Weekend Wander: Monterey Bay Aquarium

The city of Monterey, California is full of fun things to do, delicious foods to eat, and beautiful things to see. One of the best things is the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in October 1984 and quickly became world-renown. The space in which it resides was once the Hovden Cannery, which was established in 1916. The cannery had to close its doors in 1973, but some of the original canning equipment is on display at the Aquarium. Of course, the main attraction of the Aquarium is all of the cool exhibits showcasing not only the marine environment of Monterey Bay, but many other aquatic places found around the world, too.

Hovden Cannery area inside the aquarium.

Tourists from around the world (as well as plenty of locals) visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium to enjoy a variety of wonderful exhibits. My family and I have an annual membership, so we go there frequently. We have lots of favorite things to see! I really don’t know which one to write about first. One exhibit that is rather quite stunning and serene is their million-gallon Open Sea, where you can stand in front of a 90-foot window and just watch all sorts of fish and sea life swim by. It’s so mesmerizing and calming. See photo below.

The bubble curtain was running when I took this photo.

One of my favorite exhibits is the Kelp Forest. Watching the fish drift slowly among the swaying sea kelp from 28-foot tall windows is so tranquil and relaxing. Schools of Pacific sardines put on a brilliant, silvery show as they swim in synchronization.

I also love visiting the penguins and the sea otters, both of which are adorable creatures to watch. The bloody-belly comb jellies and the basket star (found in the new Into the Deep exhibit) are both really cool. Also in that section of the Aquarium are giant deep-sea isopods that you can touch. Yes, I touched a giant roly poly of the sea! There are actually a number of different sea creatures in different touch pools at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with observant aquarium docents and employees nearby to educate the masses and to be sure nothing is abused, harmed, or mishandled.

There’s no way I can list every single thing there is to see at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but I do want to wrap up this post by mentioning that aside from the nearly 200 exhibits, there are also gift shops, a theater, a cafe, a children’s play area, and 25,000 sq. feet of ocean-view decks to explore.

As always, thanks for stopping by. โค

2 thoughts on “Weekend Wander: Monterey Bay Aquarium

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