Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Santa Monica

#2 of 8 in Museums in Santa Monica
Aquarium · Science Museum
Heal the Bay Aquarium, which was previously named the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, is a private-public aquarium at a California State Beach Park managed by Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, located beneath the Santa Monica Pier, adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. Since 2003, it is operated by Heal the Bay, a nonprofit organization. It was formerly known as the Ocean Discovery Center and was operated by UCLA until 2003.
As Heal the Bay's marine education, advocacy, and community science facility, it is open to the general public and attracts more than 100,000 visitors from around the world per year (approximately 15,000 are students). This facility offers educational programs, activities, and special events dedicated to marine conservation, pollution prevention, and environmental education.

Species on display include:

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Santa Monica Pier Aquarium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
270 reviews
  • It’s only a small attraction and you will only spend 25 - 30 mins in it. It only costs 7us and is run by local volunteers, they are really enthusiastic and have a lot to tell. It isn’t going to take.....  more »
  • Not very large, but interesting displays , staff was very helpful and informative. More geared towards children.  more »
  • Very convenient and well priced. A fun and short detour from the pier. Has some interesting and unique exhibits for such a small aquarium, such as a small octopus, the life cycle of a jellyfish, and shark fetuses. Lastly, they have lots of sea life you can touch. Great for a young family (my kids were 5 and 8).
  • A bit small, and the size of the tanks made me a bit sad. However, the aquarium is very educational and informative, and they have spearheaded some great initiatives. I recommend stopping by if you are at the pier. We went to a workshop as a school group about water pollution which was pretty interesting, so if you're thinking about scheduling a field trip here contact them to set that up.

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