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Monterey Bay Aquarium
Aquarium
Today 9:30AM–6PM
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Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Tube anemones feature two whorls of tentacles surrounding a funnel for fresh food bits called a siphonoglyph—and there's your word of the day!
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Monterey Bay Aquarium

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Sand dollars use thousands of spines to move about the shifting seafloor as they deposit themselves into the sand bank. One second of this video represents about 2 minutes in the life of these animals!
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Beachcomber quiz! How do you tell a live sand dollar from a sand dollar's skeleton (a.k.a. its test)?

A sand dollar test is white and smooth, while a live sand dollar is covered with tiny dark purple spines, so it's fuzzy looking!
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Judy Walker's profile photoSteve Watkins's profile photo
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+Judy Walker right, if it's purple and covered with softer material, it's probably alive, but if it's white, that's it's test and it's dead.
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Hold on to your hearts, sea otter fans; Selka, our new resident otter has arrived! At just four years old, this spunky, curious otter has already survived a shark bite and helped scientists unlock sea otter mysteries.
Hold on to your hearts, sea otter fans; Selka, our new resident sea otter has arrived! Selka AKA Otter 595 We first met Selka four years ago when she stranded in Cayucos, California as a one-week-old...
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Monterey Bay Aquarium's profile photoPusheen Cat's profile photo
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# Cute
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Sandbar sharks are easy to recognize thanks to their large dorsal fins! Can you spot one on our Open Sea Cam? http://mbayaq.co/SkpVDa

Thank you to Instagrammer giamae07 for the jawsome photo!
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What a guillemot-ley crew! Pigeon guillemots are "alcids"—northern birds including puffins and murres that do for us what penguins do in the Southern Hemisphere. One big difference? Alcids can fly, while penguins cannot—we hope this fact will be useful to you over coffee later this week.
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Monterey Bay Aquarium

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TBT to 1994 and this wild sea nettle doing its best sun impression. These jellies hunt small drifting animals by trailing their long tentacles and frilly oral arms. When the tentacles touch a tasty treat, they fire off stinging cells that paralyze their prey and stick tight, so it can be moved to the jellie’s oral arms and finally to the mouth for snack time

Thank you to Aquarium co-founder Dr. Steve Webster for the photo! See these graceful drifters in action on our Jelly Cam: http://mbayaq.co/1yrGXOg 
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Jellies are kool.
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Put your echinoderm knowledge to the test (ha). What cool critter do these tube feet belong to?
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Melina M's profile photoJessica McCormick's profile photoDavid Hess's profile photoCatalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI)'s profile photo
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Warty Sea Cucumber!!!
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DYK our aviculturists play recordings of mother plovers cheeping to coax eggs into hatching and to soothe orphaned plover chicks? Visit our blog for a behind the scenes look (and listen!) inside our wild bird rehabilitation center. http://mbayaq.co/ploversong
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NOM NOM NOM!
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All hail echinoderms! From tube feet to striking symmetry, the unique structures of the "spiny skinned" animals make them the sea stars of the underwater world.
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Like all good divers, sea otters understand the importance of form. It takes strength and practice to bring home that tasty abalone prize!

Our researchers are studying how sea otters use tools to secure food! See what they’re learning: http://mbayaq.co/1VIvute
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« When a snail specialist comes up with an urchin, they really don’t need to use a tool,” Jessica says. “But they’re much more likely to try to use one anyway.” »

