Monterey Bay is an obvious choice if you are interested in marine life. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is the largest US marine sanctuary with a shoreline length of 276 miles (444 km)! It has a unique and diverse marine ecosystem and it’s home to 34 species of mammals. It’s the best place to observe whales, dolphins, killer whales, sea otters and, of course, seals and sea lions. We’ve lived about an hour drive from Monterey Bay for a year and it has surprised us with exciting, cute and funny wildlife moments.
It’s also the best place for a cool aquarium that teaches us about marine life. And there is one: Monterey Bay Aquarium in the town of Monterey. It’s the largest and most interesting aquarium we’ve ever seen! There’s so much to see there that we don’t even try to list everything. Rather we’d like to share with you what we liked the most.
First of all, we loved the sea otters! These protected creatures are among the cutest ones on Earth and their main natural habitat is Monterey Bay itself. And there are three playful ones who call the Monterey Bay Aquarium their home. Their exhibit is on two floors: first-floor windows give an underwater view and from the second floor you can watch them swimming and playing at the surface.
The incredible diversity of marine life
We liked the special exhibition about jelly fish. Gosh, all those shapes and colors…
The aquarium has exhibits about the habitats of Monterey Bay and California and it turned out to be even more amazing than we expected. Like a 28 feet height tank featuring a kelp forest. Or the hands-on exhibits of the rocky shore. Oh, and let’s not forget about the ocean-view decks where patient and lucky visitors can spot wildlife in Monterey Bay itself – sea otters, dolphins, humpback whales…
We liked the countless colorful and strange fish, sea turtles and sharks in the walk-through tunnel and in the Open Sea exhibition.
But one of the most unique exhibitions for us was octopuses. We’ve seen several octopus species for the first time in this aquarium.
Beyond the exhibits
And we heard the heartwarming story of Luna, an orphaned sea otter pup who was rescued and later released by the aquarium staff. And this is another wonderful thing: Monterey Bay Aquarium is a fun place to learn about marine life but they are more than that. They educate us about what we can do to protect our ocean. And they do a lot to protect it themselves – from influencing government decision makers through research projects to rescuing sea otter pups.
Last but not at all least: we loved all the feedings during the day. Kelp forest feeding, open sea feeding, penguin feeding and sea otter feeding, of course!
Do you like aquariums? Which one is your favorite?
Please note that this is not an advertisement and we were not compensated for this post. Opinions expressed are solely our own as always.