Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way · interesting places nearby
Aquarium of the Pacific information
Long Beach’s most mesmerizing experience, the Aquarium of the Pacific is a vast, high-tech indoor ocean where sharks dart, jellyfish dance and sea lions frolic. More than 12,000 creatures inhabit four re-created habitats: the bays and lagoons of Baja California, the frigid northern Pacific, the coral reefs of the tropics, and local kelp forests. Parking fees vary.
Among the many not-to-be-missed exhibits is the Shark Lagoon, where you can pet young sharks in a touch pool and go nose-to-nose – through a window – with their adult-sized cousins patrolling a larger tank. The teeth on the bull shark are the stuff of nightmares. The best time to be here is during the daily feeding sessions (check the schedule online or in the lobby).
Elsewhere, you’ll be entertained by the antics of sea otters, spooked by football-sized crabs with spiny 3ft-long arms, and charmed by Seussian-looking sea dragons. It’s a wondrous world that’ll easily keep you enthralled for a couple of hours. On weekdays, avoid the field-trip frenzy by arriving around 2pm; on weekends beat the crowd by getting here as early as possible.
For an extra fee, the aquarium offers behind-the-scenes tours and ocean-boat trips.