Re: Aquarium of the Pacific Trip 3-10 - Fish, Jellies and Spider
Originally Posted by claribella
Overall, I give the Aquarium an ok rating. It was $17 to get in and my boy was free (3 is the cut off age).
For perhaps next time...just a few miles away across the Vincent Thomas Bridge that takes you from Long Beach to the seaside and port town of San Pedro...is a little local hidden gem: The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
It's smaller than the AOP in Long Beach, but I think that's what makes it great. It's much more up-close and personal. They actually have just about everything AOP has to view and learn about...just on a smaller scale.
Where they really shine is their Ocean Outreach and Exploration and Discovery Center which is really nice and perfect for kids to learn more after they've visited the main aquarium. All sorts of interactive displays and hands-on lab stuff. And they can watch and talk to the technicians. There's also a great library. It's quite an operation.
Best part is the price. FREE. Although they do ask for a donation of $5 adults/$1 children to be dropped in the slot. But there is no requirement that you do so. Parking is free non-summer weekdays. Weekends it's only a $1.00 an hour (max $7.00)
They put on great special events too, like during grunion runs and such...usually always free.
From the aquarium, you can walk right over to a specially marked path and visit the tide pools along the shore beneath the cliffs of Point Fermin. Very nice and also free. There's a nice beach park with facilities, fire pits, pier, and park if you want to make a day of it.
FYI...the shot near the end of Disney's Soarin Over California of you dropping down right over a beach and out into the ocean, with the cliffs on the right and all the surfers in the water...that's this very spot! Cabrillo Beach.
It really is a great little hidden treasure here in Los Angeles, that a lot of Angelenos don't even realize is there and so close.
Also, just a short drive up the hill from that you've got the Point Fermin Lighthouse Park, which is also very nice, and the Korean Friendship Bell overlook, and the Fort MacArthur Museum and old WWII underground gun batteries. Lot's of fun "field trip" stuff to do in the area, without hardly touching your wallet.