“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
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.
I can’t get enough of the architectural design of this aquarium. It’s historical and industrial but also sleek and modern.
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.
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
Some days I feel like it might be nice to be a sea otter.
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.
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.
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.
The ocean is always where I will feel at home.
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.
Have you ever been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium?
Do you have a favorite aquarium near where you live?