By: Melanie Warner

One of the greatest California adventures involves aquatic life, history, education, and fish. It’s also conveniently located in the heart of California as a pit stop for any road warrior. Started as a protected reserve, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has served for many years as a mecca for underwater exhibits and a love for all things oceanic.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Discover the underwater marvels and eclectic adventures of the sea at this special ocean advocate headquarters, perched high above the Pacific Ocean in the Monterey peninsula on the Central California coast.

Explore the mysterious world of sharks, view the special jellyfish exhibit, play with a friendly stingray in the touch pool, or observe the feeding of the penguins and how they interact with people.

For a special treat, choose between several behind-the-scenes tours. View jellyfish up close. Follow the staff through their routines. Find out what the food requirements are to feed all the critters in the aquarium for only one day. You can fully participate and have the chance to feed the fish from the outside tank. You can even swim with the fishes like a true pisano. You can have a family sleepover and wake with the sharks – or sleep next to your favorite exhibit. Tours start at only $12 per person and offer a truly unique and unforgettable experience to make everyone feel like a VIP.

Special rates are available for children, seniors, military, and students. The private membership program is mostly sustained through affordable rates for members, plus the tireless efforts of docents and volunteers who are connected and committed through their common love for aquatic life.

Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium