The Most Gorgeous Aquariums in California

Updated On October 8, 2023
People at the aquarium

Is it even possible not to love an aquarium?

It is an amazing experience and a great opportunity to take a look at an absolutely different world.

In fact, it’s a great chance to see the underwater life.

Considering the fact that California has a long coastline, it’s not a surprise that there are lots of stunning and beautiful aquariums.

In this article, you can find the list of the best spots in the state.


Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

Being one of the most famous and the most beautiful aquarium in the world, Monterey Bay become an inspiration and a prototype of the aquarium featured in Finding Dory.

This place is a huge building located at Cannery Row of Monterey.

There are hundreds of huge tanks inside the building and outside there are gorgeous sightlines of the coast.

The most known inhabitants of the aquarium are sea otters that are greatly loved by visitors.

The point is that you can see otters in the aquarium and then go outside and see wild otters that lounge on the shore.

Also, this place is known as the only place that was able to rehabilitate a great white shark in captivity.

It’s a huge deal as this species is known for its inability to survive not in open space.

That’s why now there is no shark in the aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach

As well as the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the most popular attractions at Rainbow Harbor.

Starting from the 90s, this destination was gaining more and more popularity.

Every year, the aquarium is visited by about 1,6 million visitors.

At the main hall of the aquarium, visitors can see a life-size replica of a blue whale that has near 100 feet long.

Out of the hall, you can get right to the Blue Cavern exhibit which is a 3-story tank that contains a variety of ocean creatures from the coast of Santa Catalina Island.

Aquarium visitors can see such creatures as seals and sea lions, as well as sea otters, turtles, otters, and even sharks.

At Lorikeet Forest, you can see numerous colorful exotic birds.

If you pay some extra dollars, you can even feed these birds with nectar.

Also, at the Aquarium of the Pacific, you can visit some great touch tanks inhabited by sea urchins, crabs, anemones, stingrays, and small sharks.

Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific

Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego

Created by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, the Birch Aquarium is known as the exploration center.

It is the best place to study marine life and is known for its excellent researches.

In this aquarium, you can find a variety of exhibits that represents the marine life of the West Coast of the continent.

There are numerous sea creatures that live in the waters from Alaska to Mexico.

Four times per day visitors can see how the inhabitants of the aquarium are fed.

The most popular attractions among visitors are the shark, sea turtle, and sea bass feedings.

The aquarium is located upon a bluff over the ocean at La Jolla.

If you are tired of exploring the aquarium, you can always relax at the outdoor Tide-Pool Plaza.

Birch Aquarium
Birch Aquarium

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, Santa Monica

The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is the smallest one in our list but still, there you can find absolutely amazing exhibits and locations.

There are about 100 species in the aquarium and all of them are the inhabitant of the Santa Monica Bay.

It’s a big area that stretches from Malibu to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium collaborates with the city’s oceans that’s why it is known as one of the most environment-friendly places in the USA.

Of course, you can explore the aquarium itself really fast but there are lots of amazing entertaining spots around the aquarium.

There, you can enjoy a magnificent view from the Ferris Wheel that is right near the aquarium.

Also, there are lots of classic carnival games and great restaurants.

Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, Los Angeles

San Pedro’s Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is located in the building designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry.

This aquarium is very similar to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium as it pays more attention to the marine life of Southern California.

It is located between Cabrillo Beach Coastal Park and the Port of Los Angeles.

The place has access to natural tide pools that gives an opportunity to hold various researches and sea creatures monitoring.

Also, this place is famous for its interactive tours and field trips that are organized for youth and local schools.

Moreover, numerous lectures by experts and professionals from local universities are constantly held at the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco

The Steinhart Aquarium, as well as the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39, is located only 100 miles away from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

That’s why this place is often overlooked by people who look for an aquarium to visit in Northern Carolina.

Nevertheless, the Steinhart Aquarium which is a part of the California Academy of Science is an incredible place.

There are about 40 000 creatures from 900 species that are exhibited in the aquarium.

In this aquarium, you can also see “The Philippine Coral Reef” exhibit which is the largest indoor reef in the world.

Visiting the Steinhart Aquarium, you can see such creatures as African penguins, a butterfly pavilion, deep ocean flashlight fish, and the most popular tenant of Steinhart, Claude, the albino alligator.

Steinhart Aquarium
Steinhart Aquarium

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1 Comment on The Most Gorgeous Aquariums in California

  1. I absolutely love aquariums and California has some of the most gorgeous ones in the world! From the mesmerizing Monterey Bay Aquarium to the interactive Cabrillo Marine Aquarium. they are all great.

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