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Genees het Bay Aquarium
Genees het Bay Aquarium

Genees het Bay Aquarium

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1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, California, 90401

The basics

The aquarium’s single-room exhibit halls feature viewing tanks and displays that showcase wildlife of the Pacific ocean. Visitors can put their hands on spindly urchins, sea cucumbers, and other tidal creatures at an interactive touch pool or help feed sea stars and small shark pups during daily scheduled feedings run by volunteer staff. All the exhibits can be seen in less than an hour, making it an easy add-on to a day spent strolling the Santa Monica Pier and beaches. Some Santa Monica and Venice Beach Segway tours point out the aquarium so visitors can return later on their own.

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Things to know before you go

*The aquarium is a popular stop for families traveling with children. *Kids age 12 and under can visit for free. *The modest admission fee goes toward the conservation mission of Heal the Bay, a nonprofit group that runs the aquarium. *Visit the gift shop to pick up zero-waste souvenirs and other sustainable goods.

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How to get there

The aquarium can be tricky to find for first-time visitors. It's located on the beach level of the Santa Monica Pier, right under the carousel. Paid parking is available directly on the pier or in several lots and metered spaces nearby.

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When to get there

The aquarium is open daily in the afternoon. The Santa Monica Pier gets crowded on weekends, especially during the summer, so visit on a weekday for fewer crowds and easier parking.

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