Aquarium in South Pasadena

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A giant forest stretches across most of California?but its impossible to hike there. Submerged just off of the state's rocky coast, large kelp forests make a home to diverse animal and plant life. Moray eels, leopard sharks, and giant sea bass all swim beneath the water, while sea otters splash at the surface. That's just one of the habitats on display inside the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium.

The 21,000-square-foot aquarium showcases Southern California's rich marine life, making it the largest aquarium of its kind in the world. The Susanne Lawrenz-Miller Exhibit Hall charts a journey through different regions, from the open ocean, to the mudflats, to the sandy shores. Other areas present a more immersive experience. The tide pool lets visitors touch a starfish, while the exploration center lets them crawl into a tunnel, where they find themselves surrounded by octopuses, sting rays, and other creatures that have signed contracts to make public appearances.

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium wants to keep all of these creatures around for the long term. Case and point: the aquarium houses a research library and an aquatic nursery, where the team raises young sea animals and trains young scientists.

3720 Stephen M White Dr.
San Pedro,
CA
US

With a client list that includes BMW, Apple, Disney, and ESPN—as well as work in films such as Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Ocean’s Thirteen—Living Art Aquatic Design produces vibrantly colorful aquariums that are custom built for individual spaces by skilled technicians. Much like sculptors working with clay, Living Art’s technicians mold glass and rock to create original aquariums. Though several units have been installed atop the traditional wooden base, other aquariums have been fitted in unorthodox settings, including the wall of a bowling alley and hanging in a chandelier above a staircase. It's these kind of innovations and imagination that entices commercial and residential customers alike to tap a Living Art technician for their own aquatic project.

4943 McConnell Ave
Los Angeles,
CA
US

The horses?spinning on the carousel might be the flashiest creatures at the Santa Monica Pier, but venture one story down and you'll find an entire world of life swimming below. At the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, aquatic characters from starfish and seahorses to sharks and rays come together to delight more than 85,000 visitors each year while inspiring them to get involved in the mission of conservation.

  • Size: 4,500 square feet holding more than 100 species of marine animals and plants
  • Crown Jewel: the pier exhibit, a 2,200-gallon tank where sea stars, perch, leopard sharks, and rays all swim directly beneath the Santa Monica Pier
  • Eye Catcher: the open-topped shark and ray exhibit, which allows for up-close viewing of horn sharks, swell sharks, and sting rays

  • Hands-On Activities: Get a hug from a spiky sea urchin, examine sea life through microscopes, go on a scavenger hunt, or create an octopus puppet to help one of the aquarium's residents process its feelings.?
  • Special Programs: story time for kids and Shark Sundays, when experts give presentations on these misunderstood animals of the deep
  • Pro Tip: The animals are most active during feeding times on Tuesday and Friday afternoons, and during Shark Sundays.
1600 Ocean Front Walk
Santa Monica,
CA
US

The SEA Lab is a hands-on coastal science education center in Redondo Beach that offers educational field trips throughout the year to explorers of all ages.

The SEA Lab extends its learning opportunities through fun summer camp programs that highlight the local marine environment.

1021 N Harbor Dr
Redondo Beach,
CA
US