I have lived in LA x OC area all my life, but I have never been to Aquarium of the Pacific till very recently! I was skeptical two adults were going to have fun looking at fishes all afternoon, but I was wrong. Le Boyfriend and I had so much fun looking at all the different creatures and animals of the sea from all parts of the world. Everyone there was very knowledgeable and had no problem informing visitors about the animals and answering any questions. Let's take a dive into the aquarium for a closer look!

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PARKING // There are two parking structures on Shoreline Drive where you can park. There is one on the side of the aquarium and there's another one directly across the street on the side of The Pike. You will have to cross the street if you park in that structure.

Parking is $8 all day with a validation from Aquarium of the Pacific in both structures. When you enter, walk straight ahead and there will be a small visitors booth where you can scan your parking ticket. Once it's scanned, you are good to go~ Remember to pay the $8 in one of the pay stations on the first floor of the parking lot. Don't worry if you forget because you can pay with card at the exiting toll.

TICKETS // I went Sunday afternoon around 12pm and there was no line, but if you don't want to risk waiting in a long line (just in case), you can purchase tickets online. General admission for adults are $29.95 each. 

➼ There are several options for discounted tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific. I also stumbled upon coupons for the aquarium at Flame Broiler of all places. Click on the link to look at all the participating locations. I took two, one for myself and one for Le Boyfriend. We used it when we were purchasing tickets at the ticket booth and they worked! We saved $16 total. (Yay for saving money~)

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SHOWS // Remember to ask for the list of showtimes along with your visitors guide. We stumbled upon our first show while visiting the sea lions. The show is geared towards showing and teaching visitors activities they do in order to maintain the most optimal mental and physical health for the animals. It was so fascinating to see how smart these animals are and their great appetites!

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EXHIBITS // There are two floors of exhibits as well as some located outside on both floors. They have so many sea life, birds, and amphibians to see and learn about. Make sure to check out the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, Seals & Sea Lions, and Sea Jellies. They were our favorites!

➼ The Aquarium has many visitors everyday so keep in mind that it will most likely be packed when you visit. They recommend visiting after 2pm on weekdays if you want to visit when it's less crowded.

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TOUCH POOLS // There are several touch pools located throughout the Aquarium where you can touch live sea creatures and animals. You can touch starfishes, sea anemones, and sea urchins at the Coastal Corner Touch Lab next to the Sea Otter Habitat. There are other touch zones outside where you can touch bat rays, horseshoe crabs, and sharks! All the volunteers at the touch pools were very friendly and knowledgeable. Don't be afraid to talk to them and ask questions.

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FOOD INSIDE THE AQUARIUM // Scuba Cafe is the only restaurant inside that serves entrees. They serve typical museum foods such as burgers, wraps, sandwiches, and salads. After you order your food and pay at the register, they will give you a number. Place it on your table and a server will bring you your food. The weather was nice the day we went and was able to grab a table outside.

The aquarium has several spots for snacks and coffee. The Blue Whale Cafe downstairs has Starbucks brewed coffee with other snack items such as churros, pretzels, fruits, and pastries. There is a Jamba Juice stand by the Lorikeet Forest on the first floor.

RESTAURANTS AROUND AQUARIUM OF THE PACIFIC // There are many restaurants within walking distance from the aquarium. They are chain restaurants such as: Chili's, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Outback Steakhouse, and CPK. Click here to see the full list of restaurants. You may need to scroll down to the details section of the webpage. [See also: Date Ideas at The Pike in Long Beach]

If you are willing to venture out for food, stop by the heart of downtown Long Beach in Pine Ave. or  2nd St. They are both streets full of all different types of restaurants and bars. A quick note: Finding parking can get expensive. If you are not able to find a decently priced parking lot, try looking for parking on adjacent streets. Also, if you happen to be in this area on a Saturday night, you will see lots of people dressed up for a date or a night out.

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