Best Aquarium in California - The Amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must visit place when in San Francisco Bay Area

This was second time I was visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium and it was certainly very different than my first visit. Somehow this experience left an exceptional impression on me. This visit was for an office event and during evening. I found the place much more charming in the evening than day time. This blogpost will take you through a Photo Journey from Monterey Bay Aquarium along with some useful details about the place and tips if you wish to visit it.

This was second time I was visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium and it was certainly very different than my first visit. Somehow this experience left an exceptional impression on me. This visit was for an office event and during evening. I found the place much more charming in the evening than day time. This blogpost will take you through a Photo Journey from Monterey Bay Aquarium along with some useful details about the place and tips if you wish to visit it. 


Monterey Bay Aquarium receives around two million visitors each year. It led to the revitalisation of Cannery Row and produces hundreds of millions of dollars for the economy of Monterey County. In addition to being featured in two PBS Nature documentaries, the aquarium has appeared in film and television productions as well.     Related Blogpost - Top 30 Places to explore or things to do in San Francisco Bay Area, California

Monterey Bay Aquarium receives around two million visitors each year. It led to the revitalisation of Cannery Row and produces hundreds of millions of dollars for the economy of Monterey County. In addition to being featured in two PBS Nature documentaries, the aquarium has appeared in film and television productions as well. 


Before planning a visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium, please do ensure you know about the timings of the space and parking situations.     Typically timings are from 10am to 5pm, but it's recommended to check this link for latest details.      During the weekends, parking in a challenge in Monterey, so please plan accordingly.

Before planning a visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium, please do ensure you know about the timings of the space and parking situations. 

Typically timings are from 10am to 5pm, but it's recommended to check this link for latest details.  

During the weekends, parking in a challenge in Monterey, so please plan accordingly.

Let's talk about entry ticket price for Monterey Bay Aquarium. Ticket fees as of today are -     Adult. $49.95. (ages 18–64)  Youth. $39.95. (ages 13–17)  Child. $29.95. (ages 5–12, four and under free)  Senior. $39.95. (ages 65+)    Please do visit official website to know latest ticket price.

Let's talk about entry ticket price for Monterey Bay Aquarium. Ticket fees as of today are - 

Adult. $49.95. (ages 18–64)
Youth. $39.95. (ages 13–17)
Child. $29.95. (ages 5–12, four and under free)
Senior. $39.95. (ages 65+)


Monterey Bay Aquarium is spread over 20,000 square feet  and has decks which allow visitors to look out over the bay. According to the national 25 Year Award jury, the inclusion of broad windows "blurs the line between museum and natural habitat". And I can say that it's said appropriately. Monterey Bay Aquarium exposes you to ocean style sea-life.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is spread over 20,000 square feet  and has decks which allow visitors to look out over the bay. According to the national 25 Year Award jury, the inclusion of broad windows "blurs the line between museum and natural habitat". And I can say that it's said appropriately. Monterey Bay Aquarium exposes you to ocean style sea-life.

I was even more happy when I got to know that Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium in Monterey, California. Given it's size, popularity and location, it's pretty impressive.

I was even more happy when I got to know that Monterey Bay Aquarium is a non-profit public aquarium in Monterey, California. Given it's size, popularity and location, it's pretty impressive.  

Research and conservation efforts at Monterey Bay Aquarium also focus on sea otters, various birds and tunas. During my visits to  Monterey Bay Aquarium, I was super impressed with the knowledge of volunteers and employees working at Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are genuinely interested in knowing more about different sea animals and sea-life, don't hesitate to reach out to staff & take their help in understanding habitat, food habits, life span or whatever comes to your head about these sea animals.

Research and conservation efforts at Monterey Bay Aquarium also focus on sea otters, various birds and tunas. During my visits to  Monterey Bay Aquarium, I was super impressed with the knowledge of volunteers and employees working at Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are genuinely interested in knowing more about different sea animals and sea-life, don't hesitate to reach out to staff & take their help in understanding habitat, food habits, life span or whatever comes to your head about these sea animals. 

Since whole place was booked for an office event, we also had our dinner on these tables surrounded by huge water tanks with so many fish all around. Above photograph shows some of my colleagues enjoying their meal while watching sealife.      Above photograph shows Open Sea Wing. Monterey Bay Aquarium was claimed to be having the most jellyfish on exhibit in the world, which was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.     Visitors look through a very large window into an aquarium containing a school of Pacific sardines and mahi-mahi. The million-gallon Open Sea community exhibit contains a school of Pacific sardines.

Since whole place was booked for an office event, we also had our dinner on these tables surrounded by huge water tanks with so many fish all around. Above photograph shows some of my colleagues enjoying their meal while watching sealife.  

Above photograph shows Open Sea Wing. Monterey Bay Aquarium was claimed to be having the most jellyfish on exhibit in the world, which was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. 

Visitors look through a very large window into an aquarium containing a school of Pacific sardines and mahi-mahi. The million-gallon Open Sea community exhibit contains a school of Pacific sardines.

