The aquarium is not what you would call a world-class exhibit; it is a very small, dark, and dank, almost cave-like, environment. The holding tanks are small with only a very limited species of sea life: unusual crabs, a few curious looking eels (wolf and moray), a somewhat white octopus that turns red, and green pipefish that swim vertically. In the middle are more small exhibits and the “discovery center” where one can get an opportunity to use the microscope for a microscopic view of tiny sea organisms. There are staff members around eager to answer questions. Visitors are also encouraged at the interactive "touch tank", a small display of different inter-tidal marine life: corals, starfish, sea urchins, sea anemones.
The main attraction here is the narrow seal tank with a number of harbor seals (about eight when we were there) who perform for those who throws them morsels of herring. Harbor seals are sometimes also called earless seals; they have long whiskers and dark gentle eyes. The seals here have their own routine and seem to out-perform each other for your attention in hopes of a reward. They bob their heads up and down, in and out, and slap at the water; there’s one that rolls over. Although the seals are cute and put on a fun personality-filled show, the area has a very limited viewing space, which is good for about 10 people max and not ideal for small children, although stools are provided to add height. Seaside Aquarium is the first in the world to successfully breed harbor seals.
The aquarium was not impressive and maybe good to visit once, but not again or even skip it altogether.
Admission: adults $6.50, children under 14 $4, seniors $5, and children under 3 were free. Seal food with small amount of herring is $1 per bag. Be forewarned: there was only a small fountain of running water to wash off any herring debris left on your fingers and no soap to remove the smell. Opens at 9am daily.
Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
January 31, 2004
From journal Seaside, Oregon - A week-end getaway
January 29, 2007
From journal Overnight Oregon Coast Mini-trip