Ashley and I are huge fans of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Between Ashley’s fascination with the Sun Fish (who may or may not be in the deep sea tank at any given time) and my enduring childhood obsession with Sea Otters (I had a stuffed Sea Otter toy called Frisk when I was a kid- he was a favorite for years and has since mysteriously disappeared in the depths of the garage) we are always pushing this day trip on friends and family who come to visit us. Our most recent visitor who was subjected to our love of the sea? Jack- a good friend from Wales who was in the Bay Area for a month.
If you are planning a trip along the California Coast, make sure that you schedule a half day stop at the aquarium. If you are spending more than a weekend in San Francisco, rent a car, drive down the gorgeous Hwy 1, and come see the otters.
Not convinced? Watch how beautiful and peaceful this place can be in the video below.
The Three Best Parts of the Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Sea Otters
This aquarium is known for their work with sea otters. In fact, I am not even aware of any other aquariums that have otters as part of their exhibits. Watching them eat is adorable.
You can check in on these cuties any time via their constantly streaming webcam.
The Kelp Forest
(These photos are from our first visit in 2007)
I could spend my whole day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium staring at this tank. This 28 feet tall tank spans two stories and contains approximately 12 billion different windows you can look through to see all the lovely fishes and extraordinarily tall kelp. The water in the tank moves with the ocean which makes it incredibly relaxing to watch.
The Splash Zone
After you’ve blissed out at the Kelp Forest, head over to the Splash Zone to reinvigorate yourself. There are tide pools where you can touch wildlife, but my favorite part is the tide tunnel. It’s at the very end of the video above- be sure to check it out.
Have you ever been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium? What was your favorite part?