The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium may be small but it is packed with delightful examples of local marine life. It's small but informative and a nice break from the crowded Santa Monica Pier above. It's too small to warrant a special visit on its own but if you are at the Santa Monica Pier, it is well worth the visit. The exhibits are basically in one large room. The highlights are the small sharks, the two huge eels and my favorite, the live seahorse display. I could spend an hour just watching the small seahorses moving about. There is also an exhibit of starfish where you are able to gently touch them and feel their texture.
There is an area for kids to draw and learn so it is perfect for families or just for adults who appreciate the beauty of nature.
The adult admission is only $3 but they ask for a $5 donation. It's operated by Santa Monica's HEAL THE BAY organization so I felt I was helping a great organization with my donation while also getting to spend a few minutes looking at the great displays.
Again, this is a very small but delightful aquarium. If you are in a hurry, you can see everything in 15 minutes or so do as I did. Take a look after all the displays and then return to the ones that really catch your attention and stand back and enjoy. I visited on a busy Sunday at the Pier and the aquarium was not crowded so I enjoyed a peaceful visit. It is worth a visit if you are at the Santa Monica Pier.
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