100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA | Directions 9080233.762229 -118.196866
Neighborhoods: Downtown Long Beach
This place rocks – Yes it is a little pricey.....BUT.....It is a nonprofit facility. There are a lot of volunteers that work there also EVERYONE that works there seem to be happy to be there, and well informed. Even the people that work in the cafe. I like the fact that it is not huge, and commercially motivated. Don't get me wrong, I love, I mean love Disneyland, but the AoP is in a class all by itself. I have been twice. The first time was really crowded. I'll admit I had to be patient, and tolerant, but I still enjoyed it. The second time I went, today, was awesome. We got there around 2ish. Wasn't crowded at all. At 4:30 my 6 year old niece, and I went to the shark, and stingray petting area and made some friends. Literally. We were there till closing at 6pm. After a while they get used to you. They were like puppies. The sharks would swim up over my fingers so I could tickle their bellies, and the smaller stingrays would stop for a long back rub. The best was the BIG stingrays in the bigger pool who love their noses rubbed. So cute. They would come over to me, and turn their little noses up to get rubbed!! My niece was dying to pet the Rays, but was scared. One of the girls there came down from her podium and coached her through it, so sweet of her. I can't stress enough to only go during the week after 2pm. Also we took the train from Pasadena. Kind of a long trip, but worth it. The Aquarium.....kind of pricey, but worth it!
Best Aquarium in Southern California – Let me qualify the title of my review by saying that this is great aquarium and not some over done theme park called Sea World. You won't get a big dolphin shows or a shamu show because the AoP does not make their animals perform and they don't have whales or dolphins. What they do have is a great collection of creatures from the Pacific ocean - from sea otters of the North Pacific, to tropical fish of Palau, and even a recreated kelp forest with native Californian marine animals. I was able to pet a small shark and a stingray and get up close with some of the coastal creatures of Baja California (sea stars, cucumbers, and urchins). The seals and sea lions are always fun to watch.
People complain that the place isn't big enough but what this place may lack in size, it makes up for in quality of their displays and the care the staff puts into taking care of the creatures. I really enjoyed this year's special exhibit of Waves and learning about the science of how waves and tsunamis are created.
If you are looking for a place to spend a morning or afternoon, check out the Aquarium of the Pacific. And you can supplement your visit by visiting the shops in the harbor or at the Pike or even take a whale watching tour.
Good fun for an afternoon – This aquarium is aptly named. All of the displays and interactive activities are based on sea life within the Pacific ocean. From the coastal tide pools of California to the reefs of the tropical Pacific islands, you get a great tour of one of the largest bodies of water in the world. I still think one of the most fun exhibits is the ray exhibit on the outside...where you can reach right into the pool and pet a ray. The aquarium is truly a community active organization. They have activities all the time...from seasonal festivals to lectures, movies, and even programs for the preschoolers. It's a great learning environment. I recommend this aquarium for everyone. Also, because of it's location, there are tons of restaurants and shopping nearby where you can enjoy the rest of your day after visiting the aquarium.
Special Events at the Aquarium – I love the jellyfish the best but in addition to the sealife, the Aquarium offers special events as well.... Concerts, the Abilities Expo, my favorite special event was a Hawaiian event, I think it was E Hula Mau. I haven't had such delicious ono kaukau since I lived in the islands!
Yes, I suggest visiting the Aquarium when they have a Special Event, that way you can enjoy the fish and not have to venture far to enjoy something else.
And,,, across the parking lot is the MAI TAI BAR, but that's a whole other review. Aloha!
A lot of fun for the family – This is a great way to enjoy nature with the family, and see the sea! Some very beautiful exhibits and it's really cool when the divers are inside of the tank with the mics talking to the people in the crowd! The staff was great, and although it is a little small and the souvenirs are over-priced, it's still a memorable experience for all!
It'll cost you a few clams, but this mammoth fish tank is a deep experience. – Fish fans are in luck--this ambitious Long Beach attraction is the next best thing to scuba diving. Opened in 1998, the Aquarium of the Pacific offers recreations of three distinct oceanic ecosystems: Southern California/Baja, the icy north Pacific and the tropical south Pacific. The five-acre facility features a whopping 17 habitats and more than 12,000 birds, fish, mammals and amphibians. Don't miss the three-story-tall Blue Cavern, which is stocked entirely with predators like sharks and giant sea bass. Divers with microphones swim among the psychedelic denizens of the Tropical Reef Habitat, broadcasting their observations to the audience. Other popular exhibits showcase diving birds, rescued seals and sea lions, otters and jellyfish.
Fun learning experience – The first time I went to this place was because of a school project. I love the fact that they have interactive pools where visitors could touch sharks, sting rays, sea anemone, and other animals.
It's a great way to bring back nature into this highly technological-yet-very-sterile generation.
I encourage you to bring your kids and those who are kid-at-heart and marvel at our underwater friends.
Kudos to the staff of the aquarium.
Great aquarium for kids and adults – This aquarium was great, though a bit pricey. I can say that as a tourist attraction, I felt we got our money's worth. From a variety of fish, mammals, and other sea creatures, there is much to learn. I was in awe of the shark embryos at each stage of the inital life cycle. From the tank signs/descriptions to the talking scuba diver to the other aquarium staff, this was a good, cool learning opportunity. I brought my 2-1/2 year old and he just LOVED the opportunities to pet/touch sharks, stingrays, sea anemone, sea uchin, and starfish. He also loved to shoot water out of a giant fake squid. There's a chance your little kids might get wet so bring a change of clothes or else you'll have to buy a shirt from the gift shop like we did. Unlike most gift shops though, things were pretty cheap/reasonable.
Jellyfish – The Aquarium is a great place to go with kids. Took my young cousins and they immensely enjoyed the jellyfish exhibit.
Great place to visit – I loved checking out the aquarium! I was impressed by the jellyfish exhibit, the shark petting pools, and the gigantic sturgeon aquarium. This place has a little something for everyone and although it was $18.95 per adult admission, I truly thought it was worth the money.
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