The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of my favorite spots in the bay. As a life long marine biology fan, I always feel pulled to the ocean and admiring the wonderful marine creatures. Here’s how our visit to the Aquarium went and why you should definitely check this spot out when you have a chance.
Hours: 10am – 5pm Daily
Designated Parking Lot: No
Food Options: Cafeteria, but you should venture out for food
In and Out Policy: Very flexible
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most well known and visited aquariums on the West Coast. Located in scenic Monterey along Canary Row, this aquarium is perfect for families and couples alike.
Jen and I left San Francisco around 9am on a wet Saturday morning. There was heavy rain as we left San Francisco, once we got to the Santa Clara area, the rain had disappeared. The drive took about 1 hour and 45 minutes which is about standard as there was no traffic. If you’re leaving on a weekday, commute traffic could make this trip take an extra 30-45 minutes.
Once in the Monterey area, you can find parking is public parking lots (remember to pay for parking) or street parking,
I truly enjoy spending time at the aquarium. From observing the majestic kelp forest to exploring creatures of the open sea, the aquarium has lots to offer. In addition to the exhibits, the aquarium also had feedings through out the day. When entering the aquarium, you’re given a map that also included the various feeding events throughout the day. Luckily for Jen and I, we were able to catch the bat ray, penguins, and sea otter feedings.
In addition to observing some of the most majestical marine creatures, the aquarium also has exhibits of local ecosystems like the kelp forests. They also have an open sea exhibit with large tuna, schools of mackerel, hammerhead sharks, and yellowfin tuna. There is also a breathtaking jellyfish exhibit. All in all’ there’s plenty to see!
If your legs are feeling a bit tired, there is also an auditorium where you can catch one of several documentaries including ones of whale migration, the lives of sea otters, and Baja California.
I really enjoy going to aquariums and learning about creatures of the vast ocean. I think the Monterey Bay Aquarium provides the perfect opportunity for families with younger children to have an awesome day learning about our ocean. I saw plenty of families on this Saturday and it was great to see parents bringing young children on a fun filled afternoon. I enjoyed this visit and can’t wait to make it back. Hopefully I’ll be diving in the tanks next time!