"Monterey Bay Aquarium" Monterey Bay Aquarium Tip by CCW

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey: 58 reviews and 113 photos

I visited the Aquarium shortly after it opened in the early 80's, and loved it, but hadn't been back since. I was blown away all over again: besides showcasing the flora and (especially) fauna of the Monterey Bay area, they have some wonderful temporary exhibits (the current one, on jellyfish, will change your view of those squishy little beasties).

The building is attractive, nicely laid out, and spacious-feeling even when it's fairly crowded (but I went on a weekday in early June, before the summer mobs arrived, so my experience may not be typical). As a casual but interested birdwatcher, I especially enjoyed the shorebird area, but everything from the Tank of Uglies (groupers, eel, etc.) to the sea otters to the deep-sea display was wonderful.

As for the Cannery Row area surrounding the aquarium, though -- don't bother; it's terminally touristy (Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.? Give me a break!). If you're hankering for a meal or a snack, the aquarium has a cafeteria-style diner and a more formal restaurant, either of which is far better than most of the other local options, and comparably priced. (But do check out the tiny park across the street from the aquarium, which has a group of workers' cottages from the real Cannery Row era -- very informative and interesting.)

Address: 886 Cannery Row,
Directions: Cannery Row, Monterey -- just follow the signs and you can't miss it. (Monterey has an exceptionally well-designed and easy-to-follow street sign system; good show, folks!!)
othercontact: www.mbayaq.org
Phone: (831) 648-4800
Website: http://www.mbayaq.org/

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  • Updated Nov 25, 2003
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