Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

#1 of 102 in Things to do in Monterey
Must see · Aquarium · Zoo / Aquarium
Located on the site of a former sardine cannery on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, Monterey Bay Aquarium features an 8.5 m (28 ft) viewing tank that was the first in the world to grow giant kelp. The aquarium also holds thousands of plants and animals representing more than 600 different species. You can inspect the creatures of the kelp forest from several levels in the building. Visit the largest tank in the aquarium--with one of the biggest single-paned windows in the world--for a rare chance to observe a population of ocean sunfish in captivity. Other highlights include exhibits of stingrays, bluefin tuna, jellyfish, and sea otters, viewable from above and below the waterline. For Monterey Bay Aquarium and beyond, use our Monterey driving holiday planner to get the most from your Monterey vacation.
Create an itinerary including Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
14,210 reviews
  • We had been anticipating a visit here for over a year and it didn't disappoint, even with COVID restrictions. The timed entry was nice and we got there early on a week day. I didn't find there to be.....  more »
  • I haven't been to the MBA since it opened, so I was excited to come back and see what it looked like today, So many improvements and expansions, however because of Covid and the restrictions, there...  more »
  • Such a great experience! Would definitely come again. Their aquarium is the best in California hands down, there are a lot of different sea animals big and small, there are different exhibits for each type of critter. Our favorite was the kids area call splash zone. This area had costumes for the kids to use and different activities for all ages. There is an area for toddlers to play and use their imagination. The bird exhibit is also great since their is an area for kids to explore and play with the exhibits.
  • A lovely time! Very accessible, not very affordable. The animals look very well tended and there was a lot to learn. Information is presented in several different ways at once which can be either incredibly helpful or overwhelming, depending on what works for you. Going on a weekday is better because there are fewer people, though it's still crowded. If eating out after visiting the aquarium, consider choosing where you'll have dinner first so you can just go without having to decide while you're tired from walking through the aquarium.

Plan your trip to Monterey

  • Get a personalized trip
    A complete day by day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it
    Refine your trip. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it
    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it
    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.