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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

Closed: Closed
Open today: Closed
Review Highlights
Wonderful Visit.

We were on vacation this October, and whilst in the area, we thought it would be good to visit the... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Marvelous Monterey Marine Bay Displays

The best part is that the price is free. I really enjoyed the marine bay photos, hands-on... read more

Reviewed 1 October 2018
Santa Cruz, California
Read all 107 reviews
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent59%
  • Very good29%
  • Average10%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“all ages”(10 reviews)
“minute movie”(3 reviews)
Located just steps away from the ocean and Santa Cruz Wharf, the Sanctuary Exploration Center features state-of-the art exhibits and interactive displays highlighting the nearby Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and its incredible underwater...more
Hours Today: Closed
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35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5013
+1 831-421-9993
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Reviews (107)
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All reviews interactive displays all ages minute movie learn new things informative visit learning center free admission sea life nice gift shop great for kids donation film aquarium ocean information exhibition wharf
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1 - 10 of 104 reviews
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We were on vacation this October, and whilst in the area, we thought it would be good to visit the centre. Being as it was a Wednesday, it was free to get in, nice! Met by staff as you walk in, they welcomed us, explaining...More

Thank CharleyNottinghamUK
Reviewed 1 October 2018

The best part is that the price is free. I really enjoyed the marine bay photos, hands-on interaction and educational information. No live displays.

Thank gourmet4uh
Reviewed 22 August 2018

The place is filled with plastic casts of marine animals. Plastic seaweed hanging around. More plastic. A travesty when you think about how much plastic is in our oceans. Very little to go for. It is a bust. It's free, but even at that, it...More

Thank E8374YGchristinem
Reviewed 31 July 2018

We did not know what to expect but were intrigued by the name. Upon entering a docent gave us a quick view of the place and was knowledgeable so that she could answer our questions. Free admission though we left a donation. Small area upstairs...More

1  Thank Donald K
Reviewed 22 June 2018

The Monterey Center is one of our favorite places to go in Santa Cruz. We love to walk around learn about the sea life and just learn new things we were not aware of. There is so much to see, the staff is friendly and...More

1  Thank Sharon L
Reviewed 4 June 2018 via mobile

Nice stop when exploring Santa Cruz. Free to explore and a nice gift shop with a variety of marine inspired wares. Restrooms for visitors.

Thank sumergrlfl
Reviewed 31 May 2018

Before hitting the sand and surf of the beautiful Santa Cruz beach and boardwalk, stop by here and learn who you are going to be sharing the water with.... And learn to respect our oceans and lands.......

Thank José P
Reviewed 4 May 2018 via mobile

Great little place with a lot of interactive displays. The volunteer staff here all have a real passion for what they do. Good 10 minute video. Recommended for families with children. Allow 2 to 3 hours. Plenty of parking in the vicinity.

Thank norman c
Reviewed 11 April 2018

Great things to see and amazing workers. They were all so helpful and full of information. Glad that I had the chance to go.

Reviewed 6 April 2018

This is a very well-designed museum showing exhibits of local marine life including information about the migration of leatherback turtles from the Monterey Bay area across to Indonesia. Entry is free with docents available to answer your questions. There is a nice gift shop.

Thank teryl341
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Questions & Answers
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Carol C
23 January 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from Barbara H | Reviewed this property |
I never worried one bit about the safety of the neighborhood. Lots of families were strolling around, a bus route was nearby, etc. Just as safe as any beach-side community in southern New Jersey.