Birch Aquarium at Scripps sits just above La Jolla Shores in Southern California and is, indeed, a fun and educational experience for all ages.
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Birch Aquarium is located minutes off of I-5 and just west of the University of California San Diego campus. It is conveniently located near one of my very favorite California beaches, La Jolla Shores. There is a parking lot adjacent to the aquarium where visitors can park for free up to three hours. Unfortunately, it is a small parking lot that fills up early.
As far as aquariums go I would also classify the aquarium as small. That said, I still highly recommend a visit to this oceanography center that houses more than 60 habitats.
Inside of Birch Aquarium there are numerous tanks filled with the smallest of sea creatures. Some of which are cohabitating while other tanks are restricted to the same species of sea life. Outside of the aquarium is a rather large Tide Pool open tank.
Along with the Tide Pool Plaza, ElasmoBeach and the Boundless Energy play area tend to be the favorites among children. And for very good reason.
Both the Tide Pools and the play area are 100% hands-on. Awesome volunteers can be found out on the plaza mingling with visitors while sharing their wisdom.
The views are amazing from Tide Pool Plaza. And the scenery is just as beautiful from the play area which is also where you can find fun, interactive and educational hands-on water exhibits.
There is one word to describe the ElasmoBeach exhibit – SHARKS. And almost as popular as sharks is another word – STINGRAYS. What would an aquarium be without Leopard Sharks and Stingrays? The Birch Aquarium does not disappoint when it comes to their large sandy bottom outdoor tank.
There is so much more to see and learn at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. If possible, I recommend planning a visit around feedings and show times. You can find that schedule on the aquarium’s website. I also recommend making time for There’s Something About Seahorses.
Even though the Birch Aquarium appears small in size, it is so much more than an aquarium. It is a fun and educational experience that will not be forgotten. Of course, there is also a gift shop, cafe and visitor’s center. And believe or not, I am quite certain I spotted Nemo during our visit!
Birch Aquarium at Scripps UC San Diego
Birch Aquarium Scripps Institute of Oceanography
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