I love aquariums and enjoyed visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach many times when we lived in California. One of my more enjoyable, and memorable times was when we went with a friend and her daughter and granddaughter. I love watching all the amazing and unique fish, but the Sea Otters are by far my favorite.
Through my visits I learned that the Aquarium of the Pacific, which opened on June 20, 1998, features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species in exhibits ranging in size and capacity from about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons.
Being in Long Beach, California, the Pacific Ocean is their focus and they share this through three major permanent galleries: sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.
Shark Lagoon is definitely one of the highlights of the Aquarium of the Pacific. It is a 10,000 foot lagoon with more than 150 sharks. This expansive outdoor exhibit is home to large sharks such as Sand Tigers, Zebras and Whitetip Reef. However the best part is the shark touch pools. You can actually touch some of the sharks! It is so amazing. My friend's granddaughter thought that this was so cool, until she got near them and got scared, lol.
I also enjoyed checking out the Jellies exhibit. Watching Jelly Fish is so intriguing and fascinating. It’s amazing to find out that Jellies have lived on Earth for at least 500 million years, making them three times as old as dinosaurs. Sea jellies survive without a heart, brain, or lungs. They are 95 percent water, and their movements are governed by the flow of the water they live in. It was so amazing to just watch them move around.
Some of the other exhibits that sounded interesting and should be on your list to see is the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Horses and Dragons, Vanishing Animals, Whales: Voices in the Sea, as well as many galleries and 4D films. There is so much to see and do. One thing I really liked about the aquarium was that there were embossing stations throughout the aquarium where you could emboss your guide to show where you’ve been. There were eight stations and we made a game of finding them.
While I enjoyed many of the exhibits, by far my favorite was the Sea Otter Habitat. They are completely adorable! They are found along the California coast from Half Moon Bay to Coal Oil Point near Santa Barbara. The animals live in the kelp forest in water as cold as 35˚ to 60˚. This is due to their dense fur which keeps their body temperature at 100˚ F. What I really found fascinating was watching them eat.
They are extremely resourceful, and will use rocks and shells as tools to help them break open the shells of their catch. They lie on its back, take out one piece of food at a time, open it by banging it against a rock, and use its chest as a dinner table. So interesting and they look so adorable doing it. I feel in love with the Sea Otters!
I always love exploring and learning more while running around the Aquarium of the Pacific. However, it is a whole new experience while running around with some of my nieces and a great-niece (yes, I'm old, lol) Everything was so new and exciting to her. It was an amazing day and I am so glad we explored the Aquarium of the Pacific. Hopefully we will be able to go back again soon on a future trip to California. Here is a link to their website with hours, prices, etc. If you like aquariums, you may want to check out the other places I have visited: Odysea Aquarium in Phoneix, and SeaLife Aquarium in Kansas City, MO.