The Birch Aquarium

There are a handful of aquariums in the coastal southern California area.

Sea World has dedicated aquarium spaces, Legoland has the Sea Life Aquarium, and there is the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. We recently took a daytrip the Birch Aquarium at The Scripps Institute of Oceanography in La Jolla.

If you enjoy aquariums and have school aged kids who are enthusiastic learners visiting is a must. There are a variety of interesting sea life on display with an interactive play area and large outdoor tide pools on a deck with an impressive coastal views over La Jolla.

The staff are well informed and eager to educate your visitors. Linger by the tide pools and strike up a conversation with one of the staff and you will likely learn something new and interesting and be directed to where the interesting creatures are hiding in the shallow waters.

The tide pools overlooking the coast is the true show-stopping feature of the aquariums, but the large tanks that house sea turtles and giant kelp forests are a close second.

Know before you go

  • The aquarium is small to mid sized. You can easily take in all exhibits in an afternoon, or even a few hours.
  • There is a dedicated parking lot that is free for visitors.
  • Children 2 and under enter free
  • Daily admission rates are $18.50 for adults and $14 for children over 3 -they offer a $2 military discount if present your military id.
  • You can buy tickets the same day at the ticket kiosk in the front of the Aquarium
  • The Bathrooms have change tables in the common bathroom space. We did not see any family rooms or change tables in bathroom stalls
  • There is a moderately-to-inexpensively priced fast-food style eatery directly outside the park with no other options for food or drink within walking distance


We enjoyed our recent day trip. We have been before and we will go again. It can be a popular destination for school field trips so it can be crowded during the week as well as the weekend. Have you been to the Birch Aquarium? Or any of the other SoCal aquariums? We hope to see them all before we go.

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