Results 21-25of 25 Reviews
February 5, 2002
Whales hang from the ceiling, and the visitor must choose which direction to go: to visit the kelp forest through which sharks quietly glide amidst hundreds of other species of fish, to see the otters playing in their tanks, or to the largest jelly fish exhibit in the world.
All of these places mesmerized me.
I found myself nose to nose (Does an octopus have a nose?) with a giant octopus, his tentacles curled around his bulbous head, eyes closed, wrinkled skin making him look every bit like an old man sleeping away the afternoon. I walked out onto an observation deck and stood gazing across Monterey Bay, home to the nation’s largest marine life sanctuary. I walked through the Splash Zone wishing my son had made this visit with me.
Children laughed as they garbed outfits hanging from pegs to costume themselves like the animals of the sea. Others waited patiently in line to touch a starfish. I moved away from them and watched a shark embryo push and move in a struggle to live and grow inside the sac his mother had laid for him as a staff employee explained the shark gestation period to me.
Sardines shimmered and glimmered in moving schools of silver in another section of the aquarium. Jelly fish with foot long tendrils billowed like the parachutes we used to play with when I was a child in PE. Up the white cloth would go, catch wind and float down, down, down like these magical creatures of the ocean…. Only jelly fish seem to float up!
Allow at least half a day for this attraction. Crowds were thin the weekday I visited in the hours right before closing. Look in the gift shops. There are some great books, videos and jewelry. There are also several educational games available for purchase for children.
For more information, you may call the info line at 831-648-4888.
From journal Running the Big Sur in a Monterey Weekend
Long Beach, California
January 22, 2002
1. Get up and get there at 10 a.m. when the aquarium opens, if you can. At 11 .a.m. on a Monday, the halls were populated. By 12:30 p.m. they had crossed over into "crowded" which is not nearly so pleasant.
2. The aquarium is currently renovating its restaurant, the Portola Cafe. Consequently, the food is temporarily next to the sea otter exhibit. This locale is fun but makes conversation a challenge. The aquarium allows "ins and outs" as long as you get your hand stamped; remember that if you need lunch, you have options fewer than 25 yards out the door of the aquarium.
3. The gift and bookstore sells handmade items by indigenous peoples. Some percentage of the profit goes to the artists so that they do not have to "mine" animals in the ocean where they live. While I find the whole first world/third world paradigm troubling, I would rather buy interesting household goods in the hopes that I was contributing to seahorse conservation than...not.
From journal Bed and Breakfast and Penguins on the Monterey Peninsula
Essex Junction, Vermont
November 18, 2000
From journal Business Trip to Sunnyvale
South Florida, Florida
November 6, 2000
From journal Monterey -- Cannery Row & Fisherman's Wharf
by Judy Andreson
August 4, 2000
From journal The Best of Monterey