A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

If there’s one attraction you visit in Monterey, California, make it the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It’s the number one Monterey thing to do according to Trip Advisor, and it makes every list of top U.S. aquariums. Located on Cannery Row, a series of former sardine and anchovy canning factories now housing touristy and trendy shops and restaurants, the aquarium is, ironically, in a former canning operation, as well.

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in U.S. Long Cuts. We are merging U.S. Long Cuts with Midwest Wanderer, adding a “Beyond the Midwest” menu option.

Cannery Row, Monterey CA

Because we visited on a day on which we had other obligations, we were there for only a couple of hours, so we were only able to see a handful of exhibits.

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We checked the day’s activities schedule and found we arrived just in time to see the feeding in the Kelp Forest. A diver feeds sharks, fish and other sea animals in the 28-foot tank, one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world.

Kelp Forest

Afterwards we checked out some of the colorful aquariums.

Aquariums at Montery Bay AquariumAquarium 2

We watched the kids as they controlled water flow in the Splash Zone play area, simulating the ebb and flow of the tide.

Splash ZoneAt the outdoor wildlife viewing station we looked for sea life in the Monterey Bay. Telescopes and binoculars are furnished by the aquarium.

Telescope at Monterey Bay

Binoculars at Monterey Bay AquariumWe had to leave before we had a chance to see fun animals like penguins, puffins and sea otters, leaving something to look forward to on our next visit.

If you visit Monterey Bay Aquarium

The general admission fee to the aquarium ($39.95 for adults and $24.95 for children 3-12) seemed steep to us until we found out that it includes all of the exhibits and that you really can spend the entire day there. Extra charges only apply to special behind-the-scenes tours.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at 886 Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Check the web site for hours and other details.


  • If you purchase your tickets online ahead of time you can skip the ticket line, which can be long.
  • Download a map of the aquarium and the daily schedule before you visit and plan to see what you’re most interested in.

Accommodations in Monterey: Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.


Disclosure: This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room through the TripAdvisor link above, I will receive a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

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One thought on “A Day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

  • December 13, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I LOVE this aquarium, it was AMAZING! Thanks for sharing your visit with all of us.


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