San Francisco is home to an endless array of exciting events and amazing attractions. One such is the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay. Located on the iconic Pier 39, the Aquarium of the Bay is home to over 20,000 species of marine animals, many of which are local to the San Francisco Bay Area. With so many interesting animals and exhibits to see, it can be tricky deciding where to start. This guide to the best attractions at the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay will help you maximize your time during your next trip to the Bay City.
Many of the animals housed at the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay are local to the area, and the Under the Bay exhibit allows you to view the city from their perspective. This exhibit invites you to step below the water’s surface and stroll through an array of underwater tunnels in search of the bay’s most notable residents. In the Near Shore Tunnel portion of the exhibit, you’ll be introduced to a variety of animals that call the San Francisco shallows their home. Discover swirling schools of anchovies and a bright orange Garibaldi fish. Keep your eyes peeled for the aquarium’s most intelligent inhabitant, the giant Pacific octopus. In the second portion of this exhibit, you’ll walk through the Sharks of Alcatraz Tunnel. In these deeper, darker waters, you’ll come face to face with rays, sturgeons, and the sevengill shark, the largest predatory animal in the San Francisco Bay.
For younger children and inquisitive adults, one of the best attractions at the San Francisco Aquarium of the Bay is the Touch the Bay exhibit. This interactive exhibit invites guests to get up close and personal with their favorite aquatic animals. Various touch pools throughout the exhibit allow you to brush elbows, or fins, with rays, sea stars, skates, sea anemones, and even sharks. All animals in this exhibit are harmless and comfortable with human interaction. Accompanying the touch pools is the Bay Lab, which houses several land-dwelling animals from the Bay Area. These animals, which include chinchillas, tortoises, and frogs, have been affected by recent climate change and serve as an example of the importance of wildlife conservation.
Following the energy and excitement of the Touch the Bay exhibit, wind down and relax at the Go with the Flow exhibit. This display houses a dazzling array of mesmerizing jellyfish in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The exhibit is comprised of two separate tanks, each holding over 700 gallons of water. The center tank is home to a bloom of moon jellies, the most common jellyfish species in the world. The second tank is mounted on the wall and showcases a grand assortment of Pacific Sea Nettles.
Get your San Francisco Aquarium tickets and come visit these amazing exhibits!