Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
by wanderer 2005
February 17, 2010
From journal Down by the Sea
July 12, 2009
From journal Jam-Packed Family Trip to San Diego
Saddle Brook, New Jersey
March 2, 2007
From journal La Jolla (the Jewel)
April 10, 2006
From journal Week in La Jolla, California
February 1, 2006
From journal New Year's in La Jolla
January 20, 2001
We found it by accident, and spontaneously decided to go in. I'm glad we did. It had been raining, and some quality indoor activity was just what we needed. It is in La Jolla, very close to Hotel La Jolla (see journal entry).
Birch Aquarium has nice grounds, with attractive fountains with whale statues out front, and a vintage oceanographic submarine on display in the parking area.
In the lobby, they have fish and sharks on permanent display, and photo contest winners on the walls. There is a central information desk with useful brochures of the aquarium, museum, and area snorkeling and whale-watching tours.
Outdoors, in the rear of the Aquarium, there is a living tidepool containing indigenous marine and plant life. A naturalist from the Aquarium performs demonstrations and feedings several time a day. There is a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
We went into the Aquarium first. The Aquarium has several dozen aquariums (all mounted in walls) from small tanks for personal viewing, to the awesome showcase floor-to-ceiling 70,000 gallon tank with auditorium-style seating for many people.
The Aquarium is situated like a continuous hallway, curving around and providing surprise after surprise of all kinds of fish, sharks, coral, and other plant life. Some of the tanks have fish and coral that are amazing in color. There are also very simple tanks that are also spectacular. For example, they have several tanks in darkened hallways with simple white lights, that have plain white species of Jellyfish to great effect.
Following our walk through the Aquarium, we visited the Outdoor tidepool, since there was a demonstration and feeding in progress. The tidepool has plants, lobster, and crabs, and more. The Naturalist provided explanations and other information. There is an incredible ocean view from the outdoor tidepool area.
Next, we went through the Museum. It has many interactive educational stops that are great for kids. Near the museum entrance, there is a short film available that explains the importance of water to us, and the continuous cycle of water in clouds, rain, and evaporation. There are exhibits that provide interactive easy-to-understand physics lesson demonstrations of the density of salt water, behavior of molecules when heated and cooled, earthquakes, and much more.
We ended our visit at their cool Gift Shop. It has lots of educational toys and books, and other souvenirs such as shirts, hats, and posters.
The Aquarium has an outstanding web site at http://www.aquarium.ucsd.edu/ that is well worth a look.
The Aquarium is part of The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which also has a great web site at http://www.scripps.ucsd.edu/
This place is great. If you are remotely interested in aquatic life, don't miss Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
From journal La Jolla/San Diego