Last year when I had the chance to visit Monterey and Cannery Row we explored all over the city but never made it to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It felt like we missed out on a highlight of the city. I have been dreaming of visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium since then.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
When the email came from Disney asking if I wanted to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and learn about the making of the new Finding Dory movie I jumped at the chance. In my past life before blogging and corporate America, I studied marine biology in school. I have always been fascinated with marine animals and couldn't wait to visit the aquarium.
Well, the world was looking out for me and during our visit we had the chance to see an Otter Mom and her 2-day old baby! I could have spent hours and hours and hours just watching them in the tide pools.
In case, you missed the video of the mom otter I will share it a bit later in this post!
The Monterey Bay Aquarium was one of the spots Disney visited as they were putting together the movie Finding Dory. If you have visited the aquarium you may recognize parts of it in the new movie.
Today I am excited to highlight some of the amazing exhibits you can see at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
One of the things I really liked about the Monterey Bay Aquarium is the vastness of its displays. They not only highlight what you would see right outside the window in Monterey Bay but they show you an in-depth look at Seafood Watch and the effects of fishing on the ocean.
The Kelp Forest exhibit is 28 feet tall! You truly feel like you are in the middle of the Kelp Forest. It is a great opportunity to see how fish and other animals live in different areas of the Kelp Forest.
Keep an eye out for the Leopard Shark! I thought it was really interesting to learn that the Kelp grows on average 4 inches a day and has to be untangled and trimmed by scuba divers. Up to 2,000 gallons of water is pushed through the exhibit a minute to mimic a real Kelp Forest!
When we visited the jellyfish exhibit all I could think about was taking a nap on the floor and watching the jellyfish for hours. The aquarium staff said they do overnight events for kids at times during the year. I asked if we could plan a girl's night at the aquarium with comfy pillows, a glass of wine, and just watching the jellyfish.
So dang relaxing and beautiful!
If you are visiting the aquarium with little kids don't worry there is a great kid play area!
Kids can work off a bit of energy while learning about animals and mammals under the sea! One cool thing you can do before your trip is print off some of these educational and fun family activity sheets from the Monterey Bay Aquarium!
The aquarium is great for all ages! There are interpretive and educational panels for all ages set up around the aquarium. Whether you want to just wander and soak up the atmosphere or dive in and read each panel you will have a great time!
Now let's talk about the Otters!!!!!!
I was so excited when I walked in and found out that the Momma otter and her 2-day old baby were still in the tide pool area. I had seen this video on Facebook and hoped and prayed they would still be there during our visit.
The California Sea Otters Mom and baby otter were there for our first day but had gone out to the Kelp Forest when we went back the next day. I love that the Monterey Bay Aquarium does so much to save the otter population and keep them safe.
We learned that the otters that are on exhibit have taken in rescued baby otters and helped raise them. How cool is that!
We learned that otters are part of the weasel family. When we had the chance to see behind the scenes of the exhibit, they warned us to remove anything that could fall in the tank. They said if it falls in the otters own it and don't expect to get it back. Watching them, you can see how smart they are and a bit mischievous.
Did you know that an Otter eats up to 25% of its weight in food every day! Otters have pockets in their fur to tuck away their tools and prey while they are hunting. Unlike Alaskan otters, the ones in California do not eat fish. You can learn even more about otters on the Monterey Bay Aquariums otter page!
Ready to visit!
Here is some great info on visiting one of the best Aquariums in the US....the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The aquarium is located at - 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA
For updated hours and ticket prices make sure and check the aquarium's website.
Additional California Travel Articles
As you plan your trip to Monterey here are some great posts on visiting Cannery Row
Check out all of our California Travel Guides