Do you ever wonder what life is like underwater? It is an entire different world in our oceans and the life that exists here is constantly evolving and thriving. I have a huge interest in whales and other sea life so I just had to go. Enjoy a day visiting the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, California. This is the perfect place to share an afternoon together with family or friends. COVID UPDATE: The aquarium is now fully open!! Reservations are required. Learn more at the website.

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Visiting the Birch Aquarium

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps is actually a part of the Institute of Oceanography at UC San Diego. It’s a facility that provides the public the opportunity to get a glance into underwater life. This aquarium is also a wealth of education, information and maybe even spark an idea for new careers!

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The marine life you can expect to see here and observe up close and personal include several species and creatures in 60 habitats.  Here is a list just to name a few:

  • Seadragons
  • Seahorses
  • Clown Fish 
  • Lionfish
  • Leopard Sharks
  • Moray Eels
  • an endangered Giant Black Sea Bass
  • Giant Kelp Forest
  • Jellyfish 
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Visiting the Birch Aquarium San Diego | La Jolla California

Together with all the exhibits, the aquarium also offers extra events, group tours and whale watching expeditions (departing from downtown San Diego).


This unique and strange creature will have you as curious as ever while observing it. Recently, a new seadragon had been discovered called the Ruby Seadragon, found off the southern coast of Australia.  You can see the interesting leafy and weedy seadragons in the exhibits at Birch Aquarium San Diego.

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Leafy Seadragon at Birch Aquarium


Now this sea creature is quite fascinating to learn about. Did you know that the male seahorse carries the young? The female will lay eggs in the pouch or slit on the male, and then the male will take care of the eggs until hatching time. 

Sea Horses at Birch Aquarium

Clown Fish

Known also as anemonefish, and have  a number of morphological diversities.Other species include Clark’s anemonefish, saddleback clownfish, red saddleback clownfish, and others. This one is particularly interesting in that the male is the caretaker of the eggs, similar to the seahorses.


Did you know that the lionfish can lay up to 2 million eggs per year? Well that is alot of offspring! They have fan-like pectoral fins that can deliver a venomous sting but do not use it to hunt prey, but as a self defense mechanism.

Leopard Sharks

These friendly sharks reside in the waters near the La Jolla area and usually prefer the warmer waters. Large groups of female leopard sharks swarm together our beyond the waves at the end of the La Jolla Shores Beach where it is calmer and warmer during the summer months.

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Giant Kelp Forest

Covering 25% of the world’s coastline, these are areas that contain high density of kelp. You can see the amazing 70,000 gallon 2 story high giant kelp tank exhibit here at the aquarium.


Another one of my favorite sea creatures is the jellyfish. They have no respiratory system like lungs, gills, or trachea; but it excels oxygen by way of diffusing water out the thin membrane around its body.


Studying marine life and the world underwater can be so fascinating! As you can see, the Birch Aquarium can be quite an adventure full of learning and exploring into an unfamiliar world. I really enjoyed the experience and if you are visiting the area, I highly recommend it. Plan your visit to the Birch Aquarium. Please find more information below. Take a virtual tour of Birch Aquarium La Jolla.

Location & Hours
2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, CA 92037
Open 9—5 Daily
Phone (858) 534 3474
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Click here for more fun things to do in San Diego?


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