Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

#1 of 102 in Things to do in Monterey
Must see · Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
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.
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Monterey Bay Aquarium reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14,130 reviews
  • This was our second visit to Monterey Bay aquarium, as we loved it so much in 2019. It has such interesting exhibits which we haven’t seen in other aquariums such as sea otters, 4 story kelp forest...  more »
  • I hope people that want a realistic review read this. It’s not meant to demean the place but I think many reviewers just haven’t seen many zoos/aquariums. We love to travel and have been to Shedd...  more »
  • Such a great experience! Would definitely come again. Their aquarium is the best in California hands down, there are a lot of different sea animals big and small, there are different exhibits for each type of critter. Our favorite was the kids area call splash zone. This area had costumes for the kids to use and different activities for all ages. There is an area for toddlers to play and use their imagination. The bird exhibit is also great since their is an area for kids to explore and play with the exhibits.
  • A lovely time! Very accessible, not very affordable. The animals look very well tended and there was a lot to learn. Information is presented in several different ways at once which can be either incredibly helpful or overwhelming, depending on what works for you. Going on a weekday is better because there are fewer people, though it's still crowded. If eating out after visiting the aquarium, consider choosing where you'll have dinner first so you can just go without having to decide while you're tired from walking through the aquarium.
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