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“Low key alternative to the Monterey Bay Aquarium”

Seymour Marine Discovery Center
Ranked #11 of 92 things to do in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: See a wide variety of marine animals at the University of Californias research lab.
Reviewed September 1, 2012

If you have an hour and want to see what kind of research the UC is doing, then please stop by. There are touch tanks, a guided tour, and lots of exhibits on a beautiful patch of preserved coastline. We had no idea this was in Santa Cruz. I highly recommend this for families.

Thank mml632
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"whale skeleton"
in 19 reviews
"blue whale"
in 15 reviews
"research facility"
in 6 reviews
"monterey bay"
in 18 reviews
"live exhibits"
in 3 reviews
"baby shark"
in 3 reviews
"small facility"
in 3 reviews
"petting tanks"
in 3 reviews
"touch tank"
in 3 reviews
"marine animals"
in 4 reviews
"star fish"
in 4 reviews
"a great gift shop"
in 3 reviews
"sea life"
in 11 reviews
"great for kids"
in 9 reviews
"all ages"
in 14 reviews
"on display"
in 6 reviews
"interactive displays"
in 3 reviews
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173 - 177 of 214 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2012

Looking for something to do with an 8 and 9 yr old the morning before a wedding, we found this in the local tourist guide. Enjoyed the live exhibits, especially petting the leopard shark! Docent enlisted their help for the show-and-tell part of the tour which was a big hit! Good for littler ones -- may be too small scale for older children though exhibits have plenty to interest adults.

Thank Molly A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

Took my four year old grandchild a few days ago. She loved it! It is small enough that she could visit the exhibits, touch the shark(helpful docent held the snark so she could reach the animal) and interact with the exhibits without too much of a wait. When we left, she liked seeing the big whale skelton and climbing on the cast iron seal, sea lion and elephant seal. I wish I had brought a picnic for us as it was a beautiful day on the west side of town. The views are beautiful. Had I not had my grandchild with me, there were many exhibits that are geared to adults that would have entertained me.

Thank CWFSantaCruz_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

We spent the morning at the Boardwalk and wanted something else to do that would last a couple hours. We found the Seymour Marine Discovery Center on the internet when looking up things to do in Santa Cruz. I was extremely happy with our selection. There was a small $6 entrance fee, which I didn't mind paying since it was for a good cause. It is rather small and reminded me of the Dana Point Ocean Institute. There are several small learning exhibits along with touch tanks where you can touch small sharks, starfish and anemone. The staff is eager to answer any questions you may have and it is obvious they enjoy it there.

Outside, the grounds around the Discovery Center, are also a learning experience. There are native plants and walking trails for you to wander through. What makes it so nice is that the trail takes you along the edge of the cliff so you have stunning ocean scenery. There are two large whale skeletons on display on the grounds and it is pretty amazing to read the informational signs explaining each whale.

The Discovery Center offers little tours but our time was limited and we were unable to wait for the next available tour.

I went with a couple friends (we were visiting the area to attend a wedding) and all the while I was at the center, I kept thinking of how I wanted to come back and take my son :-)

I think this is really geared towards families with elementary age school children, but then again my son is 13 and I think he would enjoy it.

Thank Cheryl B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 5, 2012

With a scientific-research bent, this was really a great little visit. Cool exhibits of sea creatures - kids can even touch a tiger shark! Informative displays, impressive whale skeleton, and a well stocked gift shop. There is also a tour but that was filled up for the hour by the time we arrived. Plan to arrive at the top of the hour to join in a detailed tour - with dolphins! We spent about 45 min there with our 2 boys.

1  Thank mathstudent245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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