The Open Sea community exhibit is the aquarium's largest tank is made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic which is 80 feet long and 35 feet deep. One of the Monterey Bay aquarium window is largest in the world when it was installed in 1996.

The Open Sea community exhibit is the aquarium's largest tank is made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic which is 80 feet long and 35 feet deep. One of the Monterey Bay aquarium window is largest in the world when it was installed in 1996.

To discourage animals from swimming into the window in the absence of visitors and injuring or killing themselves, there is an air hose underneath the window which generates a bubble wall in front of it throughout the night.

To discourage animals from swimming into the window in the absence of visitors and injuring or killing themselves, there is an air hose underneath the window which generates a bubble wall in front of it throughout the night.

There multiple exhibits inside Monterey Bay Aquarium and above photograph shows one of the bridges inside the aquarium to move between these exhibits.

There multiple exhibits inside Monterey Bay Aquarium and above photograph shows one of the bridges inside the aquarium to move between these exhibits. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium displays 35,000 animals belonging to over 550 species in 2.3 million gallons of water. Filtered seawater from Monterey Bay is pumped into the Kelp Forest and other exhibits at 2,000 gallons per minute. At night, unfiltered seawater is used for the Kelp Forest exhibit to maintain its realistic appearance. The use of unfiltered seawater allows animals to grow in the aquarium's plumbing so it must occasionally be cleaned with tools called pigs, which blast through the pipes under pressure to remove organisms and debris.

Monterey Bay Aquarium displays 35,000 animals belonging to over 550 species in 2.3 million gallons of water. Filtered seawater from Monterey Bay is pumped into the Kelp Forest and other exhibits at 2,000 gallons per minute. At night, unfiltered seawater is used for the Kelp Forest exhibit to maintain its realistic appearance. The use of unfiltered seawater allows animals to grow in the aquarium's plumbing so it must occasionally be cleaned with tools called pigs, which blast through the pipes under pressure to remove organisms and debris. 

Monterey Bay Aquarium is known for its regional focus on the marine habitats of Monterey Bay, it was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is known for its regional focus on the marine habitats of Monterey Bay, it was the first to exhibit a living kelp forest. 

Along with its architecture, the aquarium has won numerous awards for its exhibition of marine life, ocean conservation efforts, and educational programs.

Along with its architecture, the aquarium has won numerous awards for its exhibition of marine life, ocean conservation efforts, and educational programs.  

Across all these exhibits of Monterey Bay Aquarium, it was very clear that variety is huge and it was hard to recollect names of fish you see in 2-3 hours at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Visitors are allowed to touch some of the fish types which are put in open tank. Some of them play with your hands.

Across all these exhibits of Monterey Bay Aquarium, it was very clear that variety is huge and it was hard to recollect names of fish you see in 2-3 hours at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Visitors are allowed to touch some of the fish types which are put in open tank. Some of them play with your hands.  

Biologists of Monterey Bay Aquarium have pioneered the animal husbandry of jellyfish and it was the first to successfully care for and display a great white shark.

Biologists of Monterey Bay Aquarium have pioneered the animal husbandry of jellyfish and it was the first to successfully care for and display a great white shark.  

Every year approximately 75000 students & teachers from California access Monterey Bay Aquarium for free. An additional 1500 low-income students, 350 teenagers and 1200 teachers participate in structured educational programs throughout the year. Every year these engagements are increased in terms of quality and quantity.

Every year approximately 75000 students & teachers from California access Monterey Bay Aquarium for free. An additional 1500 low-income students, 350 teenagers and 1200 teachers participate in structured educational programs throughout the year. Every year these engagements are increased in terms of quality and quantity. 

These days when this aquarium is not open for public, Monterey Bay Aquarium has put following link through which you can see sea-life through live camera - https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

These days when this aquarium is not open for public, Monterey Bay Aquarium has put following link through which you can see sea-life through live camera - https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams

Every exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium has details about it written on a board close to the glass window. It gives enough details to appreciate what exactly to expect in that area of Monterey Bay Aquarium and you come across lot of amazing fish. Like flat fish was something that I saw for first time and it was hard to figure out where a flat fish is sitting in completely visible aquarium space.

Every exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium has details about it written on a board close to the glass window. It gives enough details to appreciate what exactly to expect in that area of Monterey Bay Aquarium and you come across lot of amazing fish. Like flat fish was something that I saw for first time and it was hard to figure out where a flat fish is sitting in completely visible aquarium space. 

I don't think I have seen it completely as it's huge and one needs to have a clear exploration strategy to ensure that everything is covered, if that's a goal. Anyways, we had lot of fun watching these colourful water creatures swimming around us at Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are in Monterey of nearby area, and this place is open it's highly recommended for for at least one visit.

I don't think I have seen it completely as it's huge and one needs to have a clear exploration strategy to ensure that everything is covered, if that's a goal. Anyways, we had lot of fun watching these colourful water creatures swimming around us at Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you are in Monterey of nearby area, and this place is open it's highly recommended for for at least one visit. 

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