Santa Monica Pier Aquarium

Santa Monica

Peer under the pier – just below the carousel – for this small aquarium. Kid-friendly touch tanks crawl with critters and crustaceans scooped from local waters, sponsored by environmental group Heal the Bay. For a fin-filled frenzy, stop by the shark tanks for feedings of those multi-fanged beasts.

If you're looking for a big, showplace aquarium, try Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.