Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco

One of our (mostly Squirt’s) favorite stops during our San Francisco trip was to the Aquarium of the Bay, located at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf. While Squirt shows what I would consider a normal affinity for animals in general, I would not say they are his favorite (that honor goes to all moving vehicles). But the kid literally freaked the eff out the moment we walked into the aquarium and went on to run around in sheer wonder the entire time we were there. So I guess we discovered that he really likes looking at fish. It’s been a really long time since I have been to any aquarium so I don’t have much to compare the Aquarium of the Bay to, Matt seemed to think it was on the smaller side, but for me it was the perfect size to keep Squirt entertained without being so huge that it wore out the grown ups.




There are three different sections to the Aquarium of the Bay. In the first room, there are some smaller displays, including this one which is home to Dory and Nemo. Is that like a standard thing in aquariums now I wonder? Is there a Nemo/Dory tank? I’m making a mental note to check that out at all future aquariums.

aquarium of the bay

This room was also home to the jellyfish tanks, which are just super fun to watch. Squirt really liked all of the different kinds of jellyfish.

aquarium of the bay

The second part of the aquarium is probably what most people would consider to be the coolest, except me because I am lame. The aquarium is home to two tunnels that allow you to walk through them and basically feel like you are walking under water. These tunnels are also where most of the coolest fish are, including the sharks. While I love the idea of the tunnels, walking through them gave me a little bit of motion sickness so I was not the biggest fan.

aquarium of the bay

I didn’t stop to read about any of the fish in the tunnels for fear of prolonging my nausea, but I did snap a few quick pictures of some of the cooler shark like looking guys.

aquarium of the bay

aquarium of the bay

In the third part of the aquarium, there are a couple of non fish animals, like some reptiles and a chinchilla, but the coolest part of this section is the touch displays. In the first one you can touch (with one finger only) sting rays and a small breed of shark.

aquarium of the bay

In the second touch display you can feel starfish and sea anemones.  Squirt was not a huge fan of actually touching the fish, but he tried it and didn’t cry or freak out so that was good.

aquarium of the bay

The last display was my favorite because it contained the cutest “fish” (not fish at all), the river otters. These guys were super fun to watch as they were in constant motion zipping through the water and doing lots of flips (hence the blurry picture, they do not pose well). They were adorable and we had a lot of fun watching them.

aquarium of the bay

We all had a lot of fun at the aquarium, but the best part for me was watching how much fun Squirt had. I will definitely be taking him to our local aquarium since he seemed so into it, and we will be checking out the zoo soon since it is part of my summer bucket list. If you or your little ones are into animals at all, I would definitely recommend stopping by the aquarium on your next visit to San Francisco!

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