4.5 star rating: Recommended 195 Reviews

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  • Address: 886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940, USA
  • Hours: Regular hours: 10am - 6pm; Winter: 10am - 5pm; Summer/holidays: 9:30am - 6pm; Summer weekends: 9:30am - 8pm.
  • Admission: Adult: $49.95; Child: $29.95; Senior/Student: $39.95

Monterey & Carmel ATTRACTIONS See all

Monterey Bay Aquarium Tours

One of the top aquariums in the United States, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is not just home to hundreds of marine animals—the nonprofit organization is also known for its dedication to ocean conservation. With its Pacific Coast location on Monterey Bay, this California aquarium enjoys a prime spot to highlight marine environments and educate the public about protecting wildlife. Visitors will find some 200 exhibits and galleries featuring more than 600 species of marine mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and invertebrates. 
 
The Basics
Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must-visit for families with kids and wildlife lovers on any trip to Monterey. Book tickets in advance to save time when you arrive, or book a guided day trip from San Francisco for round-trip transportation from the city. Tours in the area typically also visit Pebble Beach and Carmel-by-the-Sea or make the 17-Mile Drive. Admission tickets provide access to shows and exhibit areas such as the Kelp Forest, Life on the Bay, and the Open Sea, while allowing visitors to see sea otters and giant Pacific octopuses.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Most travelers spend between two and three hours here.
  • An on-site café, restaurant, and coffee bar each offers food and drinks.
  • The aquarium is accessible, with complimentary wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Lockers are available to rent to store belongings.
  • Free on-site WiFi is available.
 
How to Get There
The aquarium is located about 115 miles (185 kilometers) south of San Francisco (about two hours by road) and 43 miles (69 kilometers) from Santa Cruz, with parking available at the Cannery Row Parking Garage. If you’re already in Monterey, biking to the aquarium along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail is a great way to arrive, as is the free MST Trolley. The museum sits along Cannery Row, Monterey’s historic waterfront street made famous by author John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name.

When to Get There
The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Summer and the winter holidays are the most popular times of year to go to the aquarium—try visiting on weekdays to avoid the crowds. Fall and winter generally see fewer visitors.

Aquarium Experiences
To dive deeper into the underwater world of the aquarium, tours and activities are available, most for an additional fee. These include kids’ scuba diving experiences and sleepovers, guided behind-the-scenes tours, and sea otter conservation tours.

Tours & Tickets

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Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission, Monterey & Carmel, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 1

Monterey Bay Aquarium Admission

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 85 Reviews

Dive into an underwater world of mystery, beauty and awe at the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of the stunning California coastline. With ...  Read more

Location: Monterey, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $49.95
Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium, San Francisco, Attraction Tickets
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey & Carmel Explorer with optional Aquarium

4 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

This tour will start traveling south on the famous Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway 1. We will set foot on Monterey’s famous Cannery Row for a chance ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 14 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.00
Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV, San Francisco, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Tour of Monterey with Carmel and 17-Mile Drive by SUV

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 2 Reviews

Ride down Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Monterey & Carmel in a comfortable private SUV. See California with a Bay Area ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $795.00
Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea Private Tour from San Francisco, San Francisco, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea Private Tour from San Francisco

Be whisked away by limousine along one of the most scenic roads in California during this full-day tour from the San Francisco Bay Area. Cruise along the ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $1,100.00
Private Full-Day Trip Up Pacific Coast Highway with Pickup, San Francisco, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Trip Up Pacific Coast Highway with Pickup

Get the best part of pacific Coast highway one with this Private Full-Day Tour. You'll be picked up from either your hotel or the port your cruise stops at, ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $680.00
Monterey Bay Coastal Day Trip from San Francisco with Driver and Transportation, San Francisco, Day ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 2 ADMISSION : 5

Monterey Bay Coastal Day Trip from San Francisco with Driver and Transportation

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Review

Take advantage of a unique VIP Monterey Bay tour from San Francisco. Get your own executive chauffeur who will arrive at your front door in a luxury sedan or ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $399.00

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