Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Aquarium
Cannery Row, Monterey
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9.4/10
2,815
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387 Tips and reviews
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  • sea otters
  • penguins
  • kelp forest
  • octopus
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  • Mike W.
    Mike WinstonMarch 6, 2015
    Skip the cafeteria and enjoy high-quality seafood with gorgeous views at Cindy's Waterfront instead. Clam Chowder & other seafood dishes is where they shine. Read all about it on WinstonWanders below! Read more
    Upvoted Jul 7
  • Rex E.
    Rex EspirituDecember 30, 2013
    'Twas well worth a visit again a few years ago--and actually less expensive to join as members for a family of eight from out of state to gain admission--for a day filled with wonder and awe to enjoy!
    Upvoted Jul 7
  • Chris O.
    Chris OSeptember 15, 2014
    If otters are your thing, obviously this is the must go to place. Pay the extra and get the behind the scenes tour. You get plenty of time with staff and can see (obstructed) some surrogate otters.
  • Kelly W.
    Kelly WongDecember 8, 2014
    Majestic! Definitely worth checking out if you have never been there! There are student discounts and some hotels offers 2 days for the price of 1.
  • Katie F.
    Katie FahrionJanuary 17, 2016
    Wonderful aquarium!•Staff are very knowledgeable•Scenic view of The Bay•Hands on/interactive exhibits•Must visit the Open Ocean exhibit•Cafeteria provided within the aquarium
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • Elizabeth R.
    Elizabeth RiceJune 15, 2016
    The staff here is so nice! And the sea otters are adorable. The view from their cafeteria is amazing and super relaxing if you go before or after lunch rush.
  • Ashley B.
    Ashley BowlesOctober 18, 2016
    Wow! Can't say enough good things about this place. Very expensive, but worth a visit. Go during the week to avoid the crowds. Look up the feeding schedule in advance.
  • Wilson F.
    Wilson Favre-DelerueAugust 14, 2016
    CROWDED. Try to avoid weekend visits and be prepared for the USD 49.95 entrance for adults. Beyond that, well worth a visit. Jellyfish, otters and sharks all must-see.
  • Rory W.
    Rory WehrlieOctober 10, 2015
    Buy your tickets online. You can skip the line and walk right in. Feeding starts at 10:30, so don't spend your time waiting to get inside. http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/
  • Igor M.
    Very good exposition. Lot of aquariums with ocean inhabitants fishes and mammals. Don't miss thematic shows
  • Varun
    VarunSeptember 10, 2015
    Very nice aquarium. Lots of great exhibits including the new open sea section. Also, there are interesting shows in the auditorium. Lines outside are really long, and maybe ease up a bit after 2pm.
  • Cindy M.
    Cindy MaOctober 29, 2016
    This is the best thing to do in Monterey! Definitely do not miss the feeding shows, the jellyfish exhibit and the Kelp Forest. There's so much to do here!
  • Andrew L.
    Andrew LamAugust 20, 2013
    Don't miss the kelp forest, the adorable sea otters, the touch pools, and the Open Sea tank filled with sharks, sea turtles, and glittering schools of sardines swimming against an endless current.
  • Rebecca W.
    Rebecca WangJanuary 2, 2015
    Jellyfish exhibits are really fun. Love that they arrange kids and shorter folks in front for feeding shows. Definitely geared towards inspiring kids.
  • Joanna F.
    Buy your tickets online ahead of time and skip the line. Need a break from the crazy? Stamp your hand with their cool black light stamp, leave for lunch, and come back refreshed.
  • David B.
    David BoneNovember 11, 2016
    Amazing place all around. Take at least a half day to explore with your friends and family. That won't be enough to see all it has to offer. Lot's to do for kids too.
  • Adaire S.
    Reach out and get in touch with the "Tentacles" exhibit they have going on now! Cephalopods galore, from squid, octopus, cuttlefish (they are amazing!) and interactive activities for all.
  • James C.
    James CJuly 29, 2013
    Really cool aquarium totally worth it if you have the City Pass from San Francisco. Saves you a ton of money and the huge lines at the front. Go early because it gets packed.
  • Anthony Y.
    Anthony YouhasJanuary 3, 2015
    Aim early or aim late if you wanna avoid the teeming crowds. That said: the aquarium is always a marvelous time. The otter exhibit, the penguins, ocean sunfish when they're on display: just glorious.
  • Perla F.
    Perla FdzJuly 2, 2013
    Underwater Explorers is a must for first timers! It's $95 but its so worth it!!! Kids ages 8-13 get to swim & touch purple urchins, tube anemone, abalone & any more for 1.5 hour! Amazing experience!
  • Scott P.
    Scott PJune 28, 2014
    The jellyfish exhibit is off the charts. Also if you have never seen a octopus they have several. Be aware the price is a little steep around $40 per adult ticket. But it's worth the money.
  • Sean M.
    Sean MillerAugust 21, 2016
    A must see if you are in Monterey. Lots of great exhibits with a huge variety of sea life. It can get crowded on the weekends but we don't seem to mind.
  • Matthew H.
    Matthew HuieFebruary 6, 2016
    One of my favourite aquariums in the world! Well worth the drive from the Bay Area. Be sure to check out the jellyfish!
  • Kaitlin L.
    Kaitlin LeeMay 30, 2015
    street parking was a hassle... i almost drove back to uber it. all the way at the end by the mexican restaurant they have 4hr metered parking. be sure to use your student id for a discount
  • Katharine R.
    Katharine RobinsonDecember 27, 2011
    The Cetacean Institute scenes of Star Trek IV were filmed at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Kirk and Spock meet Dr Gillian Taylor and humpback whales George & Gracie at the Cetacean Institute. Read more
  • Social N.
    Social News NetworkAugust 14, 2013
    Don't miss the jellyfish or seahorses in this neat little aquarium. It only takes an hour or two to go through, but clear the day and you can explore Cannery Row.
  • Amanda T.
    Amanda TaylorJune 7, 2013
    Free wifi inside the cafe and some other areas! Make sure to check out the observation Deck decks overlooking the bay--you can see otters and seal lions hanging out in the kelp beds.
  • Mark C.
    Mark ChaseOctober 10, 2012
    If you love the sea and the life it contains, you'll love this place and it's programs. Always something new to explore and a blast for the family time and again.
  • Kaustubh T.
    Kaustubh ThirumalaiDecember 23, 2016
    As a friend said, this is a small, but tightly-run ship! Go see the otters and the jellies - they're my favorites!
  • IS K.
    IS KLEAugust 23, 2014
    Fabulous, interactive, big but can get really crowded. It pays to be a member if you're a local. Feeding time for penguins is neat and sea otters are adorable.
  • Linda M.
    Linda McbainFebruary 15, 2015
    Beautiful jelly fish and generally really well laid out aquarium. Just felt a bit sad about the small penguin enclosure.
  • Kevin F.
    Kevin FloresNovember 19, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Awesome exhibits and crew! There's so much to see and learn at the aquarium! Take your time - it's a great place to visit all year long.
  • Lauren C.
    The otter feeding and open sea feeding are absolutely worth it. Be sure to add them to your schedule.
  • Caleb C.
    Caleb CAugust 16, 2011
    Charge your phone in the various outlets throughout the 2nd floor (and viewing balcony) of the 'Open Sea' exhibit. Where else can you get such spectacular views whilst charging your phone?
  • Cameron M.
    Cameron MadduxJuly 6, 2015
    While the otters are fun and the jellyfish are beautiful - the true magic of this place is the octopus! So worth waiting for it to dance.
  • S D.
    S DAugust 19, 2015
    One of the best and interesting acquariums around. The staff is ready to educate, and really appreciated the conservation component of this special place.
  • Rachel W.
    Rachel WolfeSeptember 27, 2016
    A beautiful, well-maintained & simply stunning aquarium...& they charge accordingly. I was prepared to pay a lot to get in, but the price gouging in the gift shops and cafe was borderline insulting.
