Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla: Hours, Address, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Reviews: 4.5/5

Birch Aquarium at Scripps
4.5
Natural History Museums • Aquariums
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9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Dive into the world of sharks, seahorses, and coral reefs at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, Birch Aquarium features more than 60 habitats with amazing creatures including a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, a Giant Pacific Octopus, Garibaldi and Moray Eels. Not to be missed are the outdoor tide pools where guests can touch local creatures including juvenile sharks, or the two-story Giant Kelp Forest. Seadragons & Seahorses features one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world, and the new Moon Jelly experience will awe guests of all ages in the Hall of Fishes. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. year-round with extended summer hours. Keep an eye on the website for the addition of seasonal events and outdoor adventures. Advanced reservations are required for all guests, even members.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
1,932 reviews
Excellent
951
Very good
666
Average
247
Poor
55
Terrible
13

Gene K
Salisbury, NC1,163 contributions
Couples
A beautiful location overlooking the ocean. While smaller than many present day aquariums, the exhibits are well presented. Reservations are required and , at least in the weekend, seem to reach capacity so walk-ins are turned away. Free parking is available.
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

VioletRoss
Troy, MI227 contributions
The small size of this attraction is just fine. Loved the seahorses & touch tanks. I've visited the huge Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga & it took 2 visits to see it all; tickets here cost half as much. Comparing web sites of both places, Tennessee again takes the prize. If you want to see & learn more, try some virtual visiting & learning.
Written May 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Valerie
Tucson, AZ140 contributions
This is a small aquarium but very well done. Loads of information on sea life, beautiful tanks. COVID restrictions mean you need to book in advance but it also makes the visit much more intimate and relaxing. Glad to see they are making it through!
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mshbnyehud
Dallas, TX1,097 contributions
It's perfectly understandable that there are Covid restrictions on how many persons can be accommodated inside the building at any given time. But Birch management need to come into the modern era re. crowd management, and technology available to enable more people who show up without reservations. My suggestion is simple. If you have a maximum of 250 persons (for example) inside at any one time, and 5 new people show up without a reservation, they should be "wait listed" to go in as people leave early. Maybe it isn't a perfect idea but management should be able to figure out a way of enabling more people to pay money and come into the aquarium without advance notice.

It's a bit disconcerting to drive into the parking lot, see that 1/3 of the parking spots are open, and not able to enter the building because there are no reservations remaining for the day (and yet a steady stream of people are leaving the building starting at mid-day), and fewer are coming in. And what about people who make reservations and don't show?

There's got to be a better way to manage this using modern technology.
Written December 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Birch Aquarium is operating at 50 percent capacity to create a safe environment for our guests and staff. A limited number of guests are admitted every 15 minutes in order to maintain that limited capacity and allow for social distancing. We hope you will plan ahead and make reservations in advance, so you that you can enjoy the aquarium soon. Stay safe!
Written January 3, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TAMMY G
163 contributions
Couples
We visited here on a Monday around 2 o'clock.. I did not realize you needed to reserve a time to enter. Tickets must be bought online with the app. For the $25 entrance fee I did not feel this was worth my money. The Penguin exhibit is closed. The sharks are outside where you cannot really see into the tank. There is is a small concession stand outside of the aquarium, but no food and drink aloud inside. you must also wear a mask the entire time you're inside.
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jacqueline C
Toronto, Canada42 contributions
Couples
My husband and I visited in February and were able to take advantage of a city museum pass which gave us a 50% discount. I think if we hadn't had the discount, it would not have been worth the money. It was quite small and a little dated. Good if you have children with you but otherwise it's a pass.
Written February 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sean W
Loveland, CO14 contributions
We decided to make a trip to the Birch Aquarium over a holiday weekend in November and yes, it was busy but what a great day. Parked down hill from the Aquarium yet the walk was not hard, and we're both over 55. The aquarium is easy to enjoy both indoors and outside as well. We even saw some new things such as Sea Dragons, and old favorites like Starfish and many interesting exhibits inbetween. While there were a lot of people, it never felt crowded or rushed. They had visitors of all ages and all I saw were smiles and looks of great interest in each exhibit.
Are you looking for a way to see the sea, right by the sea, with the whole family? Check out the Birch Acquarium. If I lived in the area I would definately volunteer to work there, as I'm sure they are doing a lot behind the scenes to help aquitic wildlife too. Everyone working and volunteering there were great people too. Thanks Birch Aquarium for giving us an excellent day out.
Written April 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Johnny Trekkie
San Diego, CA9,188 contributions
I know not everyone has an interest in sea life and aquariums, but ocean lovers like me should not miss this! As in every great aquarium, this one is packed with different magnificent species residing in dozens of fascinating exhibits. The most enchanting is the central ocean tank which holds hundreds of creatures in a massive 70,000 gallon two story tall aquarium featuring the Pacific ocean's native species. There is also a very well curated seahorse and sea dragon exhibit that is meticulously maintained. The tide pool plaza has some incredible cliffside views of La Jolla. Words can't describe all this, pictures only capture 5% of it...go and see for yourself! Since I'm a local, I paid $75 for an annual membership that gets me and the wife unlimited visits.
Written October 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DT-PEI
465 contributions
Excellent displays of sea horses. Not a large aquarium, but big enough and containing enough displays to occupy a couple of hours when you read the interpretive signs. Also appreciated the docent that really knew her facts about the octupus transferred from Vancouver and the sea turtle rescued from New Jersey. Great view of La Jolla shores from the outside deck of the aquarium where there is a small touch tank Beautiful sculptures of the whales at the entrance. RATTLESNAKE WARNINGS at the parking lot where parking is free.
Written February 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Devin P
5 contributions
Friends
Nice place, but REALLY small. I felt like I read about 80% of the wall print/information and I was in and out in under an hour. For $20 an adult, I don’t think that’s a good value, $10 maybe $13. Free parking though, that counts for something.
Written May 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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