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. For Monterey Bay Aquarium and beyond, use our Monterey driving holiday planner to get the most from your Monterey vacation.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Reviews
This was our first time going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and it was very cool. The sea otter, mini African penguins and the jellyfish were our favorites. This aquarium especially great for children ... more »
Attractive, comfortable and professional organization Your attention will be focused on the exhibitions; yet realize you are in a facility that is well-designed for maintaining your interest and excit... more »
Really well executed aquarium. The otters are a big draw but the observation decks on the bay give you a chance to see sea lions, birds, and other animals in the wild. The jellyfish exhibit has to be amongst the best I've seen and I've been to at least 4 aquariums. The restaurant was good. My wife and I had a big lunch for about $40. There's ample parking in the area but we parked in the lot about a block away for $15 (all day).
My first impressions when arriving to this aquarium: There was a lot of traffic (when we were there) and very little parking on the streets. However, I believe there are parking garages nearby but we didn't use nor see them. Upon entering: The overall experience of seeing different marine life is pretty cool. It reminds me of a museum where you observe a window and there are fact boxes that give some information on the fish. Many of the viewing areas are medium sized (think the size of a single door) glass windows that make it kind of hard to view when there are over about 20 people per window. But when you do get a chance to observe, you can see the fish in great detail and up close. There is one area where the viewing window is as tall and wide as a two story building. It feels like you were submerged deep underwater with thousands of fish! Didn't get to see any of the shows but there are a few if you don't go to the aquarium towards the end of the day. But overall, I'd go again and maybe catch a show or two. Courtesy tip: if there are over 20 people trying to view the same window, please observe the wildlife, take a picture (or short video), and leave if you are in the front. I spent on a few windows about 10-20 minutes waiting for people to finish their conversations and taking excessively long videos (documentary length) of fish swimming.
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