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Aquarium of the Pacific

100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, California

One of Long Beach’s top attractions, the Aquarium of the Pacific houses roughly 11,000 aquatic animals across more than 50 exhibits that reflect the marine life of the Pacific Ocean. The nonprofit organization is the largest aquarium in Southern California and one of the most visited in the United States.

At the aquarium you’ll meet a wide variety of fish and marine animals, from seahorses and starfish to turtles, seals, sharks, and even an octopus. Galleries and habitats include the Tropical Pacific, Northern Pacific, and Southern California and Baja, while additional exhibits such as Our Water Future educate the public about conservation.

With its waterfront location near Shoreline Village, the Aquarium of the Pacific is easy to visit during a day of sightseeing in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Purchase a skip-the-line ticket to save time, or opt for an LA sightseeing card if you’re planning to visit more attractions in the area. Aquarium of the Pacific tours are limited to behind-the-scenes visits, which are ideal for kids.

  • The aquarium is ideal for animal lovers and families with children.

  • There is an on-site café for snacks and light meals.

  • The complex is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers; guests can borrow wheelchairs for no fee.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is on Aquarium Way at Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor. It’s a 10-minute walk from the downtown Transit Mall, and the city’s Passport bus line stops outside. If you’re driving, there is paid parking in the aquarium’s parking structure.

The aquarium is open from 9am to 6pm every day of the year. It’s the busiest on weekends and in summer, so if you’re visiting during one of those times, go in the morning to avoid the crowds. On weekdays, school groups often visit until the early afternoon. Check the aquarium’s online calendar for annual events such as Shark Lagoon Nights and a children’s festival.

In addition to the exhibits, the aquarium offers a variety of activities that provide a more in-depth look at the animals and the facility. For additional fees, you can take a behind-the-scenes tour (guests must be at least 7 years old), participate in an animal encounter with penguins or sea lions, or even head out to sea on a dolphin- and whale-watching cruise.

Plan to spend about 3 hours exploring the Aquarium—perhaps less if you have young children with short attention spans. If you would like to attend shows or special programs, allow for more time. You can plan your visit with a daily schedule that you can pick up at the entrance.

It costs $8 to park at the Aquarium of the Pacific, with the Aquarium's validation. Guests can pay with a credit card when leaving the parking lot—on Shoreline Drive, between Chestnut Place and Aquarium Way—or at one of the kiosks near the elevators.

The use of cameras and video cameras are allowed at the Aquarium of the Pacific as long as the images and footage is for personal use. Commercial photographers must obtain permission. Tripods are not allowed, except during Photographer’s Night events, for which a special ticket must be obtained.

Yes, guests are allowed re-entry into the Aquarium of the Pacific for same day visits. Just be sure to get your hand stamped at the exit door, as valid stamps serve as re-entry tickets if you want to come back later that same day.

Yes, a reservation for timed entry is required for any visitor over age 3 to the Aquarium of the Pacific. This applies to online and in-person ticket purchases, as well as for members. Reservations are free and can be made on the Aquarium website. You must present this reservation with your ticket.

Yes, though bags will be subject to search for the safety of other guests and staff. Weapons, drugs, alcoholic beverages, animals, and coolors or ice chests are not allowed at the Aquarium. Outside food is also not allowed inside the Aquarium, but it may be eaten at picnic tables in the plaza area.


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