Today's Groupon is crawling with sea cucumbers, wrapped in a two-spot octopus, and topped with a cute chambered nautilus. Visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla for $6—half off the usual $12 adult admission. Birch Aquarium at Scripps is packed with marvelous marine life and is dedicated to ocean-science education, research, and ocean conservation. As the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, Birch Aquarium at Scripps is where the wildest watery things are.
The aquarium features small, intimate exhibits, so you don't have to fight crowds to get really close to the hairy hermit crabs. Plus, the friendly and knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer questions and share interesting facts about the blacktip reef shark, nurse shark, epaulette sharks, or their roommate situation. The aquarium currently has more than 5,000 specimens representing more than 380 species of fishes and invertebrates. Exhibits include colorful displays of live coral (reef residents such as lionfish, chambered nautilus, and giant clams are included), a 70,000-gallon kelp forest tank, and camouflage critters. Plus a new 2,000-square-foot interactive seahorse exhibit with leafy and weedy seadragons opens on November 14. It's a wondrous wrigglebin for kids, since it has a live tide pool display where you can touch the finger-friendly scales of tide-pool beasts and a water-mechanics exhibit where you can build dams and find out how water power and ocean currents work.
- The prickly, the spiny, the slimy and the man-eating are all on full display at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego's $14 million fish tank. The facility consists of three main display areas, the 44-tank Hall of Fishes, the Scripps Explorers Gallery and the demonstration tide pool plaza. The aquarium's dark caverns are home to an array of sea life, from king crabs to eels to entire fleets of jellyfish. You'll see the garibaldi, California's state fish (which bares a striking resemblance to a colossal goldfish cracker), leafy seadragons and seahorses cleverly blending into their kelp garden habitats, and shark embryos cozily nestled in their sacs in the aquatic nursery. There's also the 30-pound, eight-foot giant Pacific octopus, who's somewhat of an exhibitionist. Stick around long enough to see her stretch her tentacles across the tank's wall, plastered against the glass for all to see. – Derrik Chinn, SignOnSanDiego.com
More than 80 Yelpers give Birch Aquarium at Scripps an average of 3.5 stars:
- This is one of San Diego's most affordable attractions, and compared against Sea World, you get to see a lot of beautiful ocean life and learn about the environment while there. – Joseph Y.
- ...the Birch Aquarium is an excellent place for kids of all ages. – karyn m.
- The Aquarium was kind of small but they had cool jelly fishes, sharks, tree frogs, a huge lobster, a shark egg with a shark moving inside, SEA DRAGONS!!!! and much more. – LINDA L.