The magnificent Aquarium of the Pacific is located in Long Beach, California. This destination is a paradise for marine life enthusiasts!
Visitors will be amazed by the stunning collection of over 11,000 ocean animals here. The aquarium has many sharks, rays, sea turtles, and more.
Our insider’s guide will give readers the information to make their trip worthwhile. We’ll cover everything from the best exhibits to the top activities for kids. So, dive into the depths of the Aquarium of the Pacific with us. Let’s discover the wonders of the underwater world!
|Best Time to Visit||September to May|
|Suggested Visit Duration||2-3 hours|
|Visiting Hours||Opens daily from 9 am to 6 pm|
|Ticket Prices||Starting from $26.95|
|Specialty||Feathered Friends Encounter, Baja Gallery, Ocean Science Center|
|Address||100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA (View on Maps)|
|Contact Number(s)||+1 562-590-3100|
|Links||Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
The aquarium was founded in 1998. It opened for the first time in 1998. The aquarium showcases the rich marine life of the Pacific Ocean and promotes conservation efforts.
Located in Long Beach, California occupies a 5-acre site along the waterfront. It houses more than 500 species. The exhibits here are organized geographically and focus on the Pacific Ocean and its diverse ecosystems.
Since its opening, this place has become a popular destination for visitors. The educational programs it offers for people of all ages are its specialty, ranging from school field trips to summer camps and adult workshops.
Through its exhibits and programs, this place inspires visitors to learn about and protect the ocean environment.
- The aquarium is home to a rare shark species called the sand tiger shark. Visitors can see it swimming through the three-story Blue Cavern exhibit.
- Visitors can touch and interact with several species of sharks and rays in the Shark Lagoon exhibit. Some popular sharks here include bamboo sharks, epaulette sharks, and southern stingrays.
- The aquarium’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat is home to a colony of 20 Magellanic penguins. Visitors can observe both above and below the water.
- The Pacific Visions exhibit, which opened in 2019, features a 300-seat immersive theatre. In addition, it has a 130-foot-wide screen that wraps around the audience, offering a fully immersive experience.
- The Aquarium of the Pacific is actively involved in marine conservation efforts. It constantly researches the impacts of climate change on ocean ecosystems and the development of sustainable seafood practices.
Aquarium of the Pacific offers a world-class experience for visitors. However, there are ways to enjoy such experiences without spending a dime.
Visitors can apply for the aquarium’s membership to avoid purchasing tickets whenever they visit here. Free admission is also possible for infants.
On certain days, visitors can take advantage of free admission. Below-mentioned are some popular days when visitors can enter the destination without paying anything.
- LA Fleet Week: Free admission for army personnel and veterans
- First Responder’s Day: Free admission for police officers, sheriff deputies, firefighters, doctors, and nurses.
Visitors can purchase tickets in advance online. There’s also an option to get the tickets at the aquarium’s ticket window. Visitors should reserve their tickets in advance to avoid any last-minute hassles.
Here are the ticket prices that visitors can expect to pay.
- Adults: $36.95
- Children (ages 3-11): $26.95
- Senior Citizens (ages 62+): $33.95
- Children Under 3: Free
The Aquarium of the Pacific has many discount options to make the experience accessible to all.
Visitors can get the below-mentioned discounts while getting their tickets.
- Military Discount: Active-duty military personnel can enter the aquarium by purchasing tickets for a discount.
- EBT Discount: Participants in the EBT program can receive discounted admission through the Museums for All program.
- AAA Discount: AAA members get a AAA discount while purchasing the tickets with their membership card.
- Costco Discount: Costco members can purchase some bucks while getting their admission tickets.
- Groupon: Visitors can check for discounts on Groupon to save money while getting their tickets.
People can purchase gift cards for the aquarium from many sources. These gift cards make a perfect gift for loved ones. These gift cards allow people to get admission, make gift shop purchases, or memberships.
Here are a few ways to purchase gift cards:
- Official Website: The gift cards are readily available on the aquarium’s website. People can add them to their carts and purchase them for gifting to someone.