  • David A.
    David AllardyceOctober 19, 2013
    An absolutely brilliant place to visit. Make sure you see the jellyfish exhibits and don't miss the Open Sea Feeding show at 11 a.m.
  • Denise B.
    Denise BaumAugust 2, 2012
    If you go to the kelp forest feeding and you want to watch from the area on the floor you will be asked to sit in the floor. It may be difficult for some to get up afterwards.
  • La C.
    La CjargneleJune 8, 2013
    Don't miss the scuba diver feeding sharks, rock fishes etc in the big pool, and the jellyfishes exhibit. Free wifi and useful free app.
  • Ming L.
    Ming LeeDecember 26, 2013
    Sign up for their text alerts. They will notify you about wildlife sightings. We saw whales and dolphins from the observation deck. Awesome!
  • Al B.
    Al B.August 13, 2016
    LOVE the aquarium. Best in the bay for an amazing experience of the ocean, and get a membership for the price of 1.5 admission!
  • Elynn L.
    Elynn LeeOctober 7, 2015
    Awesome exhibits and really attentive staff. Highly recommend going to the feeding events (especially otters and penguins). Very educational
  • Edrea
    EdreaFebruary 27, 2012
    By far my absolute favorite aquarium. If you're visiting San Fran... take a drive to Monterey and visit... you won't be disappointed. The exhibits are breathtaking!
  • Phil S.
    Phil SuhMarch 19, 2013
    This place is amazing! Don't miss feeding times at the penguin and kelp forest enclosures, and the jellies experience is a must see!!
  • takishido n.
    takishido nekoSeptember 2, 2014
    While this is the best place to see otters up close, most exhibits unfortunately eschew the details in favor of an overly kid-friendly simplification.
  • Pruthvidhar R.
    Pruthvidhar RaoJune 3, 2016
    Behind-the-scenes tour is the best part. We had so many questions, you can get them clarified from this tour, first look around the aquarium
  • Lee M.
    Lee McEachernSeptember 9, 2010
    The 4:00 Kelp Forest feeding fills up around 3:30. Get there around 3:15 and sit on the back bench. You will have a full view and the stairwell behind you will provide a backrest. Read more
  • Theo H.
    Theo HollerbachNovember 7, 2011
    Try the Ham and Cheese Quiche - Actually we are eating thus quiche because it came from Parisian bakery fluffy perfect cheese and the crust so flaky wow
  • Lilomultipas
    LilomultipasFebruary 10, 2015
    Awesome place!! 👍👍👍 recommended for everyone who is an animal lover. Take your time there to really experience the wonder of all.
  • Jose "JR" V.
    Jose "JR" VazquezApril 21, 2012
    Always expanding, always fun. and an institution in the Monterey Bay Area, you can't visit the central coast without stopping here! You will never forget it!
  • Alexandre H.
    Alexandre HiramatsuFebruary 15, 2016
    Quality > quantity. This aquarium is not the largest one you'll visit, but definitely will be one of the best you'll ever see.
  • Dani
    DaniMarch 31, 2012
    If you live in the area, the membership is the way to go! It was perfect for something fun and cheap to do in between pay checks.
  • Destynee A.
    Destynee AutumnMarch 28, 2015
    Everything is so well put up and together. Love the Tentacle exhibit and Jellyfish one too!!
  • Nora D.
    Nora De los RiosNovember 7, 2014
    The best aquarium by far! Don't keave without visiting the amazing jellyfish.
  • Billy A.
    Billy AmpAugust 7, 2014
    So many awesome sea animals! Amazing place to take kids, family, or even a date.
  • Chloe W.
    Chloe WohlersApril 10, 2016
    The jellyfish is a no miss. The kelp forest was magnifasent. To tour the aquarium takes a good 3-4 hours. But seriously though, don't miss the jellyfish!!!!😁😁🐙🐠🐟🐡🐚🦀🐌
  • Juliano P.
    I really enjoyed the big fish tanks, the aquariums and the huge boiler from the cannery.
  • Vinay Y.
