A Visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

July 23, 2015
Kayla Bernardino
3 min read

It would be an understatement to say that one of our bloggers, Kayla, loves to travel. We’d say that it’s probably in her DNA. She has gone to Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Oregon, just to name a few. While it seems as if she has been all over the world, Kayla still enjoys going on local adventures and experiencing nearby sights and sounds. This week, she’s sharing her visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and some beautiful photos that she took of the creatures that live there.

Founded in 1984 and located on the edge of the famous Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of my favorite places in California. Unless you’re certified for deep water scuba diving (something that is still on my to-do-list), it’s hard to see some of these beautiful creatures otherwise.

Image source: Kayla Bernardino
Image source: Kayla Bernardino

My first experience at the aquarium was a few years ago, when my brother, a linguist in the army, was undergoing training at the nearby Defense Language Institute. My family and I planned a little group trip and visited him one weekend, and he decided to show us around the quaint town of Monterey.

While there, I saw jellyfish up close for the very first time. I learned about the existence of leafy seadragons (say what? Google them!) and identified so many types of fish that I never even knew about. I loved every minute of that day with my family, and the visit made me love the ocean more than I already did.

This past May, I finally re-visited the aquarium with my boyfriend after an hour or two of wine tasting on the wharf. As an aside, be sure to look at Groupon or LivingSocial for some good deals on wine flights! There was one offer for two people at $10, and another at $22. You can bet that we did both! They were even in the same building, just in different suites, making it that much easier for us. Anyways, unfortunately, the leafy seadragon exhibit was no longer there, as the aquarium rotates out their exhibits. This time, they had a more comprehensive jellyfish display, which satisfied my inner child. (Jellies are my second favorite animals after turtles and before starfish. If you couldn’t tell, I love all things ocean. It’s crazy to me that more than 95% of the “underwater world” remains unexplored, and I always wonder what marine species are waiting to be discovered.)

Image source: Kayla Bernardino

Regarding pricing, admission to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is $39.95 for adults, which isn’t too bad for a day of fun. You can pop in anytime from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there are shows, animal feedings, and behind-the-scenes tours offered every day. My advice is to check the schedule ahead of time, so you don’t miss out on anything!

While I was there this time, we watched the Kelp Forest Feeding. A woman in scuba gear came down and fed the fish in front of us, while explaining what she was doing. It was fascinating to watch and very informative, making for an educational trip.

Image source: Kayla Bernardino
Image source: Kayla Bernardino

As divers and marine biologists continue delving deeper into the ocean, I can’t wait to see what exhibits get added to this aquarium within the next few decades. Crossing my fingers for a giant squid capture!

Featured Image Source: Kayla Bernardino