- Giftly: Giftly allows people to send personalized gift cards via email or text.
- GiftRocket: GiftRocket is another platform that allows people to send a gift card to anyone. The recipient can choose to redeem the gift at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
The aquarium has many animal encounters. These encounters make the visit to this place fun and exciting. Visitors can interact with the fascinating animals with the help of such animal encounters.
Here’s an overview of the animal encounters available:
Seal and Sea Lion Encounter
This encounter allows visitors to go behind the scenes to meet the seals and sea lions of the aquarium. It will enable visitors to earn about their care and training.
The Penguin Encounter lets visitors meet the penguins of the Aquarium of the Pacific. They can learn about their habitat, diet, and behavior from an animal care expert. Visitors can purchase a photo package for an additional fee to capture memories of the encounter.
The Turtle Encounter showcases the sea turtles of the Pacific Ocean and their conservation needs. It is a hands-on animal encounter, and visitors will have the opportunity to touch these turtles.
Visitors can also feed the turtles and learn about their biology and behavior. It is a famous animal encounter, so visitors might need to make reservations.
Sharks and Rays Encounter
The Sharks and Rays Encounter allows visitors to witness the fascinating animals in the ocean and touch and feed different species of sharks and rays.
Visitors will learn about the unique adaptations that make sharks and rays successful predators during the encounter. The encounter will also educate visitors about these creatures’ challenges in the wild.
Visitors can also learn about their biology, behavior, and conservation needs.
Feathered Friends Encounter
This encounter allows people to step into the world of birds at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Visitors can interact with and feed colorful birds, including parrots, toucans, and other tropical species.
The encounter offers a unique opportunity to interact with these intelligent and fascinating creatures.
Exhibits are the heart and soul of any aquarium, showcasing the aquatic world’s beauty and diversity.
At the Aquarium of the Pacific, visitors can explore several exhibits. Every exhibit here offers a unique glimpse into the fascinating world of marine life.
Tropical Pacific Gallery
This exhibit covers the diverse and colorful marine life of the Tropical Pacific. It is a stunning exhibit that features over 1,000 animals. Visitors can spot tropical fish, sea turtles, and sharks, as well as a recreation of a tropical coral reef.
This exhibit also allows visitors to watch as the animals swim in a 211,000-gallon tank and learn about the ecosystems they inhabit.
Ocean Science Center
The Ocean Science Center lets visitors discover the science behind the ocean. They can learn about the latest research and conservation efforts at this exhibit.
The Ocean Science Center features interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and live animal demonstrations. It contains touch tanks where visitors can get hands-on with marine life.
The exhibit gives people a behind-the-scenes look at the aquarium’s animal care and research facilities.
Pacific Visions lets visitors experience the future of the ocean at Pacific Visions. It is a state-of-the-art immersive exhibit that explores the intersection of technology and conservation.
This exhibit has interactive displays and many multimedia presentations. It features stunning visual effects that bring the ocean to life.
Visitors can learn about the latest marine science and technology advancements at this exhibit. They can also understand how these advancements protect and preserve the ocean for future generations.
The Baja Gallery exhibit gives visitors a sneak peek into the unique marine ecosystems of Southern California and Baja California. This unique exhibit contains many animals, and visitors can spot sea lions, sea otters, and moray eels.
Baja Gallery has interactive displays. This exhibit lets visitors gain insight into the challenges facing these ecosystems. It focuses on educating people about the adverse effects of overfishing, pollution, and habitat loss and how they can help protect them.
The Shark Lagoon features fascinating predators in the ocean. This exhibit features a variety of shark species, and visitors can spot sand tiger sharks, zebra sharks, and white-tip reef sharks.
This exhibit lets visitors in on the biology and behavior of sharks and their importance in the ocean ecosystem. Admission to the Shark Lagoon is free, with general admission to the aquarium.
Frogs: Dazzling and Disappearing
The Aquarium of the Pacific has a variety of frog exhibits. These exhibits feature the fascinating world of these amphibians.
