Birch Aquarium is the pubic center for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego. This historic aquarium, perched atop the hills of La Jolla was established in 1903 by the Marine Biological Association of San Diego to conduct marine research off the Pacific coast. The founders maintained a small public aquarium as part of these research facilities, which has redeveloped and grown into the present day Birch Aquarium.
About Birch Aquarium
Birch Aquarium is located at 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla. This exhibit is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and features 3,000 animals that represent 380 species of marine life. Birch Aquarium is one of the best family-friendly tourist attractions in San Diego. You can enjoy various interesting activities here from feedings and shows to viewing colorful sea life in 60 unique habitats. Outside the aquarium building, you will find many touch pools. Children will love to see how hermit crabs, sea stars, urchins and other critters behave in their tide pool habitats.
Birch Aquarium is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. You have to buy tickets for admission. Adult tickets are available at $18.50, children’s tickets cost $14 and toddlers under age 2 are free. Seniors age 60 and above will pay $15.50 for an entry fee. The aquarium is closed for special occasions so check the event calendar in advance at https://aquarium.ucsd.edu/visit before you visit. We recommend allocating 2-3 hours to fully explore all of the exhibits.
You can also enjoy a picnic at Birch Aquarium as there is plenty of seating under umbrellas. The parking facility is free for 3 hours and well-trained service animals are allowed to visit the aquarium with their owners. The facilities are ADA accessible. There are a gift shop and café on site.
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