Two of the greater Bay Area’s most iconic waterfront attractions are the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. These two marine centers offer a look at the connections between people and the fascinating ecosystems of the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a world-renowned museum and research and center. Its signature exhibits include the first giant kelp forest exhibit in the world, the million-gallon Open Sea tank, and pools with mesmerizing jellies and delightful sea otters. The aquarium’s back deck, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean, offers abundant wildlife viewing opportunities. Coming up in March of 2022 is the debut of the “Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean” exhibit.
Located in the bustling PIER 39 complex, the Aquarium of the Bay features more than 24,000 marine and terrestrial animals, most of which are local to the San Francisco Bay. Two massive tunnels—the Nearshore Tunnel and the Sharks of Alcatraz Tunnel—are home to giant sea bass, multiple rock fish species, leopard sharks, sturgeon, and much more. During the pandemic, the attraction has offered a variety of virtual programs and digital lessons, all led by biologists and educational specialists.
Top photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Photo by CC Flickr/Sharon Mollerus: bit.ly/39S1l5o