Birch Aquarium San Diego

The Ocean World Awaits At The Birch Aquarium!

Explore where the wonders of the ocean come alive at Birch Aquarium San Diego! The Birch Aquarium is located at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. Birch has so many great exhibits you won’t know where to start! How about walking through the Hall of Fishes, where every kind of fish you’ve ever imagined swims before your eyes? Or check out ElasmoBeach and meet La Jolla’s legendary leopard sharks and other species that make their home in local waters. Birch’s 13,000-gallon tank showcases sharks, rays, and other marine life that live close to shore. Explore Preuss Tide-Pool Plaza, featuring three, living tide-pool displays where visitors can touch and learn about tidepool animals with docents. If you want to “sea” life in a whole new way, visit the Birch Aquarium.

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Birch Aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fishes and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. An oceanographic museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps Oceanography scientists on climate, earth, and ocean science and includes interactive elements.

 

Chris k
Chris k
05:15 26 Jul 21
Always a good time herePlenty of cool fish and other exotic sea creatures to stare at and learn about.Lots of local... fish habits, which is always nice for the kids to learn about what's in the waters when they go out.The tide pools, jellyfish, and giant fish tank were all the kids favorites.They've taken out there jungle gym, so they were kind of bummed there, hopefully they'll be replacing the space with some of cool activities.You still need to make reservations, but we'll worth it as this place could easily get overcrowded in the past.read more
Nicholas Miller
Nicholas Miller
21:29 28 Jun 21
Amazing place for the young and old! The ocean is such a wild place, it's a guarantee you will see or experience... something new here! I am particularly fond of the tide pool, where you can get up close with certain critters and touch em! The staff is knowledgeable and friendly, facilities are clean as well. Well worth the price!read more
Princess Bubbles Mantis Girl “Princess Bubbles”
Princess Bubbles Mantis Girl “Princess Bubbles”
15:29 07 Jun 21
This aquarium is really cute. We enjoyed our visit. Reading the reviews, a lot of people spoke about how spectacular... the seahorse exhibit is, but we were not impressed by this at all. It was tiny and only a few animals inside. Not sure what the hype was over that. Overall it was a fun visit. Lots of reviewers complained about it being too small, but really it was quite impressive for being a smaller aquarium. Staff is friendly. Facility is clean. Nice place to take the kids.read more
Tracey Greene
Tracey Greene
23:17 28 May 21
Me and my daughter celebrated our reunion. This is one of the place we chose to go. Thank you so Much for giving us an... awesome experience. We really enjoyed all of the sea creatures and we enjoyed our quality time together and sharing it with this place. We got to meet Leslee and She talked with us for a while and gave us some information on the sea horses and that was so awesome. If it's a pleasure to meet her. we also had fun petting all of the sea creatures. A definitely recommend this place as a must visit. If customer service here was good quality done in excellence excellenceread more
Ivan Luu
Ivan Luu
21:58 22 May 21
I'm from Long Beach and might be biased, so take this with a grain of salt. The aquarium is quite nice for its size.... The giant kelp forest is what I enjoyed the most. The shark pool is a bit disappointing as I would expect to see more than just rays and leopard sharks.It would be nice if there was staff around to manage the flow of traffic and keep some of the parents in line, specifically the ones who let their children roam freely. The corridors are narrow and some of the families there would hold up the path, creating a large crowd and lots of foot traffic.Had around 3-4 children squeeze past and kinda force my girlfriend and me aside. Their parents didn't do anything about it and just let them do whatever they want.There was a mother and daughter in front of us, and I felt really sorry for them because they waited a really long time just to see some of the exhibits. This couple and their 3-4 kids stood at the octopus/jellyfish tank for 10-15 minutes because it came out of hiding and started moving. By the time the mother and daughter, had any room to move up to see it, the octopus was hidden.Not the aquarium's fault, but I think having some staff around to supervise some of the area's would improve the experience for many individuals and small groups.read more
Candace Kallen
Candace Kallen
20:33 17 May 21
Were there for about 1 1/2 hours. Very strict with masks. Lots of seahorses and fish. No big sharks but still was fun.... Great views of the ocean out back. Gives senior discounts and reduced price for kids. Well worth the entry fee.read more
Jenny Lozano
Jenny Lozano
00:21 17 May 21
I love aquariums! This is definitely not the biggest I've been to but one of my favorites. I love that they layout the... aquarium based on location so you see the similarities and transitions of species based on the change in water temperature and environment.While visiting I overheard one woman racing through the aquarium with her kids talking to someone on her phone "complaining" about the minimal cost of a visit because there's "only like an hour with of things to see". If she would have put down her phone to enjoy and explore she might have realized what a crazy value it is to visit! I spent a good 3-4 hours going through the whole aquarium and enjoying the additional exhibits like the tide pools and the educational displays.Make sure to spend some extra time enjoying the giant local kelp forest tank that takes up an entire 2 story wall, and my favorite the seahorse and seadragon exhibit!read more
