“The mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium is to inspire conservation of the ocean.
Frolicking sea otters, fast-swimming sharks, pulsating jellies and waddling penguins — our world-class exhibits and breathtaking scenery instill a love of the ocean in our visitors. With over 200 exhibits and 35,000 creatures, the Aquarium is a window to the wonders of the ocean.”
Take a virtual tour and get up close and personal with Kit & Ivy two cute and cuddly rescue sea otters in a two-story exhibit. Both Kit and Ivy are caring for approximately six-month-old pups. Kit’s female pup stranded in November off Carmel Point as a three-week-old. Ivy’s male pup also stranded in November, but along the southern Big Sur coast as a five-week-old. Kit, Ivy and their pups have spent much of their surrogate time together as a group. When they’re old enough, we hope to release both pups together in early summer.
Accessibility informationGeneral accessibility features:
General accessibility further information:
- Assistance animal welcome
- Accessible toilets
"Accessible restrooms are located throughout the Aquarium. An accessible family restroom is located near Soaring with Seabirds on the second floor of the Open Sea wing."
"While we don’t offer public parking on-site, guests with disabilities may park for free on surrounding streets at any metered parking space by displaying a disabled person/veteran placard or license plate.
There is also a passenger drop-off and pick-up zone located near the Aquarium’s Main Entrance."
"Service animals that meet the ADA standard are permitted inside the Aquarium.
Service animals may relieve themselves across from the Main Entrance in the area behind the flag poles. There is also the Recreation Trail adjacent to the Aquarium that has ample relief areas and provides pet waste bags along the trail."Mobility accessibility features:
Mobility accessibility further information:
- Wheelchair hire available
- Wheelchair accessible entrance
- Lift access to all levels (if multi-story)
"The Aquarium has fifteen adult-sized manual wheelchairs, and five bariatric wheelchairs that guests may borrow. Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for use at any point during your Aquarium visit.
To request a wheelchair, please speak to any staff member or request one at the Information Desk, near the Main Entrance.
Wheelchair accessible seating is available in the Auditorium as you enter.
You can reach all our areas by accessing the elevators and ramps located throughout the facility."Vision accessibility features:
Vision accessibility further information:
- Audio description services
"You'll find tactile sculptures at several of our exhibits throughout the Aquarium. We also have several touch pools full of interesting animals to provide you with a personal and engaging experience.
Our staff members and volunteers are also available to provide you with detailed descriptions of our exhibits."Hearing accessibility features:
Hearing accessibility further information:
- Hearing loop or infrared assisted listening system
- Sign language assistance or interpretation services
"Written interpretive materials can be provided for most programs and tours upon request. We can also provide an ASL interpreter for more effective communication, based on availability."
"We also offer assistive listening devices to amplify the sound at our live programs that are presented on microphone. Guests can borrow these devices from our Membership and Tours Center to enhance their visit. The equipment works in the following locations:
- Kelp Forest exhibit
- Sea Otter exhibit
- Open Sea exhibit
- Penguin exhibit
- Great Tide Pool (seasonal programming)
All videos in our exhibit halls have captioning available in both English and Spanish."
"Guests who have hearing aids or cochlear implants equipped with T-coil can have the audio in our Auditorium Programs transmitted directly to their personal devices.
Note: T-coil must be enabled for this service."Autism/Sensory accessibility features:
Autism/Sensory accessibility information:
- Quiet room or space
"The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a Certified Autism Center.
This certification means that any visitors on the autism spectrum or with other sensory disorders can enjoy the best possible visit that caters to their needs. "
Quieter times to visit
- Our less-visited times are in the fall and winter months, apart from holidays.
- During our peak summer months, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are less popular.
- Throughout the year, you will typically find fewer visitors between 2 p.m. and closing.
- Sensory-friendly restrooms:
- Most women’s restrooms DO NOT have hand dryers or auto flush mechanisms. All men’s restrooms inside of the Aquarium have auto-flush urinals.
- The Splash Zone restrooms have hand-dryers in both women’s and men’s.
- There are public restrooms located outside of the Member Entrance that have manual flush urinals and toilets. Reminder: you may leave and re-enter the Aquarium at any point throughout your visit with a handstamp.
- Less frequented restrooms are located near Soaring with Seabirds on the second floor of the Open Sea wing and next to our special exhibitions on the first floor of the Open Sea wing.
- Light, noise, temperature and crowds vary widely throughout the building and on our ocean view decks.
- Exhibit sensory guides are available and provide insight on how an individual with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense.
- Feedings and Auditorium programs provide a large amount of sensory stimulation and tend to be crowded.
- Consider bringing noise-reducing headphones. Some are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis for use at any point during your Aquarium visit.
- Complimentary sensory bags are available for use during your visit. The bags include several sensory objects with different textures and a communication card which may help nonverbal individuals communicate with staff and volunteers. They are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.
"There are quieter areas and exhibits throughout the Aquarium. These can vary depending on the time of day, time of year and feeding schedules.
Ocean-view decks, the third floor of the Kelp Forest exhibit, the Open Sea mezzanine (second-floor balcony) and Fragile Seas tend to be quieter areas.
You are welcome to leave at any point during your visit as we allow same-day re-entry."