One exhibit features poison dart frogs. These are brightly colored frogs; visitors can see their different colors and patterns.
Visitors can also spot frogs with vibrant green bodies, red eyes, and webbed feet. These frogs are nocturnal and mostly live in trees.
Many marine enthusiasts cannot make it to the aquarium to uncover the treasures of the marine world. In such cases, live cams can be the savior. Live cams allow people to watch the fantastic aquatic species from their homes.
The live cams are available for the below-mentioned exhibits.
- Coral Predators: This live cam allows spectators to watch how the coral predators swim among the beautiful coral reefs in this exhibit.
- Sea Nettles: Spectators can get mesmerized by the graceful movements of sea nettles as they float and pulse through the water.
- Shark Lagoon: This live cam lets spectators observe various shark species as they swim through a large outdoor exhibit that is home to over 150 sharks.
- Tropical Reef: The Tropical Reef Live cam offers insight into a stunning display of vibrant tropical fish. Spectators can watch them as they swim among the coral in this exhibit.
- Blue Cavern: This live cam lets people watch the mesmerizing dance of sea life as they move through a large, three-story exhibit modeled after a kelp forest.
Visitors can easily access these live cams from home.
The Aquarium of the Pacific offers many educational opportunities for children of all ages.
Learners can avail themselves of the following learning opportunities.
This program offers virtual field trips and live animal presentations that allow students to connect with animals and their habitats. These virtual experiences are available for K-12 students.
Virtual learning programs meet specific learning objectives. The program includes interactive elements and Q&A sessions with Aquarium staff.
There are many in-person learning opportunities that participants can enjoy. These include guided tours, classroom programs, and behind-the-scenes tours.
These programs are primarily for school groups, homeschoolers, and families. Aquarium educators lead these programs and provide hands-on experiences and opportunities for students to learn about marine life.
This place also offers a range of free online resources for teachers. Lesson plans, activities, and professional development workshops are a few resources teachers can access.
These resources help teachers incorporate marine science into their curriculum and engage their students in hands-on learning.
Pacific Pals for Children
This program is designed for children ages 2-6 and includes a series of storybooks, coloring pages, and online activities. These activities teach children about marine life and conservation.
The program is fun and engaging. It features colorful illustrations and interactive elements that help children explore more about the ocean and its inhabitants.
The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts a variety of events throughout the year. People can even book private events at the event spaces available here. Hosts can contact the events team to reserve a space for conducting these events.
Here are some examples of the events people can host here.
- Birthday Parties: The aquarium provides birthday party packages that include a private party room, admission to the aquarium, and animal interactions. Hosting a birthday party here can be a unique experience.
- Weddings: People can book event spaces with stunning ocean backdrops for weddings, receptions, and other special events. The event team works with people to customize the wedding decorations and settings to fit their needs.
- Sleepovers: The aquarium offers group sleepover programs, including scouts, schools, and families. Participants can sleep in front of aquarium exhibits and enjoy hands-on activities and animal encounters.
- Corporate Events: The aquarium provides a unique venue for corporate events. People can host meetings, team activities, etc., here.
- New Year’s Eve: The place hosts a New Year’s Eve event with live music, games, and a midnight countdown. Getting a ticket for this event is a great way to enjoy New Year’s Eve.
- Fests: The aquarium hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year. These events feature live music, cultural performances, food, and crafts. Visitors can purchase tickets to enjoy these fests.
Dining at the Aquarium
There are many dining options at the aquarium. These dining options offer people a quick way to get something into their bellies while exploring the place.
Visitors can stop by the below-mentioned cafes.
It is a great spot to enjoy a meal alongside the Seal and Sea Lion exhibit. The cafe has many healthy options, including salads, sandwiches, and soups. They also serve delicious grilled options like burgers, hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches.
Bar Fresh is an outdoor counter-service restaurant. This restaurant offers a range of refreshing smoothies, juices, and grab-and-go items like fruit cups and muffins.
This bistro is a perfect spot to enjoy some Asian-inspired cuisine. Their menu features a variety of options, like poke bowls, sushi rolls, and rice bowls. They also offer vegetarian and vegan options.