Helen Jung
Helen Jung
04:10 28 Apr 21
I love visiting aquariums and I don’t know if I just had too high of expectations, but I wasn’t very satisfied with my... experience. I decided to go based on the positive reviews but I honestly didn’t think it was worth the $20 for admission. There was not much to see; it was mostly just small fish. It took me less than an hour to see everything. However, it was pretty clean and staff were kind and helpful.read more
LL_MiA _LL
LL_MiA _LL
04:32 21 Apr 21
We loved the view and the huge fish tank inside the Aquarium. It has potential to become bigger and offer way more, as... it only has one activity (touching some fish) but overall we had a fun and relaxing time. They do participate in the Museums for All program. Must call to schedule an appointment during Covid times.read more
Kyle
Kyle
01:37 06 Apr 21
I recommend you take your time observing all of the sea life. It's easy to just glide through the aquarium but you end... up doing yourself a disservice. Alot of these fish have unique personalities and are really interesting if you stop and observe each and every one of them.read more
M F (Evlhamburglar)
M F (Evlhamburglar)
20:48 02 Apr 21
We had a great day at the aquarium. The kids really enjoyed it all, they said their favorite part was seeing the... octopus. They claim to not like touching the sea cucumber, but it's definitely something they'll remember. We purchased a membership so we can come back again next time we're in town. We felt very safe since they limit the amount of guests and require reservations. Can't wait to come back!read more
H. JN
H. JN
19:06 31 Mar 21
Great place to explore and learn about our oceans & some of the wonders of the world. My husband & I are San Diego... locals, he's never been and this Friday is his birthday (30+yrs) gave reference cause it's an awesome place for children no doubt, but I believe if your open to exploring adults will love it all the same. Favorite part is getting to touch & interact with sea life. I would definitely say this place is worth going to at least once in your life.Had a blast.read more
Manuel Sandoval
Manuel Sandoval
15:37 29 Mar 21
Nice to be out and about. Aquarium was not crowded at all. We were able to see all exhibits without waiting in lines.... Kids loved it.They also had hand sanitizing stations thought the aquarium. 👍🏼👍🏼read more
Linking India
Linking India
12:19 18 Mar 21
Very exciting area for every age. a whole lot of thrilling statistics can be located about Ocean and the life in it.... apart from famous there are water playground in which kids and adults will have amusing.read more
Jennifer Moses
Jennifer Moses
05:21 08 Mar 21
We ranged in age from 9 to 61 and we all learned so much about the sea life off the coast of San Diego. We were able to... touch rays, sharks, anemones, and more - very fun Sunday explore day. I recommend it for babies on up.read more
Tiffany Stinson
Tiffany Stinson
21:51 01 Mar 21
Short and sweet outdoor exhibits offered during covid, which was awesome! The crew members were absolutely amazing and... so so nice and informative throughout the experience and also made the entire experience feel very covid-safe. They (Matt especially!) genuinely expressed an urge to share their knowledge which made it really enjoyable (:read more
Carlton Hoffman
Carlton Hoffman
20:37 01 Feb 21
If you are planning a field trip or an activity this is a great place to visit for children or those who are fascinated... by nature. I've been here a couple of times, one was during a field trip for school and the other was with some friends. Admission is a bit expensive though, I think there are certain days where admission is free, but those days it will be very busy and a lot of people may block the exhibits. There are lots of exhibits to explore and it is a great learning opportunity as well.read more
Kristal Kaye
Kristal Kaye
06:23 06 Jan 21
It was smaller than I had hoped. The aquatic life was scarce but the staff was very friendly and informative. You can... tell they love their job.read more
Nicole Nassar
Nicole Nassar
18:21 13 Nov 20
Great Aquarium! Its cute, clean and the staff is friendly. The gift shop is adorable. It's not a huge aquarium with... large fish but it does have some very neat fish in it: sharks, rays, many species of tropical fish, several species of coral, sea dragons, puffer fish, seahorses...the touch tanks are a lot of fun as well! It's very educational and also a lot of fun. We went with a 7 and 4 yr old and they absolutely loved it. Didn't want to leave. The view from outside (touch tanks, etc.) is gorgeous too! I highly recommend! The proceeds from the aquarium fund a lot of research in our oceans and sea life, so your money is also going towards an awesome cause.read more
Henry Medina
Henry Medina
04:14 28 Oct 20
Was way smaller than I expected, the whole experience can be done in about an hour pretty easily. But it was a fun... hour and the kids all seemed to really enjoy the exhibits and the touch pool areas. The Halloween decorations were nice but really more of a gimmick than an actual experience. Overall a fun little trip, just don't go in with high expectations and you'll be fine.read more
Kristina Delaski
Kristina Delaski
15:03 20 Oct 20
Loved the decor for Halloween and how Birch outlined a path with 6ft distance markers, all related to sea creatures of... course. Super cute, Birch! They also limited the amount of guests in the aquarium for safety. Went with my partner, her nephews and parents. the boys were definitely intrigued by the sea life. My favorite sections are the jelly fish, sea horses and getting to pet the baby leopard shark and sting rays!read more
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(858) 534-3474

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