Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, California

Aquarium of the Bay, situated next to Pier 39 in Fisherman's Warf, offers visitors that chance to see, touch, discover and learn. Featuring more than 20,000 local marine animals indigenous to the San Francisco Bay area, the site is dedicated to educating visitors, as well as research and the conservation of local marine life. The facility boasts more than 600,000 visitors each year. Its largest aquarium is comprised of 300 feet of clear acrylic tunnel, holding more than 700,000 gallons of filtered water from the San Francisco Bay. A Certified Green Business, it is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Discover the Bay provides guests with an introduction to the region's aquatic life. The exhibit highlights the area's distinct ecosystem, which sustains the rich variety of attractions. With eight displays, visitors can obtain a top-notch education about more than 1,000 aquatic animals.

Under the Bay takes visitors along a moving walkway through two, 300-foot acrylic tunnels. The first showcases the near-shore habitat that includes huge schools of anchovies and colorful sea stars. The second focuses on the aquatic animals that live in the deeper depths of the San Francisco Bay. Filled with bat rays, angel sharks and seven gill sharks - measuring 8 feet in length - visitors can watch the amazing creatures as they swim above and around. Expert naturalists are stationed in each tunnel to answer any questions guests might have about the many fish species in the exhibits.

Touch the Bay is an interactive display of costal California's most interesting aquatic creatures. Three touch pools are on display, allowing aquarium visitors the rare opportunity to get close enough to touch bat rays, leopard sharks, starfish and other tide-pool aquatic animals. The Touch the Bay exhibit has become one of the most popular interactive experiences among guests of all ages.

Each day at the aquarium is filled with special events, such as story telling, shark, fish and animal feedings, educational talks and more. On the weekends, Aquarium of the Bay Team Member Scuba Sam teaches visitors about taking steps to go green through fun activities and events. Young guests are invited to join the Scuba Sam Club to receive special discounts each time they visit.

With paid admission, the Aqua Tots program is free and designed for children between the ages of 2-5. A 2-hour program held each month on the second Friday, Aqua Tots takes place from September-June, and has changing themes. The program teaches children about the importance of conservation and provides a chance for them to learn about the animals that live in the San Francisco Bay area. Program activities include making crafts, listening to stories, singing songs, playing games and interacting with live animals.

The Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, California offers something for everyone. The well- educated staff and interesting exhibits make the aquarium a unique experience for all visitors. An exciting and educational way to experience the animals of the San Francisco Bay, the aquarium is open every day of the year, except Dec. 25, and has seasonal hours.

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