The Aquarium of the Pacific is a unique facility in Long Beach which showcases species from the different regions and climates of the Pacific Ocean, from the freezing waters of the Bering Sea to the tropical islands of Palau. Meet hundreds of species of fish, plus adorable southern sea otters, and colorful birds when you visit the aquarium on your trip to California!
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4 Tips for Visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium has two apps: the Visitor Guide (available on iOS and Android) with an interactive map, show schedules, animal info. Also available (for iOS only) is the Aquarium’s Jelly Lab app, a game where you can successfully raise jellyfish and collect several different species while learning!
Pacific Sea Nettle | Photo: Flickr, Ray in Manila - CC-BY 2.0
Make sure to go and see some of the great shows and talks throughout the day! Unique talks include the Honda Blue Cavern Dive and Animal Care: Hospital 101. Pick up a timetable and plan your day around the talks you want to see.
The aquarium is particularly busy at weekends, during school vacations, and during the summer. The best way to avoid the crowds on those days is to arrive between 9 am and 10 am before the aquarium begins to fill up.
Combo tickets are available that combine entry to the aquarium with a Gray Whale Watch tour (when in season), a Harbor tour, or entry to the Queen Mary, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Natural History Museum, or Battleship IOWA.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s special about the Aquarium of the Pacific?
The Aquarium of the Pacific is a large and popular aquarium which showcases the diversity of the different regions of the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest and deepest ocean. It’s also home to lorikeets and Magellanic penguins and has an Earth-Friendly Garden featuring California-native and drought-resistant plants to highlight the region’s ongoing water shortage problems and showcase some potential solutions. You can also visit Charlie the Southern Sea Otter, who is 21 years old and the oldest southern sea otter living in a zoo or aquarium today.Read more.
What’s there to see on a visit?
The main section of the aquarium is divided into three areas: the Southern California & Baja Gallery, the Northern Pacific Gallery (focusing on creatures from the Bering Sea), and the Tropical Pacific Gallery (focused on animals from around the islands of Palau). Outside you’ll find the Explorer’s Cove, which includes the Shark Lagoon and Lorikeet Forest, and there’s also a Penguin Habitat. There are also special exhibitions about sea jellies, frogs, and the importance of understanding the water cycle and water conservation.Read more.
How long will a trip to the Aquarium take?
A typical trip to the Aquarium of the Pacific takes about 3 hours, but guests can stay as long as they like! Visitors with small children or who plan to hear every talk or see more than one show can easily spend 5 or 6 hours at the aquarium.Read more.
Is it possible to get close to any of the animals on display?
It’s possible to feed the rays on certain dates and to feed the lorikeets (using cups of syrup) throughout the year. Special tickets including animal encounters are also available, and guests can meet sharks, sea otters, penguins, and sea lions. There’s also a range of exclusive VIP experiences, choose between the sea otter and octopus package, the penguins, seals, and sea lions package, or the sharks and rays package. If you have an Open Water SCUBA qualification then you can also take part in a tank diving experience in the Tropical Reef Habitat. All of these experiences are individually priced and most need to be booked in advance, so check the aquarium’s website before your visit.Read more.
Are there any special programs for children?
Children will love exploring the exhibits, and older children will also find the talks from aquarium staff interesting. For those who want a little more structure, you can try out one of the aquarium’s Parent and Me classes, suitable for children aged 0 to 6, which include a guided tour to see the animals, the chance to interact with creatures in the Tide Pool, and themed arts and crafts! There’s also a play area outside with water elements, so bring a change of clothes if the weather’s hot so that the kids can go and play! There are also plenty of interactive exhibits for older children, who will enjoy pressing buttons and using the displays to learn more about the species they’re seeing.Read more.
The Aquarium of the Pacific is open daily from 9 am to 6 pm, except on December 25 when the aquarium is closed.
General admission tickets cost $34.95 for visitors aged 12 and over, $31.95 for visitors aged 62 and over, and $24.95 for children between the ages of 3 and 11. A behind-the-scenes tour (available for visitors aged 7 and over) costs an additional $19, and a ticket for a 4D film costs an additional $3. Children under the age of 3 can enter the aquarium free of charge.
Aquarium of the Pacific 100 Aquarium Way Long Beach CA 90802
How to get there:
Parking is available in the aquarium’s parking structure on the water side of Shoreline Drive. Full-day parking costs $8 for aquarium guests who have their tickets validated before returning to their car. The Aquarium of the Pacific is a 10-minute walk from Downtown Long Beach Station, which is served by the blue line of the Los Angeles County Metro, plus bus numbers 1, 21, 22, 46, 51, 52, 61, 71, 81, 91, 92, 93, 94, 111, 112, 121, 151, 172, 173, 174, 181, 182, 191, and 192.
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