    Vinay YakkundiMarch 8, 2015
    Amazing aquarium and great for kids but very expensive ($40 for adults).
  • Aaron P.
    Aaron ProctorJune 2, 2015
    If you come early, there's free, unlimited parking on Ocean View Blvd., west of the Aquarium after some metered spots
  • Sarah R.
    Sarah ReesMay 29, 2015
    Been here 10+ times
    Lots to love: an octopus, jellyfish exhibits, kelp forest feeding, the tour, and an awesome view of the bay.
  • Karen H.
    Karen HavensMay 22, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Monterey county residence can get a pass from the local library good for up to 6 people. Available the 1st of the month!
  • Lee H.
    Lee HuffordMarch 31
    Put it on your Bucket List! If you're in the area and don't make time to visit the Aquarium, you should be ashamed of yourself!!! Must Do List!!!!
  • Tracy M.
    Tracy MolfinoMarch 25, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Crowded so plan your trip. Get there early or just before closing. The annual passes are the best value.
  • Brian I.
    Brian IbarraSeptember 29, 2014
    Probably one of the best things to do in the state and get your definite money's worth and learn so much here
  • Jaida M.
    Jaida MarinasApril 11, 2012
    It's so amazing you especially the jellyfish you could draw your own jelly fish and it will swim on the projector but I drew a tiger scuba diving
  • Nicole G.
    Nicole GustasJuly 12, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    The Portola Restaurant is an excellent white-tablecloth spot right next to Portola Cafe. Ask the woman at the podium in front to get seated. Has one of the city's best bartenders!
  • Elisa S.
    Elisa SolorzanoMarch 18, 2012
    Surprisingly good fresh food at the cafe. Today's special; tamales wrapped in kale leaves w mushrooms! Mmm Gluten free also!
  • m d.
    m dNovember 20, 2015
    Big and beautiful. Honestly compared to ones in Japan, little less impressed.
  • Lydia Y.
    Lydia YoungFebruary 22, 2016
    LOVE the otters and penguins! Take your time through every exhibit. There is so much to see!
  • Lillian Y.
    Lillian YoungDecember 18, 2014
    Sea otters, jellyfish... Don't miss out on all those wonderful programs at the auditorium.
  • Jessica P.
    My family enjoyed the aquarium. By far the best we have ever visited. My boys loved the penguin feeding.
  • Delyn S.
    Delyn SimonsMay 26, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    There is only one feeding at The Open Water exhibit at 11am. Get a seat at 10:45am. Amazing.
  • Itai J.
    Itai JamshyApril 7, 2015
    Awesome aquarium, great for family and kids. Gets crowded and claustrophobic during spring break.
  • Noah M.
    Noah ManionDecember 24, 2013
    There are giant crowds, but the cafe sells beer and wine to take the edge off. Oh yeah, the jellyfish are really neat.
  • Austin W.
    Austin WestermannFebruary 1, 2015
    The most amazing aquarium in the world! Definitely a must for anyone visiting the Bay Area
  • Christine B.
    Christine BaerMarch 24, 2014
    Sign up for their text alerts. They will let you know if wildlife is spotted in the bay, and when feedings are going to take place. Just unsubscribe as you are leaving for the day.
  • Amélie B.
    Amélie BeerensDecember 16, 2014
    Amazing! I saw sea Otters and wonderfull sea atmosphere
  • Breanne M.
    Breanne MichailoffMarch 24, 2013
    The membership is so worth it! It makes more sense to buy unlimited then pay almost the same price for one day.
  • Peter G.
    Peter GilbertSeptember 22, 2014
    Kelp forest feeding is a must. Jellyfish exhibit also very impressive!
  • Natasha B.
    Natasha Blair2 weeks ago
    Lovely but it's expensive compared to other much larger aquariums that have a lot more to see and do.
  • John F.
    John FenizaApril 11
    Parking gets Full and You will park about a block away. Parking ranges from $15-$24 for the whole day.
  • Dominik L.
