The Aquarium of the Pacific is located (appropriately) next to the Pacific Ocean, in Long Beach California. The Aquarium consists of two indoor floors and a respectable outdoor section. They contain a range of exhibits which together attempt to capture the diversity of the ocean animal species. Their featured exhibits include the Arctic and Antarctic, the Ocean Science Center, the Blue Cavern, the Southern California Gallery, the Amber Forest, the Ray Touchpool, the Shorebird Sanctuary, the Lorikeet Forest, the Gulf of California, the Tropical Pacific, and the Tropical Reef. They have clownfish, which makes children happy, and sharks, which makes everyone happy.
The Arctic and Antarctic section provides individuals with the opportunity to touch jellyfish, and to observe impressive gigantic red king crabs. The section also emphasizes the fragility of the polar ecosystem, the reduction in the polar ice caps, and the implications of rising sea levels on the California coast. (You can’t get away with seeing animals at aquariums or zoo’s without being instilled with some appreciation for the environment). The large tank at the end of the first floor features a giant sea bass and a california moray eel (among many other fish). There was a nice sea otter feeding demonstration in the “BP sea otter habitat” section. Sea otters are definitely skilled at positively interacting with humans. They are essentially the “dogs of the sea”. The habitat was sponsored by BP in a (perceived) attempt to get on the populations good side after the infamous BP oil spill. However, BP sponsored the habitat prior to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which reduced my concerns, but perhaps cynically demonstrates that they have proactive PR team.
The shark lagoon is a popular destination in the outdoor section of the Aquarium. The lagoon features a number of different sharks, including the zebra shark (with a rounded nose) and the freshwater sawfish (with a saw nose). The lorikeet forest and ray touchpools are the other notable outdoor exhibits. You can watch individuals (that paid for nectar) feed the birds at the Lorikeet forest. You can touch rays at the ray touchpool. A young individual was there describing the rays. This serves to inform the guests about rays and provides a forum for young folks to gain public speaking skills.
The Aquarium has a quite large collection of fish. Unfortunately, the place is also infested with children. You may have a more peaceful visit by arriving during the earlier parts of the day (e.g. from 9-11) or during the weekdays. You should also note that the Aquarium of the Pacific is not as extensive and impressive as the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Individuals should not think of this as the MBA of the LBC. Finally, you should scour the internet for discounted admission. You might be able to find deals up to half-off the admission price (depending on how patient you are). Paying half the price may help you enjoy the place twice as much.
You will find a picture of a frog below: