Enjoy an Aquarium in San Diego. Visit Scripps Birch Aquarium in La Jolla or Legoland SeaLife Aquarium in Carlsbad California. See some great marine life, or join in a fun adventure.
There is something so magnificent about creatures under the sea, which makes a visit to an aquarium so special. In San Diego we can enjoy seeing this sealife at three aquariums: Birch Aquarium at Scripps, SeaLife Aquarium at Legoland in Carlsbad, and in our San Diego waters too, such as La Jolla Bay off of La Jolla Shores beach, or the various tide pools in San Diego.
All of these have different things to offer, but you are sure to have a great visit at an aquarium, and you don't have to worry about rain or tides. Come and enjoy!
Birch Aquarium at Scripps in a premier aquarium in San Diego community of La Jolla, with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and La Jolla. Learn about kelp, sharks, tidepools and much more. The aquarium is associated with UCSD and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Scientists and naturalists from Scripps Aquarium offer additional programs for the public.
Address: 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone Number: (858) 534-3474
Operating Hours: Daily from 9 - 5. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day
Directions to Birch Aquarium at Scripps: See Below | Google Map
Parking: 3-hour free parking
Ticket Prices: $19.50 adults 18 – 59, Senior 60+ $16.50, UCSD College students or staff $16.00, Youth 3-17 $15.00. Discounts of $1 for AAA members, 25% for AARP members, $2 for military. Admission to Scripps Aquarium is also on the San Diego Go Card. For Scripps Birch Aquarium discounts and coupons see Discount Tickets and Coupons. Also check out the membership options. You may be able to join for a year and get free tickets for your family or guests, and save even more!
Food: Enjoy outdoor lunch at the Splash Cafe, open M-F 11-2 and Sat-Sun 10 - 4. Or you can picnic on nearby Scripps Beach or La Jolla Shores Beach.
Birch Aquarium Directions: From Interstate 5 in La Jolla, go west on La Jolla Village Drive, continue straight onto N. Torrey Pines Rd, then a quick left on Expedition Way.
Click on the link above to open the Google Map for Birch Aquarium and other attractions in San Diego and southern California.
Official Birch Aquarium website: www.aquarium.ucsd.edu
Whale Watching in San Diego
Photo from Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Scripps naturalists offer a number of outdoor adventure programs. Check these out:
Tidepooling Adventures - The season runs December through March. Visit local La Jolla Tidepools with a trained naturalist. Reservations required. For more information see Exploring La Jolla Tide Pools.
Grunion Runs The Grunion Runs happen in the spring around midnight. A must-see adventure is the grunion runs on the beaches of La Jolla, where hundreds of silvery grunion fish ride the waves to shore to mate. They return to see while the eggs stay and hatch into baby grunion, to wash out with next high tide. $17 per person. Pre-purchase required: 858-534-7336.
2021 dates for Grunion Runs:
Cancelled from 2021
Whale Watching The Whale Watching season runs late December - mid April. Go whale watching in San Diego with an ocean expert from Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Enjoy the view, listen to whale and dolphin sounds, and watch these fascinating whales. For more information see San Diego whale watching.
b>Pier Moon Walks - June - October on select dates. Cost is $35 per person. A warm night lit by a full moon is the perfect time to explore the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier, usually closed to the public. During this moonlit walk along the pier, aquarium naturalists will teach participants about the structure's history, and guide them as they dissect a squid, make marine organisms glow in the dark, collect plankton, observe ocean conditions and study the nocturnal habits of marine life. Also includes a tour of the Scripps Oceanography campus. Ages 9+ only, and children ages 9-13 must be accompanied by a paid adult. More more information and reservations call: 858-534-7336
2021 dates for Pier Moon Walks
dates and times TBD
Snorkeling Adventures - Birch San Diego Aquarium offers Snorkel with Sharks snorkeling adventures during the summer months. Swim with schooling leopard sharks, garibaldi, smooth hound sharks and guitarfish while enjoying the mild surf and gently sloping beach of La Jolla Shores. See rays, flatfish, sand dwelling invertebrates and coastal sea life.
Snorkel with Sharks dates 2021
Time: 8-10:00 a.m. Cost: $30 Ages: 10+ (minors must be accompanied by a paid adult) RSVP required: 858-534-7336
Address: Legoland Resort, One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Phone Number: (760) 918-LEGO
Operating Hours: Daily from typically 10 - 5. Hours may vary.
Directions to SEALIFE Aquarium: See Below | Google Map
Parking: $20 is typical fee (includes both SEALIFE Aquarium and Legoland park)
Ticket Prices - 1-Day ticket is $30 for adults, $25 for children and seniors. Children 2 and under are free. 5% AAA and active Military Discounts on one day admission prices. 1 and 2 day Hopper Passes also available. For Sealife Aquarium discounts and coupons see Discount Tickets and Coupons. You can also get special discounts when you visit 2 or 3 of Legolands parks: Legoland California, Legoland waterpark and Legoland Sealife Aquarium. Legoland Discount Tickets
Food: No outside food and drinks are permitted in the park. Food is for sale, or you can picnic on the grassy area outside the entrance.
SeaLife Aquarium Directions: – From Interstate 5 in Carlsbad CA (~20 miles north of San Diego), go east on Palomar Airport Rd., left on Armada Drive, then right on Legoland Drive.
Click on the link above to open the Google Map for Legoland SeaLife Aquarium and other attractions in San Diego and southern California.
Official Sea Life Aquarium website: www.sealifeus.com
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