The Aquarium of the Bay.
Yeah, it’s all kinds of spectacular.
So spectacular in fact, that hadn’t my Hubby slowly guided me out, I would have been there until closing time. You see, I am very afraid of getting into deep water but, I am deeply fascinated with the animals that call the ocean their home.
What Lives Under the Bay?
This aquarium is the only aquarium dedicated to the animals native to the San Francisco Bay. Admission includes underwater glass tunnels and touch pools and a 3D film. Which all are so fun to experience! The Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco is the perfect way for me to study and appreciate wild life and do it in a SAFE way. Not to mention, it was one of our CityPASS stops. If you haven’t read about my San Francisco CityPASS Adventure, you can read about it, here.
In the tunnels you can see 5 different types of local sharks species: Leopard, Soupfin, Spiny Dogfish and Brown Smoothhound sharks. You can also see green Moray eels and White Sturgeon.
They had huge tubes that were filled with jelly fish which different colors of light were shone into the tube causing the jelly fish’s translucent bodies to take the same color was breathtaking. At the Aquarium you can see Moon Jellies and Pacific Sea Nettles.
People may not find these creatures beautiful but, oh my goodness, they blow me away. I think I stood watching the jelly fish for a good ten minutes. Just the way they move and bounce to and fro is otherworldly.
Under the Sea.
There was so much to see, as you can see, I took a ton of pictures of the jelly fish. I just loved them and there were so many fish that call the Bay their home too. HUGE fish to be in fact and they also had schools of fish that were so cool to watch their synchronization. You can see swirling schools of anchovies to a rainbow of Rockfish; bright-orange Garibaldi to the smartest animal in the Bay, Giant Pacific Octopuses.
The Embarcadero and Beach Street
San Francisco, CA, 94133
Summer (May 25-Sep 2): Open daily, 9am-8pm
Winter: Mon-Thu, 10am-6pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-7pm
Closed Christmas Day
Discover the Bay features distinctive ecosystems that support an incredibly wide variety of marine life.
Stroll through 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels for a scuba diver’s view or over 20,000 marine animals from San Francisco Bay and nearby waters.
Walk through the Near Shore exhibit tunnel to catch a view of a giant Pacific octopus — one of the smartest marine animals in San Francisco Bay.
Touch and Feel.
The magic of San Francisco Bay is literally at your finger tips in Touch the Bay, featuring touch pools with sharks, rays and sea stars, and the interactive Bay Lab station.
Take advantage of animal feedings, movies and presentations by the Aquarium’s interpretive naturalists to enhance your visit.
This was amazing and fun to do, I think this would make for a great date night with your special someone or perfect to do with kids who love to get their hands into everything! Pictured above you can see Hubby touching one of the Shovelnose Guitarfish. We fell in love with the Bat Rays because they were so cute and very playful, they were a bit slimy to the touch but, it was thrilling to touch something you otherwise would never get the chance to.
How Does It Feel?
I’m sure you have wondered how certain creatures feel, is it prickly, soft, slimy or rough? Here you can touch manta rays, starfish, sharks and more! If you feel icky about it, they have stations to clean off nearby!
Learn and Explore.
These starfish stole my heart, the colors are absolutely beautiful. These were some of the starfish that you could touch and even though they look soft, they actually felt really hard. What I love about the Aquarium of the Bay is that you can see the creatures that live in near shore and deep sea.
The staff at the Aquarium of the Bay was very knowledgeable and super-friendly. If I had a question (and I had a million) they were more than happy to answer and they KNEW it. Needless to say, we learned a lot about the Bay and had fun touching all the sea creatures.
Did you know that almost the entirety of the Bay in San Francisco is only about 10-15 feet deep?
Neither did I!
We were walking though the underwater tunnels and I saw the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, it was a school of anchovies passing three starfish that were clinging onto the side of the tunnel. It was like shooting stars and it was so cool to see, I just had to take a snap of it.
- Mornings are the least-crowded or going early evening was a good time too.
- Visit the Events Calendar prior to your visit to learn special presentation and feeding times on your travel dates.
- Make a day of it, you can explore Pier 39 after exploring the Aquarium and come back for a Manta Ray or Shark feeding.
- Take a picture to commemorate your visit.
We had a great visit at The Aquarium of the Bay and would definitely go again and bring the girls. If you go without the CityPASS, admission is $18/adult and $10/child over 2 years of age. For a family of 4, it would be $50.00. Also, as a CityPASS holder, you can upgrade and get a “Behind the Scenes Tour” for an additional $10. So, there’s definitely savings in going with a CityPASS.
It’s bang for your buck.
Have you ever been to an Aquarium, how did you like it?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.