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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5013
+1 831-421-9993
Review Highlights
What a gem!

I live in Santa Cruz and was extremely impressed by what I saw when I visited this center. It's... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Connie M
Santa Cruz, CA
Great little stop spot

This little free information museum is great, especially for children, but for adults, too... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
Read all 88 reviews
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Located just steps away from the ocean and Santa Cruz Wharf, the Sanctuary Exploration Center features state-of-the art exhibits and interactive displays highlighting the nearby Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its incredible underwater environment. Visitors can explore the sanctuary's remarkable marine environment as well as their personal role in protecting one of our nation's underwater treasures.
  • Excellent59%
  • Very good27%
  • Average12%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“all ages” (9 reviews)
“minute movie” (3 reviews)
“free museum” (3 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5013
+1 831-421-9993
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Reviews (88)
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1 - 10 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

I live in Santa Cruz and was extremely impressed by what I saw when I visited this center. It's both educational and entertaining. And, it's free! I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.

Thank Connie M
Reviewed 1 week ago

This little free information museum is great, especially for children, but for adults, too. Information, displays, friendly volunteers and bathrooms available. This is near the beach bus stop for bus 19. The beach and board walk are across lthe street. This is the doorway to...More

Thank Droundy
Reviewed June 24, 2017 via mobile

It is free of charge to enter the research centre (we made a donation) and it is very interactive with lots of staff willing and happy to talk to you about each bit. Our kids loved it as a follow in to their visit to...More

Thank BritAbroadz
Reviewed May 28, 2017

Right next to the Santa Cruz Wharf. Big clean and many hand on activities for people of all ages. And it has no admission price. Great place for groups of kids.

Thank ofthegardn
Reviewed May 25, 2017 via mobile

Not that big but full of information and cool graphics. Free to enter but you csn leave a donation on the way out

Thank petermac68
Reviewed May 14, 2017 via mobile

Other than that, it's worth the price you pay, free. This place would be great for young children, lots of computer like interaction. As an adult I would not go back, however children might get something out of it.

Thank Terri W
Reviewed April 5, 2017

Learning about the ocean of the monterey bay is like exploring the amazon rain forest. More species than the rain forest and a canyon as deep as the Grand Canyon sitting right of the shore you are looking at. Everything from starfish to whales are...More

Thank treetopmama
Reviewed February 19, 2017

This is right be the Wharf/pier and Boardwalk. A beautiful building with great interactive exhibits. There were plenty of things to interest a four year old and the adults. it's not an aquarium- there's no live stuff. But it's free and fun.

1  Thank honeygirl424
Reviewed February 4, 2017 via mobile

Beautiful location, very family friendly and lots to see! This was our second trip here in the last 2 years and we enjoyed it just as much the second time. A must see if you're in the area!

Thank Viajadoradelmundo
Reviewed November 27, 2016

The docents are incredibly nice and helpful. This center is especially great for kids, but important for adults to see as well. Our oceans, and bay, are in need of environmental stewards, and this center can open people's eyes that there are indeed things that...More

Thank mel l
Sponsored by:
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