Though it may not be quite as epic as the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (where I grew up), San Diego’s Birch Aquarium is home to lots of educational and entertaining aquatic inhabitants. It’s the perfect place to start off your San Diego A to Z adventure!
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the aquarium is part of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, the aquarium is home to more than 3,000 fish in over 60 habitats, as well as a museum devoted to ocean and earth science.
Birch Aquarium hosts lots of interactive events, including the Grunion Run, where you can observe hundreds of grunion spawning and hatching on La Jolla Beach. This month, you can sign up to participate on either April 5 from 9:30 PM to 11:30 AM or April 20 from 10 PM to 12 AM.
Not in San Diego? Check out the live Kelp Cam for a glimpse of eels, barracuda, leopard sharks, Garibaldi damselfish (the California state fish), giant sea bass, and more in the aquarium’s 70,000-gallon tank.
Tickets are $17 for adults, $13 for seniors (60+), $14 for teens 13-17, $12.50 for children 3-12, $11 for UCSD students and staff, and $12 for college students with ID. Children under 2 years old are admitted free.
Birch Aquarium is located at 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla.