Explore the depths of the sea without getting wet at San Diego’s Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and see more than 5,000 species of fish and marine life. Learn about the ocean through interactive displays, hands-on exhibits, and daily feeding demons, and observe cutting-edge research, underwater photography exhibits, and art installations.
Birch Aquarium at Scripps offers activities for the whole family. Young kids can participate in collaborative learning experiences such as Think Tank and Explore It, while visitors of all ages can enjoy the aquarium’s interactive exhibits, feedings, and shows. Highlights include a 2-story, 70,000-gallon Giant Kelp Forest; a Hall of Fishes with more than 60 habitats on display; and a large outdoor leopard shark tank. Visitors can also get hands-on at Tide Pool Plaza’s living tide pools and take in panoramic views of La Jolla and the Pacific Ocean. For those looking to save money, entry is included in a discounted multi-attraction pass.
Things to Know Before You Go
- San Diego’s Birch Aquarium is a must-do for families with kids.
- Buy your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in line at the ticket booth.
- Expect to spend about two to three hours exploring the exhibits.
- The aquarium is wheelchair accessible and offers 3-hour free parking.
How to Get There
There are several ways to reach the aquarium, located in La Jolla. Ride the Route 30 bus to La Jolla Shores Drive and Discovery Way, just steps away. Or, hop on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Shuttle, departing weekdays from various stops on the UC San Diego campus. If you’re driving, head northbound on La Jolla Shores Drive, take a right on Downwind Way, and then take another right on Expedition Way.
When to Get There
Birch Aquarium is open daily to visitors and the least crowded times of the year to visit are fall and early winter. At other times of year, plan to arrive before 9am or after 2pm to beat the crowds. The aquarium is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
Nearby Attractions in La Jolla
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is located in La Jolla, California, just a short drive from other nearby attractions. While in the neighborhood, explore La Jolla Village, stroll along La Jolla Shores Beach, view California sea lions and harbor seals at La Jolla Cove, and catch sight of whales and dolphins off the California coast at Ellen Browning Scripps Park.