California’s largest aquarium may be the best marine experience ever

With 100 exhibits and 12,000 animals, it’s no wonder the Aquarium of the Pacific attracts 1.7 million visitors each year. Located at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California, the aquarium focuses on Pacific Ocean marine life, including animals that thrive in the cold waters of the North Pacific, in the warm Southern California / Baja region, and across the coral reefs of the Pacific Ocean. Tropical Pacific.

An enticing exhibit for 2022 is called “Children”, where visitors can see the puppies and learn about how they are cared for in the aquarium. Located in a gallery in the Pacific Visions section of the aquarium, visitors can see and learn about ocean habitats that serve as nurseries for pups, such as mangroves, coral reefs, and seaweed beds. The exhibit also illustrates the special care children receive in the aquarium, from hand feeding birds to rehabilitating beached sea otter pups.


The Aquarium of the Pacific is more than just an aquarium

The Aquarium of the Pacific is much more than the name suggests, and is larger and more diverse than the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary area.

In addition to its dozens of exhibits, it offers a wide range of educational opportunities, such as lectures and interactive experiences. It runs its own aquatic life veterinary program, the 14,000 square foot Molina Animal Care Center, for injured and diseased marine life.

As part of its interactive learning programs, the center allows visitors to witness surgeries and examinations on animals, and sometimes to speak with the aquarium’s veterinary staff.

The aquarium also serves as a coral rescue facility. According to the aquarium, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sometimes confiscates live corals that are illegally traded, and the Aquarium of the Pacific provides a home for some of these corals in its display galleries.

Related: Your frequently asked questions about visiting California, finally answered

Additionally, each year the aquarium hosts art exhibits, performances and cultural festivals and features a number of guest speakers, with scientists and experts focusing on ocean and environmental issues.

And the aquarium sometimes takes its show to the road with its Aquarium on Wheels program. Staff carry a tide pool habitat to festivals and fairs in Southern California and to classrooms.

See the shark lagoon and other natural habitats

Visitors to the 10,000-square-foot shark lagoon can enjoy fascinating underwater views of many types of sharks, including zebra and gray reef sharks, white-spotted bamboo, and epaulette sharks swim in shallow pools, where visitors can reach the pools and gently touch the animals.

The exhibits in this section of the aquarium tell visitors how large sharks are, how they reproduce, and their role in the ocean food chain.

Aquarium staff members hold daily presentations and visitors can watch the sharks being fed.

In the Aquarium’s North Pacific Gallery, visitors will find animals such as otters and the giant Pacific octopus (weighing more than 100 pounds) and other creatures that live in the cold Bering Sea, which covers approximately 800,000 miles between the Aleutian Islands. Alaska and Siberia.

This region is home to nearly 500 species of fish, as well as 50 different bird species and two dozen types of marine mammals. The gallery has 16 exhibits. Visitors can see sea jellies, sea otters and many other animals.

The June Keyes Penguin Habitat is home to 20 Magellanic penguins and features what the aquarium calls a crawling space, which visitors can access to feel like they are in the exhibit with the penguins.

Related: Explore California: 5-Day Road Trip Circuit with Wish List

Along with rocks, a beach, a pool, and nesting areas for penguins, the exhibit features touch screens that provide details about the animals and the challenges they face in the wild.

Travel to the tropics with two aquarium exhibits

Warm water aquatic life is at the heart of the aquarium’s Tropical Reef Habitat, which focuses on the waters around Palau, Micronesia, and Southern California / Baja Gallery.

Tropical Reef Habitat is viewed from three points in the gallery and is the largest exhibit in the aquarium, with 350,000 gallons of water.

Visitors will see more than 1,000 colorful fish and coral, as well as sea turtles, zebra sharks, porcupine puffers, and other warm-water marine life.

Dive and feeding presentations are held daily and visitors will learn about fish with camouflage and defense capabilities.

The Southern California / Baja Gallery showcases aquatic life along the Baja Peninsula, between Mexico’s Pacific coast and the Sea of ​​Cortez.

Baja has many bays, lagoons, and kelp and mangrove forests, and the animals that live in those habitats and along the southern California coast are featured in 18 exhibits (no passport needed!).

Related: Los Angeles is home to the thinnest house in America

There are giant spiny starfish and California scorpionfish, along with Mexican butterflyfish and lookdowns.

The gallery also includes the aquarium’s seal and sea lion habitat and hosts exhibits from Shorebird Sanctuary and Wetlands.

Aquarium hours and entrance fees

  • Adults: $ 36.95
  • Children 3 to 11: $ 26.95
  • Seniors 62 and older: $ 33.95
  • Add-ons are available for special activities, such as Blue Whale Watch and Sea Life Cruise for $ 70.95 for adults; $ 56.95 for children; and $ 67.95 for seniors.
  • Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 9:00 to 18:00 every day except Christmas day

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: