Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps
4.5
Natural History MuseumsAquariums
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
About
Dive into the world of sharks, seahorses, and coral reefs at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched high on a bluff overlooking the Pacific, Birch Aquarium features more than 60 habitats with amazing creatures including a rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle, a Giant Pacific Octopus, Garibaldi and Moray Eels. Not to be missed are the outdoor tide pools where guests can touch local creatures including juvenile sharks, or the two-story Giant Kelp Forest. Seadragons & Seahorses features one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world, and the new Moon Jelly experience will awe guests of all ages in the Hall of Fishes. Open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. year-round with extended summer hours. Keep an eye on the website for the addition of seasonal events and outdoor adventures. Advanced reservations are required for all guests, even members.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Meets animal welfare guidelines
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  • mnguru1
    Edina, Minnesota548 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice aquarium - It takes about an hour to see
    Great exhibits, it's a little small in comparison to other aquariums but has a nice variety and exhibits. Also, not too expensive- $25 for admission I believe. They have a very interesting sea horse exhibit. You will have an opportunity to participate more directly with the animals during certain days when they feed them for an additional fee.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 July 2023
  • cubby61990
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice aquarium
    Nice displays. Educational information to read on tanks. Not too crowded so even kids can see displays. Touch pools a big hit with kids. Adults would find the tocuh pool interesting. Employees often student have interesting information to share with visitors. About the fish and animals at the aquarium. If you wan to see feedings come later in the day . Check the schedule to find the feeding times. You can see fish and turtles best at feeding time. Bring a sac lunch at eat in area by shark exhibit. Nice views or eat on bench by tide pools for ocean view. Alternative is a food at the cafe sandwiches, ice cream drinks etc.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 November 2023
  • Aline
    London, Canada30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great afternoon well spent
    I always love a good aquarium! I completed the tour about 2-2.5 hrs and I took my time! Would be a great half day activity. It has a beautiful kept forest tank that you can sit and just enjoy. It has some relaxing music to go along which was great! So mesmerizing. They also had a touch area where you can touch a few different things such as a sea cucumber, sea urchin, sea stars, anemones, and a baby shark? My only wish was that it was bigger! I always love a good jelly fish display so wish this was an option too.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 3 December 2023
  • JoshBaz
    Columbia, Illinois79 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice little aquarium, parking stinks
    Cool little aquariums all over with some larger displays. Outside, the staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. Inside can get a little crowded, but not too bad. I'd say plan for a couple of hours here and enjoy yourself. The only downside of the place is the parking. Parking is TERRIBLE. Expect to wait a while to get into the lot if that's where you are planning on parking. We wound up parking on the street, which I later saw a sign is for permits only. However, we didn't get a ticket, so......
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 March 2024
  • Jemlnlx
    Bronx, New York5,399 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to kill an hour or two...
    Lovely aquarium in the La Jolla/Scripps area. Free and adequate parking lot. Standard admission prices are $30 for adults and $25 for children...AAA and other discounts are available. Lots of marine animals and interesting exhibits, although I think the standard admission prices are a bit much given the limited experiences offered...$20/15-ish may be more appropriate. Took about 1.5 - 2 hours to complete the entire aquarium. Great way to kill a few hours.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 April 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,964 reviews
Excellent
965
Very good
677
Average
252
Poor
57
Terrible
14

cherylg365
Costa Rica116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
This spot was a nice surprise on our recent trip to San Diego. We've visited the city several times and missed this gem. Our ocean-loving teen was impressed with what was housed here. It's clean, well-run, with polite staff, and a nice variety of open life. We ended up visiting it twice and spending a couple of hours both times. Recommend!
Written 14 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

christine l
Reno, United States92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
This is a small aquarium and cannot be compared to the Monterey Aquarium. If you start from that mindset it is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon looking at pretty ocean creatures and expanding your knowledge of the marine environment in and around La Jolla cove.
Written 3 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jemlnlx
Bronx, NY5,399 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Lovely aquarium in the La Jolla/Scripps area.

Free and adequate parking lot.

Standard admission prices are $30 for adults and $25 for children...AAA and other discounts are available.

Lots of marine animals and interesting exhibits, although I think the standard admission prices are a bit much given the limited experiences offered...$20/15-ish may be more appropriate.

Took about 1.5 - 2 hours to complete the entire aquarium.

Great way to kill a few hours.
Written 28 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Danielpodo
3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We paid 100usd and it was not worth it, we have better aquariums in mexico

They only have 3-4 little sharks and some pinguins, we finished the aquarium en 30min
Written 26 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vickytravels2024
Marana, AZ11 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
There was very little to see. They do have a new blue penguin exhibit. I believe there are 5-7 tiny penguins. The day we went there was a school field trip happening. It was the worst. You can see more fish at Petsmart. Highly disappointed with the lack of aquariums and underwater creatures. The shark exhibit was dark, dirty and seemed cruel.
Written 11 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JoshBaz
Columbia, IL79 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Cool little aquariums all over with some larger displays. Outside, the staff was very helpful and knowledgeable. Inside can get a little crowded, but not too bad.

I'd say plan for a couple of hours here and enjoy yourself.

The only downside of the place is the parking. Parking is TERRIBLE. Expect to wait a while to get into the lot if that's where you are planning on parking. We wound up parking on the street, which I later saw a sign is for permits only. However, we didn't get a ticket, so......
Written 7 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

berly24
Mpls.110 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
This is a small aquarium that can be completed in less than 2 hours. Make sure to see the penguins BEFORE they eat. They go to sleep after meals and are nowhere to be seen. The displays they have are well done and the staff is really nice. Keep your expectations in check. It’s not Sea World.
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aline
London, Canada30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
I always love a good aquarium! I completed the tour about 2-2.5 hrs and I took my time! Would be a great half day activity. It has a beautiful kept forest tank that you can sit and just enjoy. It has some relaxing music to go along which was great! So mesmerizing.

They also had a touch area where you can touch a few different things such as a sea cucumber, sea urchin, sea stars, anemones, and a baby shark?

My only wish was that it was bigger! I always love a good jelly fish display so wish this was an option too.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cubby61990
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Nice displays. Educational information to read on tanks. Not too crowded so even kids can see displays. Touch pools a big hit with kids. Adults would find the tocuh pool interesting. Employees often student have interesting information to share with visitors. About the fish and animals at the aquarium. If you wan to see feedings come later in the day . Check the schedule to find the feeding times. You can see fish and turtles best at feeding time. Bring a sac lunch at eat in area by shark exhibit. Nice views or eat on bench by tide pools for ocean view. Alternative is a food at the cafe sandwiches, ice cream drinks etc.
Written 14 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gigi M
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
This is an outstanding aquarium! They combine a great deal of education with amazing sea creatures. There is plenty of hands on for children, and plenty to keep we adults captivated. There is a little store and food truck as well. Lovely view and a wonderful experience.
Written 16 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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