Monday, June 07, 2010

Monterey's Cannery Row & Monterey Bay Aquarium

Despite being a big fan of the author John Steinbeck, I've never really liked Monterey's Cannery Row, which Steinbeck made famous in his book of the same name.  There are too many tacky tourist shops for my taste.  However, there is one attraction that is definitely worth visiting -- the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The aquarium is one of the best I've ever been in.  I love seeing the sea otters and jelly fish.  If you time your visit right, you can watch staff feed the otters.  The Splash Zone is a fun exhibit for families with young children.  Exhibits change periodically so check the aquarium's website to see what will be on view during your visit.

(Photo courtesy of Monterey Convention and Visitors Bureau.)

What makes the aquarium special is that most of the plants and animals are native to Monterey Bay.    The aquarium is also one of the few aquariums in the world that exchanges water directly with the outside, meaning that fresh water from Monterey flows into the aquarium as other water exits.

The aquarium is open daily except on Christmas Day.  Hours vary with the season and day of the week.  Tickets currently cost $29.95 for adults and $17.95 for children age 3 - 17.  If you know the date of your visit, buy your tickets in advance on the aquarium's website so you don't have to worry about waiting in the ticket line.

If you would like to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium as part of a private tour of Monterey and Carmel, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or Rick@BlueHeronTours.com.  

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