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Friday, January 21, 2022

10 Best Aquariums in California

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Do you want to view what’s beneath the waves without getting wet? California has numerous opportunities to get close and personal with all types of sea life. Thankfully, a wetsuit isn’t usually required.

Aquariums provide an enthralling look at the undersea world and, in some cases, much further afield. They’re great for learning about marine creatures without having to put on a wetsuit or other protective equipment.

 Monterey Bay Aquarium
By: VV Nincic/ Flickr. Copyright 2021.

There are several aquariums in California to visit, where you may see lively sea otters, penguins, sharks, octopuses, sea lions, beautiful and colorful fish, and many other animals. From San Francisco to San Diego, these are the absolute greatest places to visit. Have a look at our favorite aquariums in California.

10 Aquariums in California

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

Monterey Aquarium
By: Pedro Szekely/ Flickr. Copyright 2021.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, on California’s central coast, is one of the few aquariums in California and even in the world where you may see species like yellowfin tuna, huge bluefin tuna, and sunfish.

It’s a must-see in Monterey, as it’s housed in a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row and has numerous enormous pools and tanks showing marine life found throughout the coast, with over 600 species of plants and animals.

The Open Sea galleries are extremely hypnotic with all kinds of species, from sea otters to stingrays to jellyfish, and there’s a large kelp forest that can be observed from many levels. The jellies are held in a unique tank with a circular flow of water suspending them, creating an extremely stunning picture.

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2. Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

Aquarium of the Pacific
By: Ryan Vaarsi/ Flickr. Copyright 2021.

Visit the Aquarium of the Pacific, the largest aquarium in Southern California and the country’s fourth most visited, to view its diverse array of aquatic activities and more than 50 exhibits.

More than 500 species from the SoCal, Baja, and Tropical Pacific regions are housed at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Seahorses, turtles, sea lions, otters, and penguins may all be seen at the zoo, in addition to a variety of fish. Shoreline Aquatic Park is a great place to walk after your visit.

Children can interact with everything from sea urchins to zebra sharks while watching birds, seals, and sea lions perform. There’s even a section dedicated to Lorikeet birds, which are brightly colored. Themed festivals and special weekend activities are frequently held in this location.

The Pacific Aquarium lives up to its name, with over 11,000 resident aquatic species displaying the richness of life in the Pacific Ocean. Lectures and panels led by scientists are part of the more serious programming.

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3. Birch Aquarium, Scripps San Diego

Birch Aquarium, which is part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, displays findings produced by Scripps scientists in the fields of ocean research and climate change.

It houses 5,000 creatures representing 380 species in exhibitions such as Shark Reef, the Hall of Fishes, Coral Reef with giant rays, There’s Something About Seahorses, and Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge, which opened more than 100 years ago.

Visitors can see an incredible assortment of marine life by traveling from the frigid of the pacific ocean and the California coast, south to Mexico’s tropical waters, and across to the Indo-Pacific coral reefs.

Through Expedition at Sea, you can watch animal behaviors, including sharks, and put yourself in the shoes of Scripps Oceanography scientists to learn about global research efforts.

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4. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, San Pedro

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of San Pedro, first opened its doors in 1935 as a collection of marine specimens housed in the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse.

When John Olguin, the captain of the Cabrillo Beach lifeguards, became the aquarium’s director nearly 15 years later, he decided to help popularize it by giving impromptu tours to school groups and beginning an evening program of viewing and learning about the unique and strange mating practices of grunions on the beach.

Visitors can still come to see the annual “grunion run,” which occurs when little fish arrive at high tide to fertilize and deposit their eggs in the sand. The museum has numerous sections, including an exhibit hall, an aquatic nursery, and a research library.

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5. Heal the Bay Aquarium, (Santa Monica Pier Aquarium), Santa Monica

The aquarium may appear to be just another attraction along Santa Monica Pier, one of Los Angeles’ most famous tourist destinations, but it is much more.

Heal the Bay, an environmental group “committed to ensuring the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean,” operates the aquarium on the ground level beside the pier.

