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I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

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Salt Lake City, UT
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60 posts
530 reviews
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I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

The information I'm finding on the web is mixed on whether it is worth the time and money. Is it so crowded that you can't really see it and not as good as several others, or is it a don't miss the oportunity place? We will be there July 30- 31 and don't want to blow $22.95 each if it's not really special. Would really appreciate your input.

Visalia, CA
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1,382 posts
39 reviews
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1. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

I don't know about the crowds but I think it is worth it if you like aquariums. The jellyfish & Monterrey Bay exhibits are pretty cool.

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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2. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

There's no doubt in my mind that the aquarium is world class, and I think it's special. That said, I think that the aquarium is a must-see if you love seeing and learning about sea life AND if you find learning about the particular ocean habitat of the Monterey area intriguing. If your attitude toward aquariums is take-it-or-leave it, then maybe you could use your time in a way you'd enjoy more--e.g., visiting Point Lobos State Reserve. Your concerns about the crowds in July are valid, but I think it's only a major problem in some areas--e.g., for viewing the sea otters. You have to be willing to take your turn up front and not be shy about making sure you get your turn. One thing I'd highly recommend is purchasing your tickets online in advance. That will significantly cut down your waiting time.

California
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for Oahu
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19 reviews
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3. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

The Monterey Aquarium is world-class -- but, like almost everywhere else, it's crowded in the summer. I would go first thing in the morning.

Check -- perhaps AAA or others have a discount.

FYI -- I was at a conference a few years back where the sponsors rented the whole aquarium for the evening. We (about 100 of us) had a wonderful dinner ... and the place to ourselves. We wandered at our own pace ... just us. Aaaahhh!

California
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1,333 posts
68 reviews
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4. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

I agree with PGdenizen

Also, buying tickets ahead of time cuts down on the initial wait in line. Many exhibits are less crowded around lunch time. We tend to rise late, eat breakfast late and arrive when others are getting ready to have lunch. Works for us, but it's not for everyone!

Lehigh Valley, PA
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898 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

I can still buy tickets at the hotel, correct?

Anyway, we've been to Monterey twice in the past and to the aquarium three times. We'll be back in a week and it is on our agenda once again. "I'd" classify it as a "don't miss."

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34,757 posts
895 reviews
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6. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is not to miss, it is totally worth the $22.95 for the tickets. We have been several times and find something new to enjoy each time. Last visit we were lucky, we were there mid-week in December and there were no crowds. It will be much more crowded in July, but yes it is worth the time and effort. Have fun and please report back with us on how it goes! :)

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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7. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium currently has a fresh water otter exhibit worth the ticket price many times over. There's a restaurant on site when you get hungry or thirsty. And you can take your drinks outside to enjoy the the bay view.

There's no rush to get through the exhibits. You go at your own pace. The Outer Bay Exhibit is wonderful with its low lights, soft music and balcony seating.

The kelp forest was thought to be an impossible feat. Kelp requires constant flow of fresh sea water to maintain. The experts pulled together and created a system that allows continuous fresh sea water to be pumped through the exhibit. The floor to ceiling wall of windows offer a striking view into the underworld world of kelp.

If you want to see what makes the MBA so special, order a copy of "Oceans in Glass" from Amazon.com. Everyone I've shared this DVD with has been totally impressed.

Rocklin, Ca
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8. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

We were there in February and will be again in a week and a half. Our first visit to the aquarium was wonderful. My children (11, 10, 8) loved it and love Monterey. It was somewhat crowded when we went, but it was worth it. We got our tickets through the hotel we were staying at so we didn't have to wait in line for tickets and we even were able to use the VIP entrance with the tickets. See what your hotel offers, usually the ones the hotels offer are good for two days instead of just the one if you buy online or at the box office. Have fun!!

Walnut Creek, CA
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349 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

The Aquarium is absolutely worth it! The exhibits are world -class. I think if you go, you will wonder why you ever doubted it . The outer-bay exhibit is phenomenal, as are the jelly fish, otters, etc. They have webcams on their site - perhaps if you looked at these it would give you a better feel for it. The Aquarium is the weekend destination for our family a few times a year. Check with your hotel to see if they offer discount or "2 of 1" admission. This way you can go two mornings before it gets too crowded. members get early admission, and we find it best to get there early and leave early. Tour busses will sometimes arrive mid-morning so best to beat them. It does get busy but it is well worth it. It also has a great exhibit on Cannery Row. Read some Steinbeck before you go if you have time, or bring it along. The Aquarium was created inside of the old cannery and encompasses a lot of area history. Be sure to stop at the Sock Shop and the Monterey Soap and Candle Factory after your visit!!!! Enjoy.

Los Gatos...
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10. Re: I would like your opinion on the aquarium - is it worth it?

Everyone covered it well. Definately a MUST see in my opinion. Get tickets ahead and go early. At least you won't be on the weekend. That might help some....