Blue Whale Cafe Coffee Cart
It is a great coffee place where visitors can grab a quick cup of coffee, tea, or a pastry while exploring the place.
Pacific Collections Gift Store is the one-stop shop for souvenirs and gifts. The store features a vast collection of marine-inspired gifts and toys. Visitors can shop for apparel, jewelry, books, plush animals, and more.
Visitors can also find unique pieces of art created by local artists. The store also has a range of sustainable and eco-friendly products that make great gifts for eco-conscious shoppers.
Don’t forget to pick up some marine-themed gifts and souvenirs before you leave. The store is open daily during aquarium hours.
The aquarium is large, and it can be difficult for first-time visitors to explore. Fortunately, the aquarium has created an internal map to help visitors. This map allows visitors to locate the exhibits, live cams, gift shops, restaurants, and other amenities.
The map provides an overview of the aquarium’s layout, allowing visitors to plan their visit efficiently and not miss any must-see exhibits.
How to Reach & Parking
The Aquarium of the Pacific is in a very convenient location, and visitors can access this destination easily.
Here’s how to reach the place with different modes of transport.
Public Transport: The aquarium is well-connected to public transportation. There are multiple bus and train stops nearby that people can easily access. Visitors can take the Muni Metro KT/T line or BART to Embarcadero station and walk or take a short taxi ride.
Private Vehicles: If someone is driving to this destination, they can enter the following address into the GPS: 2 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133.
Bicycles: Visitors can also reach here via bicycle. There are bike racks available outside for guests to park their bicycles.
The aquarium offers a parking structure to the visitors. Also, several paid parking options are available nearby, and visitors can park their vehicles at The Pike and Shoreline Village.
The Parking charges here amount to $8. Visitors can pay these charges at kiosks while exiting the place.
Since the aquarium does not offer any lodging options, there are several places nearby where visitors can have a comfortable stay.
Here are some nearby hotels that offer the best stays to their guests.
The Cove Hotel (Best Luxury Hotel)
Distance: 2.8 miles
The Cove Hotel is a luxurious beachfront hotel that provides elegant rooms. This hotel also offers an outdoor pool, and guests can spend their time at a rooftop bar with stunning ocean views.
Westin Long Beach (Best for Business Travelers)
Distance: 0.4 miles
Westin Long Beach offers comfortable rooms, a fitness center, and a heated outdoor pool. The hotel is in downtown Long Beach, making it an excellent choice for business travelers.
Hyatt Regency Long Beach (Best for Families)
Distance: 0.2 miles
Hyatt Regency Long Beach is a family-friendly hotel with spacious rooms, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. The hotel is near the waterfront and is in a great location.
Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown (Best for Extended Stays)
Distance: 0.5 miles
Residence Inn by Marriott Long Beach Downtown offers spacious suites with a kitchenette, a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. The hotel is ideal for extended stays.
Best Western Plus Hotel (Best Budget Hotel)
Distance: 0.6 miles
Best Western Plus Hotel is budget-friendly and offers clean and comfortable rooms. Guests get a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. The hotel provides easy access to the aquarium and other attractions.
Besides tasting what’s available at the aquarium, visitors can also grab some bites at nearby restaurants.
The below-mentioned restaurants offer sumptuous delicacies to guests.
Outback Steakhouse (Best Steak)
Distance: 0.1 miles
Outback Steakhouse offers Australian-themed cuisine and steakhouse classics in a casual setting. They are known for their delicious steaks, ribs, and other grilled meats.
Solita Tacos and Margaritas (Best Mexican)
Distance: 0.5 miles
It is a casual Mexican restaurant with a variety of tacos and burritos. Guests can also taste other dishes. There are several options for margaritas and other cocktails.
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Best Seafood)
Distance: 0.1 miles
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. offers a fun atmosphere with seafood options, including famous shrimp dishes. They also offer salads, burgers, and other entrees.
