Beginning of main content
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars, activities and vacation rentals. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

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. 


Guide to Exploring around Monterey Bay Aquarium


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Monterey Bay Aquarium

See all 552 Properties near Monterey Bay Aquarium
Spindrift Inn $159
Spindrift Inn

Spindrift Inn

652 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Monterey, this beachfront hotel is in the historical district, just steps from Cannery Row and Steinbeck's Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum. Monterey Bay Aquarium and San Carlos Beach - The Breakwater are also within 10 minutes.

    InterContinental the Clement Monterey $179
    InterContinental the Clement Monterey

    InterContinental the Clement Monterey

    750 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on the waterfront, this luxury hotel is steps from Steinbeck Plaza, Cannery Row, and Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 1 mi (2 km).

      Monterey Bay Inn $159
      Monterey Bay Inn

      Monterey Bay Inn

      242 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Monterey, this beachfront hotel is in the city center, just steps from San Carlos Beach - The Breakwater, Cannery Row, and Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 15 minutes.

        Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa $185
        Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

        Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa

        400 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Monterey, this luxury resort is within a 5-minute walk of Cannery Row and Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 15 minutes.

          Hotel Pacific $102
          Hotel Pacific

          Hotel Pacific

          300 Pacific St, Monterey, CA
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Monterey, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of California's First Brick House and Fisherman's Wharf. Monterey Bay and Cannery Row are also within 15 minutes.

            Wave Street Inn $109
            Wave Street Inn

            Wave Street Inn

            571 Wave Street, Monterey, CA
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Lighthouse District, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cannery Row, San Carlos Beach - The Breakwater, and Monterey Bay Aquarium. American Tin Cannery and Coast Guard Pier are also within 10 minutes.

              Pacific Grove Inn $49
              Pacific Grove Inn

              Pacific Grove Inn

              581 Pine Ave, Pacific Grove, CA
                 
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated near the beach, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Jameson's Classic Motorcycle Museum, Monterey Bay, and 17-Mile Drive. Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium are also within 1 mi (2 km).

                Monterey Tides $163
                Monterey Tides

                Monterey Tides

                2600 Sand Dunes Dr, Monterey, CA
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Monterey, this beachfront hotel is in the entertainment district, just steps from Monterey State Beach and Monterey Bay. Monterey County Fairgrounds and Fisherman's Wharf are also within 3 mi (5 km).