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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center

35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5013
+1 831-421-9993
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Free Aquarium, exploration center you should visit!

The Monterey Center is one of our favorite places to go in Santa Cruz. We love to walk around learn... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Sharon L
,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Explore for free

Nice stop when exploring Santa Cruz. Free to explore and a nice gift shop with a variety of marine... read more

Reviewed 4 June 2018
sumergrlfl
,
Orlando, Florida
via mobile
Read all 103 reviews
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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 environment. Visitors can explore the sanctuary's remarkable marine environment as well as their personal role in protecting one of our nation's underwater treasures.
  • Excellent58%
  • Very good30%
  • Average10%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
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LOCATION
35 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5013
CONTACT
Website
+1 831-421-9993
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Reviews (103)
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"monterey bay"
in 19 reviews
"interactive displays"
in 5 reviews
"minute movie"
in 3 reviews
"free museum"
in 3 reviews
"all ages"
in 9 reviews
"learn new things"
in 2 reviews
"informative visit"
in 2 reviews
"learning center"
in 2 reviews
"nice gift shop"
in 2 reviews
"sea life"
in 4 reviews
"great for kids"
in 2 reviews
"film"
in 8 reviews
"donation"
in 7 reviews
"aquarium"
in 7 reviews
"information"
in 8 reviews
"ocean"
in 13 reviews
"exhibition"
in 3 reviews
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1 - 10 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

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

Thank Sharon L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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.

Thank CYNTHIA B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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 terryl341
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2018

Wow, all the interactive displays actually worked! Clean and educational activities for wide range of ages. Staff very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. Worth the stop and donation.

Thank Lms63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2017

Great Opportunity to see Marine Exploration Center Terrific Film and learning center. Great for Kids. Real nice gift center

Thank billk921
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2017 via mobile

An easy walk round and watching a video should take about 30mins but you can easily take much longer. Staff were all friendly and the shop had some lovely items to buy which aren't in the other local shops.

Thank ColinandJane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2017

located down town by the boardwalk and Warf great place to learn about marine life staff very friendly help full and your free to go about at your own pace. free admission

1  Thank Seadpnedtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
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.
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