    Dominik L.October 15, 2014
    Normally I don't like aquariums at all & don't go there. But this one is really nice and didn't made me feel bad as much about the animals as others aquariums do. The Jellyfish exhibition is AWESOME!
  • TerraTopia
    TerraTopiaMay 17, 2011
    A truly worthwhile stop. This must be one of the penultimate aquarium experiences in all the world. Check out the sea otters and jelly fish! Read more
  • Kate Y.
    Kate YanAugust 1, 2016
    Buy tickets online to avoid the long ticket line. Don't miss the sea otter exhibit!
  • Asa B.
    Asa BaumSeptember 30, 2016
    This was a great aquarium, loads to see & friendly staff
  • Brandon C.
    Brandon CainMay 26, 2016
    Excellent Aquarium for all ages! Great otter exhibit!! Ask for military discount!
  • Tanya C.
    Tanya ChanJanuary 13, 2015
    The behind the scenes sea otter tour was very enjoyable and worth the extra price!
  • Libby L.
    Libby Lee-EganFebruary 15, 2015
    If you don't like crowds, don't come here. If you want to make eye contact with a tuna that is larger than you, come here.
  • Vilmos N.
    Vilmos NMarch 18, 2016
    Tickets are 10% cheaper after 4pm, but the aquarium closes at 5pm. One hour only might be a bit tight to see everything.
  • Ming L.
    Ming LeeDecember 26, 2013
    Go to the Deep Sea feeding at 11a. There's only one a day. Other feedings (penguins, sea otters) occur at least twice.
  • Lee M.
    Lee McEachernSeptember 8, 2010
    Bring a small, lint free cloth in your pocket. Many small hands leave many small hand prints. Use the cloth to wipe off the hand prints, especially if you are taking photos.
  • Jasmine P.
    Jasmine PangFebruary 11, 2015
    Amazing place - totally entertaining for kids & even adults! The water world is mind blowing.
  • Lenslicker007
    Lenslicker007March 21, 2014
    Take some time to sit a watch, very relaxing, one of the best aquariums in the world!
  • Pistola G.
    Awesome and amazing! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to walk around and enjoy.
  • Trisha F.
    Trisha FawverApril 28, 2014
    Terrific aquarium. The new Tentacles exhibit left a little to be desired but still cool to see.
  • Courtney J.
    Courtney JamesJuly 4, 2011
    OTTERS!! so cute. Definitely check out the tide pool touch zones. Great for big kids too! The jellies were stunning. Read more
  • Colin M.
    Colin MDecember 31, 2015
    Cafe tip - Buy a coffee and it's free refills all day with your receipt.
  • Hal T.
    Hal TagueJanuary 31, 2016
    The otters are terrific. The massive fish of the Pacific floor to ceiling tank is just awe inspiring.
  • Jordan W.
    Jordan WongMarch 31
    Wow, if you have a choice, don't go on the weekends. It was really crowded. If you can, don't bring a stroller unless you want to leave it at the entrance.
  • Laetitia D.
    Laetitia DelbartJuly 12, 2016
    Malgré le prix élevé de l'entrée, je recommande cette visite à tous, pas seulement aux familles. On peut facilement y passer 3h sans voir le temps passer. Le Must: nourrissage des animaux
  • Alan x.
    Alan x el mundoDecember 16, 2016
    Excelente acuario, muy educativo. No se pierdan las nutrias, el estanque de las sardinas y la exhibición de medusas.
  • Karen S.
    Karen SicaFebruary 5, 2015
    O aquário é enorme e tem diversas atrações, principalmente para as crianças. A melhor parte é a das lontras, sem dúvida!
  • Kati K.
    Kati KonfetkaSeptember 15, 2016
    Это самое потрясающее место, из всех достопримечательностей в США. Обязательно к посещению. Говорят, входит в тройку лучших на планете.
  • Rafael Freitas S.
    Rafael Freitas SantosMarch 30, 2014
    Ótimo aquário. Vale a visita. Chego cedo, conheça o aquário e depois ande pela rua do aquário, pois lá tem muitas lojinhas legais.
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