Some Tips for you to have the best possible Monterey Aquarium Experience!
The Monterey Aquarium is one of the best aquatic aquariums in the world! There isn’t a doubt that the admission price is worth the money but there is so much to do and see at the Monterey Aquarium that you may get overwhelmed.
Be it from the number of astounding displays to see and interact with to going at the wrong time of day and having to endure the crowds.
Your ticket price reflects this (unless you were able to get your Monterey Bay Aquarium Tickets for FREE.
So you want to have the best experience possible as the aquarium is a magical place. The tips below are things we have learned from going to the Monterey Aquarium for over 25+ years.
Monterey Aquarium Tips
Go Early and Leave Early!
Show up the minute they open, especially during peak Summer Months.
The crowds really start to build up usually around 11:00 or so.
If it becomes too unbearable, just leave the aquarium (get your hand stamped) and take a stroll down Cannery Row.
Or better yet the Recreational Trail and come back after 3:00. Usually the crowds have died down by then and you’ll have more of the aquarium to yourself A win-win for you and everyone with you!
Do Not Wait in Line to Buy Your Tickets!
Trust me. The line often can wrap around the block. Don’t waste your time in line.
Buy your tickets online or phone them in and then pick them up at the Will Call Window. Then go straight into the Monterey Aquarium!
Don’t Pay Door Prices!
Tickets at the door will run you $30 each and that’s no chicken scratch!
See These Exhibits First!
See the Wild about Otters, the Penguins, The Secret Lives of Sea Horses and these Monterey Bay Aquarium Exhibits first!
Beware of School Buses!
If you see school buses near the aquarium, be prepared for a zoo of children on a field trip. This is not fun at all.
If you can, come back at around 2:00-3:00 if possible. This is when most field trippers have usually left.
Be sure to get your "Today at the Aquarium" Flier
This flier tells you when the feedings are, what time the shows are at, and contains some very helpful hints including an easy to read Map.
The Monterey Aquarium hands them out at the entrances.
Go directly to Splash Zone first, and then again at the end of the visit. This will make your visit with the kids a pleasant one.
Do Not Miss the Feeding Sessions!
Be there at least 15 minutes prior to the show otherwise you’ll probably have a prime view of the back of somebody’s head 😉
Have a Large Group?
Get unlimited visits to the Monterey Aquarium for a year and you get to go in through a side entrance and avoid the lines, quite a perk if you ask me!
Save Money on Hotels!
Stay at a hotel in the city of Marina which is just an 8 minute drive to Monterey. Rates are much much cheaper.
During big festivals lodging rates can double so plan accordingly.
Get 2 Days at the Aquarium for the Price of one with a Hotel Deal.
You’re Going to Work Up an Appetite!
Having a blast at the Monterey Aquarium will work up anybodys appetite. You’ll want to know where you can get a tremendous meal!
Follow up the spectacular aquarium with a meal to match at one of these fantastic Monterey restaurants
Use an Obscure Member’s Entrance To the Best Exhibits!
If you are a Member, when entering the Aquarium, take the somewhat obsure Member’s door on the right hand side past the Will Call window next to the observation deck.
You can use this entrance as well if you got a 2-for-1 Hotel Package Deal!
This will take you directly to the Fresh Water Otter and Sea Horse exhibits!
How Much Time Should You Spend at the Aquarium?
Set aside at least 2-3 hours to do the Monterey Aquarium. More if you have kids.
Preferably spend two half days at the Monterey Aquarium instead of one full day. Go in the morning on each visit. 2 Days for the Price of 1!
Park in the Cannery Row Parking Garage. Don’t bother trying to find street parking during the Summer. It’s no way enjoy your Monterey Vacation.
The first hour is free with each half-hour being $1.50. But FREE parking does exist if you know where to look!
Monterey Aquarium Free Parking.
If you have a question ask a staff member. They are very knowledgeable and more than eager to share. The Monterey Aquarium is fun as well as a terrific learning experiece.
It’s Your Birthday!
If it’s your birthday, go to the information counter, they’ll have a small gift for you!
Do Not Forget Your Camera!
If your kids are old enough to handle the camera, let them get some pictures. You’ll be amazed at how engaged they’ll be with the exhibits when they’re trying to get the perfect picture!
Just be on the lookout for signs that warn against using your flash on certain exhibits. The bright light can harm certain wildlife.
Take a Picture with the Monterey Aquarium Mascot!
From time to time, the Monterey Aquarium Sea Otter Mascot will make an appearance in front of the aquarium.
Have your camera ready!
After the Monterey Aquarium, take some time and walk the Recreational Trail. It’s just around the corner and the views of the are spectacular.
Depending on the time of year, you may be treated to views of the Purple Carpet. If you’re pressed for time or just too tired to walk, just drive Ocean View Blvd. You won’t regret it!
After the Aquarium Closes, Catch the Sunset
Depending on the time of year, shortly after the Monterey Aquarium closes you can take a short scenic drive down Ocean View Blvd and witness a spectacular sunset at one of the many vista points!
Help me help others enjoy Monterey to the fullest!
Send me a quick line about your favorite things to do at the Monterey Aquarium! Pics and Vids fully welcome
Or just leave a quick comment below!!!
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