Explore the ocean wilderness that is Monterey Bay
No California coastal itinerary is complete without a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Considered one of the world’s greatest aquariums and a global leader in ocean research and conservation, this is the place that inspired the settings for Pixar’s Finding Dory and the BBC’s “Big Blue Live” – and was featured in HBO’s “Big Little Lies”. The Aquarium’s 322,000 square feet showcase Pacific Ocean habitats with acclaimed marine exhibits such as the three-story living Kelp Forest, million-gallon Open Sea exhibit, and a two-story home for the unofficial mascots of the Central Coast – the charismatic sea otter. Visitors who want to dive deeper can choose from behind-the-scenes tours, sleepovers among the aquarium’s exhibits, and a summer scuba program for kids. Dramatic ocean-front decks offer views of passing whales, dolphins, sea lions, and birds in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The Aquarium also offers ocean-view dining in a casual cafe and a full-service restaurant, both emphasizing sustainable culinary trends and a commitment to Seafood Watch standards for ocean-friendly seafood selections. Discover the wonders of Monterey Bay and how protecting our living ocean benefits us all.
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