PF Chang’s (Best Asian)
Distance: 0.1 miles
PF Chang’s offers a variety of Asian-inspired dishes, including their famous lettuce wraps, noodles, and rice dishes. They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Hooters (Best For Wings)
Distance: 0.1 miles
Hooters is a popular chain restaurant known for its wings, burgers, and sports bar atmosphere. They also offer salads and other entrees.
While you’re visiting the place, plenty of nearby attractions are worth exploring. Here are some attractions visitors should not miss.
Distance: 5.5 miles
This art gallery showcases the works of local artists and offers a unique cultural experience. Visitors can view and purchase paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces.
Distance: 0.7 miles
It is a tour company that offers guided tours of the Long Beach area. Visitors can reach out to them to book tours of the harbor, whale watching, and city tours.
This company, situated near the aquarium, helps visitors explore the culture of this place while enjoying stunning views.
The Pike Outlets
Distance: 0.1 miles
The Pike Outlets is a shopping center nearby, with many stores and restaurants. Visitors also have the option of watching a movie here.
Visitors can shop, dine, and enjoy a fun day with family and friends.
Distance: 0.2 miles
This park offers scenic views of the ocean and Long Beach skyline. In addition, people can enjoy numerous recreational activities, such as biking, walking, and picnicking, at this place.
Distance: 0.4 miles
This tiki bar is located on a rooftop and offers tropical-themed drinks, snacks, live music, and entertainment. Visitors can enjoy a unique and fun nightlife experience.
Working at the Aquarium
Aquariums offer a range of employment opportunities. People can opt for working with marine animals. If someone is passionate about marine life, he can consider pursuing a career at this place.
Here are some work opportunities available here.
- Jobs: Aquariums need a variety of skilled individuals. These include animal care specialists, exhibit designers, educators, marketing professionals, etc. People experienced in any of these fields can work here.
- Internship: There are many internship programs for college students and recent graduates. These programs are insightful for students to gain hands-on experience and work alongside aquarium professionals.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteers can help with animal care, exhibit maintenance, and guest services. Volunteering at an aquarium is a great way to learn about marine life and make a difference in your community.
The aquarium relies on the support of visitors and donors to fund its conservation and education efforts. Donations of any amount offer a helping hand for the care of animals and the preservation of the oceans.
Visitors can contribute to important research projects, conservation efforts, and educational programs by donating. Donors can also choose to support specific initiatives or programs.
People can donate on the aquarium’s website by following the instructions on the donation page. Every donation can help make a positive impact on the future of the ocean and its inhabitants.
The aquarium has received numerous reviews and positive feedback from visitors. Reading reviews can help visitors decide if this place is worth their time and money.
Fortunately, the destination has received hundreds of positive feedback on TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Aquarium of the Pacific?
The aquarium is at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, California, USA.
Is it free?
No, the Aquarium of the Pacific is not free. However, admission prices vary based on age and other factors. Please check the official website for current prices.
How much are the tickets?
Ticket prices vary based on age. Visitors can purchase the tickets by paying the following price.
Children (ages 3-11): $26.95
Senior Citizens (ages 62+): $33.95
Children Under 3: Free
How big is it?
It covers an area of 5 acres (20,000 m²) of land and contains over 11,000 animals representing over 500 species.
How long to spend at the aquarium?
The average visitor spends around 2-3 hours here. However, visitors have enough to witness and experience here, which might make visitors spend an entire day.
Where to park?
The Aquarium of the Pacific has its own parking structure near the main entrance where people can park their vehicles.
How much is parking?
Visitors must pay $8 parking fees for parking their vehicles here.
Is the aquarium worth it?
Yes, the Aquarium of the Pacific is worth it. A visit to this place will allow visitors to learn about marine life and is enjoyable for all visitors.
Other Nearby Aquariums
A word from FIA
We hope prospective visitors find all the necessary information about the Aquarium of the Pacific in this article. A visit to the aquarium can be a fun experience.
So, people should plan a day to spend here.
Don’t forget to share this sea of knowledge about this destination with others if you find it helpful. Enjoy your visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific!