Monterey Bay Aquarium | California

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

“It is a fabulous place: when the tide is in, a wave-churned basin, creamy with foam whipped by the combers that roll in from the whistling buoy on the reef. But when the tide goes out the little water world becomes quiet and lovely.”
Cannery Row | John Steinbeck

Monterey Bay Aquarium

While Austin and I were in transition before we embarked upon our new life on the road, I was blessed to be able to spend about a month visiting my family in California. While I was there, we took a road trip up north and we spent a day in Monterey exploring the aquarium.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tee – Everlane | Jeans – ThredUp | Jacket – J. Crew (secondhand from eBay) | Mamuye Tote –  live FashionABLE | Converse – Nordstrom | Necklace – Lisa Leonard Designs | Watch – Fossil

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

I can’t get enough of the architectural design of this aquarium. It’s historical and industrial but also sleek and modern.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

In 1916, a cannery was opened on the current site of the aquarium, but the cannery closed in 1973 after the collapse of the sardine fishing industry. October of 1984 the Monterey Bay Aquarium opened its doors to the public and 1998 saw the start of its new mission with its Sea Otter Program.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Today, more than 30 years after opening, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a showcase for the habitats and sea life of one of the world’s richest marine regions.

More than 35,000 creatures representing over 550 species fill 34 major galleries. With nearly 200 exhibits in all, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.
Monterey Bay Aquarium | Our History

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Some days I feel like it might be nice to be a sea otter.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

There’s something so mesmerizing about the jellyfish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an incredible collection and I could have stayed and watched them for hours.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Can we just talk about this salad. Please? At what other aquarium, zoo, or museum cafeteria can you get food like this? Mixed spring greens, pickled onions, quail eggs, olives, garbanzo beans, goat cheese, organic chicken, artichoke hearts, and chives with balsamic vinaigrette. I’d go back and have it again in a heartbeat.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

After lunch, we wandered outside and enjoyed the gorgeous views of the bay. Early in March, a sea otter found shelter by the aquarium during a storm to give birth to her pup. They were still in the waters close by so we were able to see them and it was absolutely darling.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The ocean is always where I will feel at home.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

The city surrounding the aquarium is full of so much history and interesting architecture. There are so many little shops and restaurants that I’d love to go back and see more of. I guess those are just things that I will visit the next time I go back.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Have you ever been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium?

Do you have a favorite aquarium near where you live?

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  • The aquarium looks awesome but, quite honestly, I think I would visit just for that salad. 🙂

  • I plan on visiting Monterey soon! Thanks for sharing your photos! The aquarium in New Orleans and Boston are fun too!

  • wow looks like a beautiful place!

  • This looks like an amazing spot to visit!

  • Wow how beautiful! Next time we go to California we will definitely be taking out kids here. I love your shots of the jelly fish – mine always turn out blurry! If you are ever in Toronto check out the Ripley’s aquarium!

  • Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  • Great pics! I have been to this aquarium once and was blown away! It is by far the best aquarium I have ever seen. Thank you for reminding of its grandeur and making me want to go back for a repeat visit. 🙂

  • Beautiful photos! I love aquariums and I think this is one that I went to when I was really, really little – like maybe 4 or 5 years old. That salad is everything – it looks SO good!

  • I love, love your tote! It looks like you really enjoyed your time. I hope I can visit there sometime. I love aquariums!

  • We made point of stopping at that aquarium during our west coast road trip because we had heard so many great things. Such a gorgeous place! Cannery Row was a lot of fun too and your pictures captured it beautifully. Great blog!!

  • Wow, gorgeous pictures! I love going to a good aquarium, but have never made it to the Monterey Bay one (I’m on the East Coast). Thanks for sharing your adventure!

  • Oh my gosh! I am obsessed with aquariums and this is definitely going on my bucket list! California is already on there too, so I must go here when I do go someday. You are right, you are blessed- look at that view! And the story about the sea otter having her baby there and getting shelter in the storm made me so sad but I’m so glad they were okay. Pinning this to my bucket list, looks like a great trip- thanks for sharing!

  • I grew up in Santa Cruz and have been on many visits to the aquarium. Isn’t it an amazing place? I haven’t been in awhile though and I should next time I’m in the area 🙂

    -Jen
    http://www.asipofbliss.com

  • Fun! I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium many, many years ago. Those otters are soooo cute. Must get back there again.

  • We love the Monteray Aquarium! Such an amazing place. Have you ever tried the food at the Exploratoreum in San Francisco? It’s just as good.

  • I didn’t even remember I had been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium until I started reading this. My husband is obsessed with aquariums and we were in Pacific Grove a few years ago. That area really is beautiful.

  • Gorgeous photos! I was so bummed when we didn’t make it there when we were in the area a few years ago and this shows me why. It looks like such a fantastic place! Hopefully we’ll be back soon and I’ll make sure this is on my must-do list!

  • Ruthie

    Ben and I took the kids last year for the first time and it was such a memorable experience! Can’t wait to go again this year!! Great post!!

  • Looks like such a fun aquarium!! A few of my friends went to visit and now seeing your post makes me want to go even more.

  • Kim

    Cool jelly fish pictures and I LOVE the otters

  • I went to college in Monterey & used to volunteer at the aquarium. it is the best one i have ever been to. i miss it

  • I used to live in San Jose and loved going to Monterey bay!! I miss the Bay Area. Seattle also has another one of the coolest aquariums I’ve ever been to!

  • What a fun day! I vaguely remember stopping here years ago when my family vacationed in Cali!

  • This looks like such a fun day! I absolutely love going to the aquarium here in Charleston whenever I can. Great post!

  • I live about 5 hours outside of Monterey and it’s so worth it to make the trip there. It’s a beautiful place and your pictures really reflect that. It makes me want to go back right now! 🙂

  • love the post! my family and i visited the aquarium this past summer (actually with carreen and robert too). i totally agree with you about the architecture. such a fun place to explore!

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