said this one is definitely the best!  more »
  • In one word : DO NOT MISS. And leave time to see the feeding of the otters and some of the short movie documentaries. Plan on spending at least 1/2 day. And there is a cafeteria if you get hungry.  more »
  • You can spend hours walking through here - it was totally worth the $50 price which initially detoured us. We did go on a holiday weekend so it was crowed but overall we were very impressed with their...  more »
Google
  • Something fishy going on here.. Visited in early June 2017 and found that the cost of entry for a Senior {$39.95} was less than the {$7.00} discount for Veterans and others. Lots of fish, displays, and one can spend the entire day here reading the placards and other descriptions. This was a Cannery at one time and thus has limitations to what they could do with the building and the displays. They did a good job, but I have been to much more interesting and complex aquariums in Camden, New Jersey and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina that did not cost as much. Most of the visitors did NOT spend the time to actually see and read about the Old Cannery {a separate section of the aquarium} and that is a shame as it is one of the reasons to go there. There is a FREE Trolley from the downtown parking garage, and using it is almost a must as parking near the site is nearly nonexistent. There is a restaurant internal to the site not far from the restrooms, but trying to get a sip of WATER is near impossible {Gee and right next to the ocean at that}. {Corporate greed forces you to purchase drinks like water}. The main tank show was disappointing in that it is NOT closed off during the feeding show and people kept going from room to room in front of much of the audience {Once the show starts, that area should have been blocked off- people with baby carriages, people in wheelchairs, people with luggage, and such did not want to see the show, only move through it} Be prepared for lots of people and children pushing and shoving when the feeding of the otters and penguins is happening. Children do have a 'hands-on' touch me, pet me {says the fishy} area. It was the first week in June 2017 and the weather was not brutal, but was on the chilly side, so wear suitable clothing. All in all a good way to spend four to six hours. Lunch at their restaurant was reasonable, but nothing to write home about.
  • Great aquarium! Really nice to visit. Staff were friendly and helpful. There was even a text messaging system to alert you to the next event or in case a whale was spotted in the waters outside the aquarium. Best part of course was the resident green sea turtle. Overall am excellent place to visit.
  • Many detailed real life tanks of Jellyfish, which are every place there is an ocean. East or West. History of the fish canning industry and all the work and what kind of processing went into the Sardine cans. Their importance in both WWWs. Mackerels too?? Great for kids....loads of fun for them. Been to many Aquariums. Atlanta and Chattanooga have better ones. The Otters were the Highlight.
  • Worth it! The fee took us by surprise, but it was definitely worth it. The exhibits are great, and we really loved all the special shows/events they do throughout the day. We enjoyed the otter feeding, learned a lot during the "Mysteries of the Deep" presentation, and the kelp forest presentation was especially fun! And not to mention the rest of the exhibits are just top notch. Also love that our money is helping their research lab as well!
  • So much to say. Wonderful aquarium experience but don't go expecting big fish such as sharks or whales. Focus is on the local marine life, as well as some land animals. The location is beautifully set on the water. Wonderful for children with interactive kiosks that encourage learning.