In keeping with that objective, the aquarium allows visitors to glimpse aquatic creatures that would otherwise be hidden beneath the bay’s waves. Sea horses, moon jellyfish, rays, sharks, eels, halibut, and sea stars, among other local superstars, are shown in exhibits.

Aquadopt is a program that allows fans to “adopt” an aquarium inhabitant by making a gift that will care for and feed them for a year.

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6. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Sea Center, Santa Barbara

The Marine Center at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History opened in 1987 to enhance the museum’s purpose and provide a hands-on educational experience with the abundant sea life near the coast.

The museum, which focuses on the mammals and species found in the Santa Barbara Channel, allows visitors to get close and personal with rays, sea urchins, and, yes, even sharks.

To connect with all of these creatures, you can look and touch, utilizing what the Sea Center refers to as “a soft two-finger touch.” Oceanographic instruments on the Center’s wet deck allow visitors to interact with and learn about local aquatic life.

Book your tickets at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History-Aquariums in California

7. Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco

Aquarium of the Bay
By: Michael Fraley/ Flickr. Copyright 2021.

The marine species of San Francisco Bay and its ecosystems are the focus of this world-renowned aquarium on the San Francisco waterfront.

Visitors can walk through the heart of a giant tank filled with Northern California aquatic life at the Aquarium of the Bay’s most popular exhibit, translucent tunnels, for a truly immersive experience.

Over 20,000 marine animals from the region call the aquarium home, including jellyfish, giant pacific octopus, otters, and local wild California sea lions in the nearby Sea Lion Center.

This is a fun and important trip on Pier 39, with a focus on teaching about environmental concerns like plastic pollution and showing fish in glass touch pools.

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8. Ocean World, Crescent City

Ocean World is a lot more than an aquarium. On their 45-minute trip, you’ll discover everything about sea creatures.

Begin with the Touch and Feel Tide Pool, where you may see and touch some unusual and fascinating species unique to the Pacific Northwest’s coastlines. The whole family will enjoy this instructive and fun experience!

Then enter the aquarium to observe sharks, bat rays, wolf eels, as well as some playful seals and sea lions, all while learning about the existence of aquatic creatures that dwell just off the coast of California.

After that, look at a real shark before concluding your tour with a seal and sea lion show. Before you go, make sure to pick up a few keepsakes from their one-of-a-kind gift shop.

Learn more at Ocean World-Aquariums in California

9. Roundhouse Aquarium on the Manhattan Beach Pier, Manhattan Beach

The Roundhouse Marine Studies Lab and Aquarium, located at the end of the Manhattan Beach Pier in the Los Angeles area, is a favorite destination for school groups looking for a peek of the amazing undersea world.

It contains touch tanks with urchins and sea stars, as well as tanks with a variety of local fish and creatures.

The Harrison Greenberg Foundation spearheaded a $4 million capital initiative to revitalize the Roundhouse, which is located in lovely downtown Manhattan Beach, California.

Every year, more than 300,000 people are educated and inspired by the new Roundhouse Aquarium.

More information about Roundhouse Aquarium -Aquariums in California

10. Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

Steinhart Aquarium
By: Jonathan Lin/ Flickr. Copyright 2021.

When the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, also known as the Golden Gate Park Aquarium, first opened almost a century ago, it aimed to be a trailblazer in the profession, pushing beyond simple entertainment to a more scientific purpose.

It was the first to exhibit animals such as coconut octopuses and to achieve accomplishments such as constructing the world’s largest living indoor coral reef.

The Steinhart Aquarium is one of the most ecologically varied aquariums globally and one of the best aquariums in California, with almost 40,000 living creatures with 900 different species of creatures on display, providing visitors a view into both underwater and terrestrial habitats.

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Conclusion

Is it even possible not to enjoy a trip to the aquarium? It’s an incredible experience and a fantastic opportunity to see a whole different world.

In reality, it’s a fantastic opportunity to see the underwater world. Given California’s lengthy coastline, it’s no wonder that the state offers a plethora of spectacular and beautiful aquariums.

Read more articles on our website, USA Tales

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