Aquarium of the Pacific

AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC, LONG BEACH

Located off Ocean Blvd and next to Rainbow Harbor in Downtown Long Beach, a stone's throw from Shoreline Village and in clear sight of the Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific is one of the largest and most popular aquariums on the West Coast.  With exhibits dedicated to sea life in various parts of the Pacific Ocean, a shark tank, lorikeet aviary, penguin habitat, and more, it offers a lot of variety for visitors looking to learn more about our maritime and near-maritime environments. 

 The main lobby of the aquarium is a soaring space with a full size model of a blue whale hanging above guests flowing in and out of the building.

The main lobby of the aquarium is a soaring space with a full size model of a blue whale hanging above guests flowing in and out of the building.

The aquarium is expanding too.  Back in March, the complex announced a new addition called "Pacific Visions," which will grow the aquarium by 29,000 square feet and feature two story immersive theater with a full height curving screen and floor projections, a "changing exhibit gallery" that will feature live animals and projected wall murals, an art gallery, and an expanded entrance area.  The architectural form is inspired by the blue whale, and the expansion is expected to begin next year and be completed by 2018.

 A model of the expansion sits in the lobby currently.

A model of the expansion sits in the lobby currently.

 It will be located just to the right of the current entry area.

It will be located just to the right of the current entry area.

While we're waiting for that addition to happen, though, lets take a look at some of the sights and attractions found at this grand aquarium!

The Fishies

As any aquarium is apt to present, there are plenty of tanks for fish.  The exhibits represent species from locations ranging from Southern and Baja California to the Northern Pacific to the Tropical Pacific.  Guests can find colorful fish, odd fish, commonly eaten fish, exotic fish, not to mention sharks and rays and more!

Hanging with the Jellies

The aquarium also has a nice collection of various types of jellyfish, from bulbous Moon Jelly to tiny, bio-luminescent Comb and Umbrella Jelly to stranded Japanese and Pacific Sea Nettle.  These guys seem to waft through the water, going with the flow, looking fascinatingly alien in their translucent bodies and ripply tentacles. 

Other Sea Life and Seafood

Besides actual species of fish, the Aquarium of the Pacific also displays a variety of crustaceans, coral, anemone, seahorses, eels, and the like.  Some of these creatures can be downright bizarre, while others are strangely beautiful. 

Land Creatures

There is far more variety than what I've photographed below when it comes to aquatic creatures that also come ashore.  Guests can spot alligators, salamanders, frogs and toads, otters, and seals.  The sea otters zip around and seem to take joy in their speedy aquatic navigation.  The seals are playful and curious.  They're all pretty fun.

To the Birds

There are penguins at this Long Beach Aquarium, Magellanic Penguins in the June Keyes Penguin Habitat.  But the aquarium also features a lorikeet forest, featuring those brightly colored island birds that don't copy every word you say.  Guests enter and exit through double portal control points to prevent the birds from escaping their aviary, and they can feed the lorikeets with cups of nectar for an extra fee too.

These photos only showcase some of the attractions at the Aquarium of the Pacific.  It's a fun place to take the family and a great education tool to each appreciation, knowledge, and respect for our planet's oceans and waterways and the species that inhabit them.  I love going to these types of attractions, which entertain and instruct at the same time.  If you've never been before, consider a trip down to Long Beach to check it out!

 "Imma shark!!!!!"

"Imma shark!!!!!"

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.