When all you have is a rock, everything looks like a snail?
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886 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940
886 Cannery RowUSCaliforniaMonterey93940
AquariumToday 9:30AM–6PM
Sunday 9:30AM–6PMMonday 9:30AM–6PMTuesday 9:30AM–6PMWednesday 9:30AM–6PMThursday 9:30AM–6PMFriday 9:30AM–6PMSaturday 9:30AM–6PM
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Review Summary
4.5
1,517 reviews
5 star
1,093 reviews
4 star
274 reviews
3 star
69 reviews
2 star
23 reviews
1 star
29 reviews
Well-known aquarium on a rocky coastline with exhibits ranging from otter habitats to touch pools.- Google
"Very extensive aquarium with plenty of sealife to see including cute sea otters."
"Love the jellyfish, tidal pools, and the deep sea tank."
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Have them in circles
800,770 people
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All reviews
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Esther Gibbs
a week ago
So good to be able to see all the sealife up close and personally. I love to see all the fish and animals and creatures there. We went with a stroller and a young baby and with elderly immobile grandparents and it was a fun day for all. We had a group of 15-20 and we all enjoyed it. Great for big groups. Food is overpriced though so bring a lunch box! Free parking nearby too.
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Ross Brinson
a month ago
Haven't read a lot about this aquarium before arriving my hopes were high, sadly I was a little let down. Now before that gets taken as gospel, I went on a Sunday with a huge amount of kids there so it was tough to just walk in a straight line and even harder to see all the fish and other sea life. Secondly I didn't see any of the shows/talks so I'm not able to review those. I felt the exhibits (if you want to call them that) were OK but not amazing. There was one a section about deep ocean life which was amazing and the jelly fish section was beautiful. If the whole aquarium would have been like these two then I would have given a better review, but just felt I had to literally fight my way through kids and other tourists just to see something mediocre. That being said there were sections that were amazing but the whole thing didn't live up to the type a not quite worth the $50 ticket.
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Doug Falke
a month ago
This place is always bustling. There is a great variety of exhibits and lots of things to keep you busy for a day. My kids usually are done after 3-4 hours. If you need to take a break you can get your hands stamped and return later that day. My 7, 4, and 2 year old kids love the play areas on the 2nd floors especially the Splash Zone and the open ocean exhibit. I could watch those fish in that large tank for an hour easily. It is a little pricey but if you get a membership and go a few times it is a good deal.
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Bram Warrick
a week ago
If you really want to see the aquarium, I recommend two visits - one to see all the feedings, and another to truly soak in all the sights. Plan on a full day, if you (or the kids) have the stamina and attention span. The animals are presented respectfully and often beautifully. The jellyfish are a favorite with phone photographers - but there's really a reason. The contrast between their natural glow and the background color is startling and well chosen. Two and three story aquariums, with layers of life, sea otters playing, whale watching outposts... this has something for the young and old. There is a cafeteria/food court inside, so there's no need to leave if you or the kids are hungry. If the kids love Finding Nemo or Dory... this is the place to be. Remind them of certain scenes and they'll start o put things together.
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Michelle M
a month ago
If you love aquariums then this one is worth going to see. They have a wide range of different types of species including reptiles. The jellyfish and octopus they have are outstanding! I also learned while there that you can sign up to do some snorkeling with the staff. This is definitely a place to take your little ones. The town here is also full of fun shops and candy stores that will certainly bring out the kid in you too...Loved it here!
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Ben Luc
in the last week
The kids loved the Monterey Aquarium. As compared to our local Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach has quite a few additional and unique exhibits. The tentacles area was an interesting and educational blend of live exhibits, art, and informational displays. The Open Sea aquarium is amazing. These extras are reflected however in the significantly higher price (for both one day and yearly membership).
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Melissa Pawlak
a week ago
It lives up to they hype! Very impressive aquarium. Lots to see and do. I have young kids who get very excited at things made for them to climb on, touch, play on, and see at their level. They do a good job teaching the public how to be good stewards of our oceans and wildlife. The restaurant there is pricey, but comes with a great view. A cheaper lunch option is brining your own picnic and sitting outside. Just make sure you bring warm enough clothes if you plan on being out by the water very long. It can get chilly. Cons: -Rather expensive, but the membership actually was tax-deductible as a donation -Gets real crowded (only have lived here a few months so don't know what it is like outside of peak tourist season) -There are quite a few fake tanks that are just screens. My kids still get excited over them though.
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Allof Hogen-Esch
a month ago
We saw almost the whole aquarium in our last trip. Lots of amazing stuff. My four year old loved watching the diver feed the fish in the kelp forest. And the sting ray exhibit where she could feel the ray was popular as well. Never disappoints.