comScore
Monterey Bay Aquarium picture in Monterey
Courtesy of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Key Info

Details

  • Zoos and Aquariums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

The Open Sea Exhibit best exemplifies how special the massive Monterey Bay Aquarium is. Sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, jellyfish and schools of fish have thousands of gallons of water to explore while visitors watch in awe. With 45 interactive exhibits featuring reptiles, octopi, birds, fish and invertebrates, as well as a variety of tours (some of which allow guests to feed some of the sea life), there is no shortage of things to see and do for the young and old at the aquarium.

In the town of Monterey, the Monterey Bay Aquarium sits at the end of Cannery Row. Entry costs a staggering $39.95 for adults, $34.95 for teens ages 13 to 17, and $24.95 for children ages 3 to 12, but most visitors claim the sights inside are well worth it, with some saying it is the best aquarium they've ever been to.

However, visitors recommend you go during the week, as the weekends tend to get crowded. Finding parking is nearly impossible, with the aquarium's popularity and central location, so use one of the nearby garages. The facility is open daily from about 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, check out the aquarium's website.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Best Western Plus Victorian Inn

Best Western Plus Victorian Inn ...

  • 0.4 Miles Away
  • 2.5-star Hotel Class
InterContinental The Clement Monterey

InterContinental The Clement Monterey ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 4.5-star Hotel Class
Spindrift Inn

Spindrift Inn ...

  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
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#1 Carmel-by-the-Sea Located south of Monterey and Pebble Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea is a humble seaside village with a few small shops and cafes -- at least that's the cover story. In truth, this ... Read more » brad.coy / Flickr

#2 Point Lobos State Natural Reserve South of Carmel-by-the-Sea, the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve receives praise from almost everyone who visits. The dramatic rock formations rising from the ocean have most visitors gawking, while the ... Read more » Don DeBold / Flickr

#3 Monterey Bay Aquarium The Open Sea Exhibit best exemplifies how special the massive Monterey Bay Aquarium is. Sea turtles, stingrays, sharks, jellyfish and schools of fish have thousands of gallons of water to ... Read more » Courtesy of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

#4 Pebble Beach Golf Links Golfers dream of playing at the Pebble Beach Golf Club, which is often considered to be one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world. With experts encouraging booking ... Read more » isogood / Getty Images

#5 17-Mile Drive Tracing the rugged Pacific coastline, the 17-Mile Drive isn't just a road. The route offers breathtaking views of the ocean, hugging the Pacific coastline as it weaves through the ... Read more » Westend61 / Getty Images

#6 Old Fisherman's Wharf Near Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Old Fisherman's Wharf is not the smelly, salt water-stained place it once was. Costly restaurants and souvenir shops now characterize this ... Read more » Bill_Dally / Getty Images

#7 Cannery Row Anchored by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row is the epicenter of Monterey's tourism industry. Boutique hotels, shops and restaurants line this seaside avenue and attract thousands of travelers ... Read more » Courtesy of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea picture in Monterey
Sea Lion Cove in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve picture in Monterey
Monterey Bay Aquarium picture in Monterey
Pebble Beach Golf Links picture in Monterey
View from 17-Mile Drive picture in Monterey
Monterey Harbor picture in Monterey
Cannery Row at Twilight picture in Monterey
Cafe in Carmel-by-the-Sea picture in Monterey
Sea Lion Cove in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve picture in Monterey
Monterey Bay Aquarium picture in Monterey
Pebble Beach Golf Links picture in Monterey
View from 17-Mile Drive picture in Monterey
Monterey Harbor picture in Monterey
Cannery Row at Twilight picture in Monterey

Carmel-by-the-Sea does not allow chain restaurants, so visitors are confident that where they're eating is one of a kind.  brad.coy / Flickr

For spectacular views of the Pacific coast, spend a few hours hiking in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. Don DeBold / Flickr

Monterey's star attraction for many years, the aquarium houses hundreds of colorful fish and other marine animals. Courtesy of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Golfers come from around the world to strike a ball on the famous Pebble Beach fairways. isogood / Getty Images

Along the 17-Mile Drive, you might be tempted to take your eyes off the road by breathtaking views of the craggy coastline. Westend61 / Getty Images

Take a stroll along Old Fisherman's Wharf and sample some of the area's famous clam chowder. Bill_Dally / Getty Images

With its plethora of restaurants and bars, Cannery Row shines brightest at night. Courtesy of the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau

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