The Aquarium of the Pacific – Long Beach, California

Aquarium of the Pacific - FrontI love aquariums and have enjoyed visiting the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach many times when we lived in California. Gene and I have had a great time exploring the aquarium on our own, but have been with many friends and family.  No matter who we are with,  I love watching all the amazing and unique fish. Of course, I do have my favorite sea animal, which I will share more about in a bit.  

Aquarium of the Pacific - Fish 1Through my many visits, I learned that the Aquarium of the Pacific, which opened on June 20, 1998, features a collection of over 11,000 animals representing over 500 different species in exhibits ranging in size and capacity from about 5,000 to 350,000 gallons. Being in Long Beach, California, the Pacific Ocean is their focus and they share this through three major permanent galleries: sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific, and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific.

Aquarium of the Pacific - SharksShark Lagoon is definitely one of the highlights of the Aquarium of the Pacific.  It is a 10,000-foot lagoon with more than 150 sharks. This expansive outdoor exhibit is home to large sharks such as Sand Tigers, Zebra, and Whitetip Reef. However, the best part is the shark touch pools. You can actually touch some of the sharks!  It is so amazing.  My friend’s granddaughter that this was so cool, until she got near them and got scared, lol. My great-niece on the other hand loved it. She was a little timid at first but ended up enjoying it.

Aquarium of the Pacific - Girls1I also enjoyed checking out the Jellies exhibit. Watching Jelly Fish is so intriguing and fascinating. It’s amazing to find out that Jellies have lived on Earth for at least 500 million years, making them three times as old as dinosaurs. Sea jellies survive without a heart, brain, or lungs. They are 95 percent water, and their movements are governed by the flow of the water they live in. It was so amazing to just watch them move around.

Aquarium of the Pacific - Jelly FishSome of the other exhibits that sounded interesting and should be on your list to see are the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Horses and Dragons, Vanishing Animals, Whales: Voices in the Sea, as well as many galleries and 4D films. There is so much to see and do.  One thing I really liked about the aquarium was that there were embossing stations throughout the aquarium where you could emboss your guide to show where you’ve been. There were eight stations and we made a game of finding them.

Aquarium of the Pacific - OtterWhile I enjoyed many of the exhibits, by far my favorite was the Sea Otter Habitat. They are completely adorable!  They are found along the California coast from Half Moon Bay to Coal Oil Point near Santa Barbara. The animals live in the kelp forest in water as cold as 35˚ to 60˚.  This is due to their dense fur which keeps their body temperature at 100˚ F. What I really found fascinating was watching them eat. They are extremely resourceful and will use rocks and shells as tools to help them break open the shells of their catch. They lie on its back, take out one piece of food at a time, open it by banging it against a rock, and use its chest as a dinner table. So interesting and they look so adorable doing it. I fell in love with the Sea Otters!

Aquarium of the Pacific - AlaynaI always love exploring and learning more while running around the Aquarium of the Pacific. However, it is a whole new experience while running around with some of my nieces and a great-niece (yes, I’m old, lol)  Everything was so new and exciting to her. 🙂 It was an amazing day and I am so glad we explored the Aquarium of the Pacific. Hopefully, we will be able to go back again soon on a future trip to California.  Here is a link to their website with hours, prices, etc. If you like aquariums, you may want to check out the other places I have visited: Odysea Aquarium in Phoneix, and SeaLife Aquarium in Kansas City, MO.

Aquarium of the Pacific - Dolphin Statue

Aquarium of the Pacific
Visitor Information


100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802


(562) 590-3100


Monday–Thursday 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Friday–Sunday 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m


General Admission $12.00 $12.00 $12.00
General Admission +
Blue Whale and Sea Life Cruise In Season
$54.00 $39.00 $47.00
General Admission +
Harbor Tour
$24.00 $18.00 $22.00


The parking structure for the Aquarium is steps away on the water side of Shoreline Drive between Chestnut Place and Aquarium Way. Park at the structure all day, and visit The Pike and Shoreline Village for food and shopping before or after your visit to the Aquarium. It’s an easy, convenient place to park and spend your day enjoying the Aquarium and surrounding attractions.

The fee is $8.00 for the day with Aquarium validation.



  • The Aquarium of the Pacific and its exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available for check out free of charge at the Information Desk. Behind-the-Scenes tours are wheelchair accessible.
  • A guest in a wheelchair can touch animals in an Aquarium touch pool or request to have an animal brought to them.
  • In the Pacific Visions culmination gallery, the interactive tables are at accessible heights for visitors in wheelchairs.

Service Animals

Service animals that accompany guests with disabilities are welcome (for more information, please visit our Service Animal Policy web page). Because it is a free-flight aviary, please note that service animals are not allowed in Lorikeet Forest but staff will provide assistance to both the guest and animal. Also, due to animal safety, service animals may not be present at behind-the-scenes tours, VIP experiences, dive immersions, and animal encounters.


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