Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit San Francisco: Aquarium of the Bay

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October 24, 2016

Visit San Francisco: Aquarium of the Bay

The Aquarium of the Bay at PIER 39 showcases over 20,000 sea creatures, including a couple hundred different species of sharks, jellies, eels, sea stars, and so much more.

The Aquarium is divided into three main sections - Discover the Bay, Under the Bay, and Touch the Bay, featuring the the PG&E Bay Lab.

In Discover the Bay, visitors get up close and personal with the animals that call the Bay their home.





Under the Bay was a lot of fun, as we walked through 300 feet of tunnels.  The first tunnel has over 20,000 sea creatures from the Bay and nearby waters!


My kids got really excited walking through the second tunnel, which was full of marine life found in deeper waters.   We saw enormous White Sturgeons (they can grow to more than 13 feet long!), rays, and a variety of sharks.





My kids' favorite section of the aquarium was Touch the Bay, where they had the opportunity to touch juvenile bat rays, sea stars, sea cucumbers, and more!

The bat rays were so neat to watch - they kept jumping out of the water and popping their heads up to look at everyone!



A few land animals are also featured at the Aquarium of the Bay as part of the PG&E Bay Lab exhibits.  They are purposefully featured to convey messages about climate change. 


My personal favorite exhibits were the jellies. I love watching these graceful creatures!  I could gaze at them all day!


I also was very intrigued by the Wolf Eel - such a creepy, yet captivating animal!


The Aquarium of the Bay is also home to River Otters, who were just pooped from an active morning.

Sleepy River Otters
Throughout the aquarium there are programs and interactive stations where volunteers educate visitors on such subjects as sharks, otters, and snakes.

Feeling a shark's tooth
It didn't take very long for to get through the entire aquarium, which was ideal for our schedule since we only had a short amount of time to visit.

Even though we visited for a short while (less than an hour), we really enjoyed the various exhibits throughout the aquarium, and walking through the tunnels was definitely a highlight.  

My kids had a blast searching for different types of marine life hiding in rocks or sea anemones, as well as identifying the various types of fish they saw in the exhibits.  

It's always so fascinating to visit an aquarium, and the Aquarium of the Bay was no exception. Seeing all of the different sea creatures - big and small, beautiful and fear-instilling, as they swam in front and above us, was just so exciting.

Whether you have just an hour or you have half a day to explore while you're in San Francisco, check out the Aquarium of the Bay!

Aquarium of the Bay
PIER 39
2 Beach St, 
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 623-5300

For information on tickets and hours, click here.  Aquarium of the Bay admission is included in CityPASS San Francisco.

Complimentary tickets were provided.

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