Travel Bargain destination on the California Coast
Vast windows into the ocean depths. Sharks swimming in the wave shallows with Manta Rays sifting through the sandy bottom. Three stories high kelp forest of groupers, perch and stingrays. Shifting iridescent colors of amorphous Jelly Fish like living art. Ink jetting Octopus with wandering tentacles, scuttering along the rocks. Rambunctious Sea Otters pounding stubborn mussels on the rocks they place on their stomachs while floating, like furry whiskered elves trying crack a little meal of clam on the half-shell. In 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium opening in the abandoned Portola Sardine fish cannery on Monterey’s famed Cannery Row and was an immediate sensation, recognized as one of the best marine life exhibits in the world. Much more than just an aquarium, its style and methods has been copied by others opened since, but the Monterey Bay Aquarium continues to change and grow with new experiences, enough that regular memberships are very popular for enthusiasts to return over and over with friends and family.
Set in the old fish factory, looking out onto the deep waters of Monterey Bay, the Aquarium’s unique site was used as a location in on of the “Star Trek” movies as a whale tank. It was a special effect and there aren’t any whales at the aquarium (except for the replica Blue Whale hung from a ceiling). For whale watching you need to go out on a boat from the Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf, but you can wander and wonder at the beauty of the undersea world among three floors and almost 200 exhibits and galleries of over 300 species of colorful and exotic ocean life creatures. In addition to the touch tide pools, they also have special activities for kids, from sailing to Scuba and behind-the-scenes tours.
average visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is about three hours and
the cost is $25 for adults and $16 for children under 12. The
Bay Aquarium is a non-profit
organization promoting conservations of the oceans. Advance tickets online
are a good idea on holidays and in the busy summer months as the lines
can get very long. The Aquarium is located in Monterey’s Cannery
Row which has become a popular tourism destination with theme restaurants,
art galleries, toys, Build-a-Bear Workshop, souvenir ships, the Steinbeck
Wax Museum among other curosities.
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