Monterey Bay Aquarium : Michelin's recommendations
Built out over the water in a converted cannery, this state-of-the-art aquarium is devoted to presenting and conserving the rich marine life of Monterey Bay, the focal point of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It features more than 250,000 animals and plants of nearly 550 species, representing the full spectrum of Monterey Bay habitats from coastal wetlands and tide pools to deep sea. One of the aquarium's centerpieces, the Kelp Forest is a 335,000gal, 28ft-high tank containing giant kelp-leopard sharks, sardines, rockfish and a host of invertebrates, including crabs, sea stars and sea cucumbers, cruise and creep among the swaying fronds. Another highlight: the Outer Bay exhibit, where you'll find an enormous open ocean tank measuring 35ft deep and holding one million gallons of ocean water. Yellowfin tuna, a green sea turtle, sharks, California barracudas and other denizens of the deep swim about within, along with ocean sunfish, which can grow to 10ft tall and weigh 3,000 pounds.
Opening hours :
- [10am-6pm (9.30am-6pm Summer, school hols and Bank Hols, 9.30am-8pm summer weekends) - closed 25 Dec]