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Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

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Canadian Prairies
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Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

This may not be a fair question but thought I'd get your advice anyway!

We are travelling along the coast of Oregon and California during July and August 2008. Our planned itinerary has us making several stops in both states including Newport, Oregon and Monterey, California. There are five of us: 2 adults, 2 teenagers (15), and one child (9).

I have read several threads about the aquariums in Newport and Monterey. Right now I am leaning towards visiting both aquariums but, being mindful of budget, thought I should consult those who have been there for their opinions.

(The Monterey Bay Aquarium will cost our family approx. $112.00 for admission. The Oregon Coast Aquarium will cost our family approx. $61.00 for admission.)

So my questions....do any of you prefer the experience at one aquarium over the other? Would we miss anything by skipping one or the other?

Please note that I have also posted this question on the Oregon forum.

I appreciate all of your opinions and advice.

California
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1. Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

I’ve been to both but took kids when they were at different ages so I don’t know if that would have made a difference. They were younger when we visited the Newport aquarium and they loved it and so did we. A big hit were the sea otters. The Monterey did not interest them as much and they asked to leave after an hour. We couldn’t get them excited about anything. I was shocked and disappointed. I thought they would be more interested. They like animals and the ocean but I think they were overwhelmed by the crowds.

Canadian Prairies
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2. Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

Thanks Suzie-travels...that is exactly the reaction from my kids that I am hoping to avoid. My youngest son is fascinated with marine life but the two oldest are typical teenage boys and will likely like some parts of the aquarium(s) and be bored by the rest! Generally they are all pretty good sports when their Mom drags them through museums and galleries and even makes them go shopping!

I know the Oregon Coast Aquarium has the walk through tunnel so that you can see the sharks, etc swimming above you. I also know that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is quite large and has a lot of hands on exhibits.

I guess I should feel lucky that this is my most difficult decision right now!

Fox Island...
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3. Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

I had exactly the opposite experience. The Newport aquarium in Oregon is very small. The tunnel is wonderful but it isn't very long. Our small aquarium in Tacoma WA has a better sea otter exhibit. In Monterey we stood in front of the kelp forest forever. It was amazing! Crowds will be an issue both places in summer. I would go to Monterey and get there when it opens in the morning.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

Newport's is a small delight!

Monterey's is stunning, probably the best on Earth!

I hope your decision is the correct one for you.

5. Re: Monterey Bay Aquarium and Oregon Coast Aquarium

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