Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium showing marine life and interior views
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Perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, you’ll find a spectacular window into life both above and below the waves.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium showcases more than 35,000 animals and plants across 550 species. You’ll discover all kinds of local wildlife here, including fish of all sizes, invertebrates, mammals and plants.

The centerpiece of the aquarium is a three-story-high tank containing a towering kelp forest. Crane your head back and gaze up at the spectacle of wolf-eels, leopard sharks and schools of sardines gliding and darting through the swaying kelp giants. Visit The Open Sea to get incredibly close to enormous sunfish, hammerhead sharks, and blue- and yellowfin tuna. On the other side in the Oceans Edge section check out the Giant Octopuses. In the Rocky Shores exhibit, walk through a tunnel as waves foam and crash overhead. After taking in the larger exhibits, turn your attention towards one of the ocean’s more delicate creatures, the seahorse, in the Splash Zone.

Children will delight in the comical penguin troupes and the sea otters lazing about on rocky outcrops. Family members of all ages can touch and feed a variety of animals while learning about their habitats at the petting pools.

The auditorium hosts shows throughout the day, most of which are 15-minutes long. Learn about the life of the spineless jellyfish or catch the daily feed with turtles, fish and sharks. Take a trip behind the glass with a short film detailing how the aquarium staff feed and care for all the center’s animals.

Join a tour to get more deeply acquainted with specific species. A guide will show you around for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Kids aged 8–13 can get closer to the action with a dive tour, which includes basic scuba diving training. All tours require a fee in addition to admission costs and must be booked in advance through the aquarium’s website.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the waterfront at historic Cannery Row, an area immortalized in the John Steinbeck novel of the same name. A five-minute drive from central Monterey, the area is also serviced by the Monterey–Salinas Transit (MST) bus line.

The aquarium is open daily except Christmas Day. You’ll need about two to three hours to explore all of the exhibits.

Top Hotels Close to Monterey Bay Aquarium

Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
4 out of 5
Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA, 93940
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $326 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly resort in Monterey. Enjoy 2 restaurants, 2 bars/lounges, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.2/5 Very Good! (992 reviews)
"Absolutely loved the atmosphere. Very calm and welcoming. Extremely convenient location with Downtown in front and the wharf directly behind it. Great check in lady! So nice! She worked the 22nd in the afternoon"

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2022

Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
4.5 out of 5
400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $379 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury resort in Monterey. Enjoy free WiFi, 2 restaurants, and a full-service spa. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.7/5 Exceptional! (1,712 reviews)
"Great location. Everyone has been friendly. Clean"

Reviewed on Jun 30, 2022

Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
750 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $373 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in Monterey. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (987 reviews)
"Loved our stay here!"

Reviewed on Jun 20, 2022

InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Monterey Bay Aquarium

Cannery Row Inn
Cannery Row Inn
2 out of 5
200 Foam St Monterey, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $212 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Cannery Row Inn
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
4 out of 5
Two Portola Plaza, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $326 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
4.5 out of 5
400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $379 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa
InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
750 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $373 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
InterContinental the Clement Monterey, an IHG Hotel
Spindrift Inn
Spindrift Inn
3.5 out of 5
652 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $214 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Spindrift Inn
Victorian Inn
Victorian Inn
3 out of 5
487 Foam St, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $218 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 8
Victorian Inn
Monterey Bay Inn
Monterey Bay Inn
3.5 out of 5
242 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $264 per night from Jul 4 to Jul 5
Monterey Bay Inn
Wave Street Inn
Wave Street Inn
2.5 out of 5
571 Wave Street, Monterey, CA, 93940
Wave Street Inn
Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row, an IHG Hotel
2.5 out of 5
443 Wave St, Monterey, CA, 93940
The price is $320 per night from Jul 5 to Jul 6
Holiday Inn Express Monterey-Cannery Row, an IHG Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.