A couple of weeks ago, we took a trip out to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Located in the more touristy cannery row area of Monterey Bay, it was a bit of a long drive but overall, well worth it. The Aquarium is so unique and every nook and cranny is a small peak into the surrounding waters. A really great experience!
As always, we arrived early. This paid off as shortly after 10am, the line stretched around the block. It is pricey to get in – $50 per adult, but they allow in and out privileges for the day. My favourite part of the Aquarium was the actual physical building. Situated in cannery row, the Aquarium sits in a building once used by the last working cannery in Monterey Bay. The outside of the buildings appear to have remained relatively unchanged. So you end up walking right past it without even realizing. It is definitely a Disney magic type place where you wonder where and how they keep everything.
The next thing that blew us away was the size. This place is huge! This Aquarium has so much to offer, allowing you to wander around and easily lose yourself. They even extend their space outside where they have large viewing decks that allow you to look out over the bay and appreciate all the creatures and features you just learned about. There is such a natural flow from one section to another that you aren’t constantly trying to figure out where you are. Another aspect that really impressed us.
Of all the exhibits featured in the Aquarium, my husband’s favourite was the Deep Sea exhibit. Now, I do not particular care for deep water where I can’t see the bottom or any creatures coming for me or by me, but this exhibit was breathtaking. For me because of my crazy fear, for my husband because it truly felt like you were under water. The lighting, the sounds, the effects – it was amazing. One particular feature feels like you are just looking out into the deep blue sea. I didn’t very much care for this, LOL, but the true beauty wasn’t lost on me either.
Overall we had a great time. We took advantage of the in/out privilege and took a break from the Aquarium. We grabbed some lunch and wandered around a bit along cannery row which allowed us to appreciate the remaining exhibits.
There are a ton of fun learning activities for kids of all ages. They have a couple of great exhibits where you can touch different things, including manta rays and hermit crabs. Looking back it definitely felt well worth the $50 each. Especially considering that some of the money goes toward conservation as well.
Oh but prepare yourself for parking. It’s $15 for the day in the big parking lot. Otherwise if you can find street parking, it’s about $1.50 an hour. So it’ll depend on how long you plan to be there.
We would definitely recommend visiting Monterey Bay and the Aquarium. It’s a beautiful and unique place. Well worth the visit.