Aquarium of the Pacific 
More than 11,000 ocean animals are featured in three main galleries with 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits, including over 500 different species. Educational programs also available as well as annual events and camps. Admission: adults, $29.95; kids (3-11), $17.95; seniors (62+), $26.95.
(562) 590-3100
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach


Birch Aquarium
Daily animal feedings as well as educational, hands-on visitor activities. Adults, $18.50; kids (3-17), $14.
(858) 534-3474
UC San Diego, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla


Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
Thirty-five saltwater tanks and touch tanks, plus discovery labs and an Aquatic Nursery with baby sea animals. Ongoing science programs include tours, workshops and classes, camps, youth docents, family programs, annual events, tide-pool walks and grunion runs. Suggested admission donation: $1-5.
(310) 548-7562
3720 Stephen White Drive, San Pedro


Legoland’s Sea Life Aquarium
Features play zones, touch pools, fun facts and quiz trails, as well as jellyfish, sea horses, stingrays and sharks. New this year: Sea at Night, an exhibit where you can walk a simulated coastline under the stars, and splash in waves projected on the ground, giving the effect of a crashing tide. $20-22.
(760) 918-5346
One Legoland Drive, Carlsbad


Ocean Institute
Interactive exhibits, marine life, touch tanks and ecology and whale-watching cruises, plus presentations and Sunday tours aboard the tallship Pilgrim.
(949) 496-2274
24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point


Roundhouse Aquarium
Classes, camps and parties also offered. Donations: $2 per person; $5 per family.
(310) 379-8117
Manhattan Beach Pier


Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Year-round field-trip programs, kids’ classes, party packages and special-themed event days. Adults, $5; and kids (12 and under), free.
(310) 393-6149
1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica


The SEA Lab 
Free and low-cost programs, touch-tank tours, public fish feedings, field trips and parties. Admission: $5.
(310) 318-7438
1021 N. Harbor Drive, Redondo Beach