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 with a friend for $12—half off the usual $24 for two adult admissions. 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, leopard 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 a 2,000-square-foot interactive seahorse exhibit with leafy and weedy seadragons. 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…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. – Derrik Chinn, SignOnSanDiego.com
- 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.