Monterey Bay Aquarium Review (Fall 2017)


Monterey Bay Aquarium Review

by Tim Larison, co-owner Family Travel Gurus

with contributions from travel consultants Anne and Josh Larison

In the Fall of 2017 we visited one of the best aquariums in the country – Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.  We were impressed with the variety of ocean life displayed and the attentiveness of the knowledgeable staff.


We were greeting by this Monterey Bay employee who showed us a canister of baby jelly fish.


She directed us to a tank of full grown jelly fish.  It was fascinating to see these beautiful creatures close up.


We arrived just in time to see a fish feeding at the aquarium’s big tank.  Here a diver through an underwater microphone explains to us the feeding process and the variety of fish we saw.


In addition to the fish tanks the aquarium featured this penguin display.



Outside there was a large deck area where we were treated to a wonderful view of Monterey Bay.  Telescopes were on hand to get a closer look.  If you are lucky you can spot whales in the distance!


A visit to the aquarium can take several hours.  We took a mid day break and walked down Cannery Row to a nearby seafood restaurant.  Here we had a great view of the ocean as we dined on tasty seafood treats.


We recommend a day trip to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium when visiting the Bay area!

Anne says:

We enjoyed our day at the Aquarium.  When you arrive, ask about the schedule of the daily events and feedings.  We were fortunate to see several live feedings that day and they were the highlight of our visit.  Remember the scene in ‘Finding Nemo’ with the thousands of sardine’s swimming in synchronized patterns?  You can see this phenomenon in person!  

Want to get your hands wet?  There are opportunities to get ‘touchy-feely’ and experience some of the sea life (nothing that bites!).

Definitely worth the time to visit and explore the entire aquarium.

Josh says:

The best part of the aquarium was definitely the feeding shows – the fish/animals were a lot more active and the staff provided cool insights into the animals. The otter feeding was by far the most popular and there wasn’t much room to stand around the exhibit, so I would recommend getting there early to make sure you get a good spot if you want to see the otters get fed.

The aquarium also offers tours at certain times of the day which we didn’t try but would be a good option if looking for a more guided experience. One part of the aquarium I liked was the outdoors area with tide pools and a great view of the bay to look for whales and otters. The aquarium provides binoculars and there were helpful staff members there who told us where to look to see the animals.

Overall it was a fun experience and definitely worth visiting if you happen to be in the area!

We can help with accommodations and tour suggestions (like the Monterey Bay aquarium) on your visit to the San Francisco Bay area.  Contact us for more details.

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