Are you searching for seals and dolphins on your kayak ride through La Jolla? Scouring tide pools for tiny starfish and anemones? There’s an easier way to see the best Pacific sea life on your LA vacation this summer – with a trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific! Located in Long Beach, California (just south of LA proper), the Aquarium of the Pacific is the best place to get to know the creatures that live and play in the world’s largest ocean.
With more than 11,000 different creatures, the Aquarium of the Pacific is home to a stunning variety of specimens from the Tropical Pacific to Southern California and Baja California all the way to the chilly North Pacific. Some of our favorite areas and special exhibits at the aquarium include: the Sea Otter Habitat, featuring Maggie, the beloved resident icon of the zoo; the Shark Lagoon, perfect for those of you who wish every week was Shark Week; the Southern California/Baja Gallery, with a focus on local ecosystems from Oregon to Mexico; and the Lorikeet Forest, which reminds us that not all sea life has scales!
This season, the Aquarium of the Pacific is highlighting their “Summer of Wonder” experience. A series of new exhibits, special programming, and designated events are all designed to give you the most amazing aquarium experience possible. You’ll see more in-depth demonstrations at the Molina Animal Care Center that illuminate animal care and the surprising role it plays in human health (sneak preview: corals and sponges may help cure cancer!). The stars of some new exhibits are the Southern California Steelhead (related to the salmon), horseshoe crabs, and the endangered Guam Kingfishers.
Featured residents in the touch tanks in the Shark Lagoon are the bonnethead shark (cousins to the hammerhead) and cownose rays (see above image). There are also a whole bunch of special, interactive exhibits for kids that teach them about marine conservation, working with animals, and marine search. Kids will especially love the chance to build their own Marine ROV – those little machines that scoot along under water and collect data and samples.
Save money on your visit to this family-favorite Los Angeles attraction with some Aquarium of the Pacific Discount Tickets, available as part of a custom-built pass or one of Smart Destinations’ signature packages. Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy the “Summer of Wonder” at LA’s best aquarium!