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“Ok. Really busy place.”

Monterey Bay Aquarium
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USD 49.95*
and up
Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission
Ranked #1 of 113 things to do in Monterey
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Located at the ocean's edge, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a window to marine life -- for dive masters and non-swimmers alike. It's home to sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants. Its mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean.
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

So busy. Throngs of people on weekends. Urban assault strollers everywhere - especially near touch pools and kids interactive areas. Expect not to see lots of smaller tanks for the sheer number of people and darkened lighting that slows traffic down. Lots of live fish... just as many computer interactive and video displays of fish and sea life habitats. No cetaceans. $50 USD per person for entry is steep; no AAA discounts. Parking is a few blocks away in a large multilevel parade at $15/day. Cannery Row is a two sided, two storey tourist trap, with multiple candy stores, typical souvenir shops and eateries galore. Would not recommend the Aquarium visit for the mobility challenged persons.

1  Thank Two-BC-Travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"jellyfish exhibit"
in 253 reviews
"octopus"
in 283 reviews
"open sea"
in 195 reviews
"feeding times"
in 181 reviews
"sea life"
in 645 reviews
"great exhibits"
in 178 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 221 reviews
"all ages"
in 553 reviews
"sardines"
in 299 reviews
"world class"
in 133 reviews
"monterey bay"
in 407 reviews
"kids and adults"
in 104 reviews
"great for kids"
in 122 reviews
"cannery row"
in 370 reviews
"aquarium"
in 6,136 reviews
"tanks"
in 742 reviews
"auditorium"
in 238 reviews
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292 - 296 of 12,541 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Considering this is meant to be the second best aquarium in the US we were quite disappointed as it was very busy and not an awful lot of displays. Some of the tanks were huge and pretty impressive but it was all quite padded out and expense to visit and even more expensive to eat and drink in the restaurant. Considering the cost we were not entertained for more than an hour and would never return. I have been to some far better aquariums in Australia and the UK.

Thank MrBlush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

Stunning aquarium and well worth a visit, just the $50 entrance fee seems ridiculously steep and unnecessary.

Thank mattrileyx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Took the family here last week for Spring Break. We went early and were able to avoid the large crowds that can show up sometimes. The place is huge, with great exhibits. There is a heavy emphasis on some of the exhibits regarding conservancy, which I think is a positive. Although one of the more popular activities at the aquarium is the feeding of the otters, our favorite exhibit, by far, was the open ocean exhibit. It is huge! Our whole family sat in the bleachers and watched a school of silver-colored fish swim in synchronicity. It was mesmerizing. I would definitely recommend coming here, not only if you happen to be in the Monterey area, but also as a destination. It is that good.

Thank MrGodzilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MontereyBayAquarium, Manager at Monterey Bay Aquarium, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2018

Thank you!

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 April 2018

I live in Los Angeles and let me tell you that this was one of the worst parking experiences of my life. There is almost no street parking nor clearly designated aquarium lots so I circled multiple times trying to find a place to park that didn't cost $30+. Ultimately, I met friends at the lot for the Cannery Outlets and spent $20 to park. Presumably you can park easier and cheaper further away but I was ready to be done.

There was a line to get into the aquarium but it moved quickly, we bought our tickets and headed inside. The place was a zoo and a bit too many kids (aka more than 1 kid) for my preference but the fish-related exhibits were pretty awesome including a feeding show in the open ocean room and the under-the-sea experience. The aquarium has touch tanks that were a bit underwhelming (the sting-rays refused to come near guests) as well as sea otters and penguin exhibits.

The entry fee is steep $50 and while I'm not sure it was worth the price, if you have children it's a must and I'm still happy I saw it even if I was ready to leave.

Thank TheBoilerDude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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