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The Birch Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 fish in over 60 habitats. And you’ll see everything from sharks and lobsters to turtles while learning all about ocean science and the marine environment. There are daily feedings and sea life interactions to watch, and if you want to get hands-on, you can head to the touch pool and pet sea stars and crabs. The Birch Aquarium interprets the research and discoveries of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography – a world leader in marine science – so you’ll be learning straight from the source.
Hall of Fishes
From the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical Indo-Pacific seas, there are always unique creatures to spot in the Hall of Fishes. Don’t miss the giant Pacific octopus and the rescued loggerhead sea turtle (and the 3D-printed brace on her shell).
Giant Kelp Forest
Be dazzled by this two-story tall exhibit that showcases the giant kelp forests found throughout southern California. Spot bright orange Garibaldi fish and marvel at the endangered (and huge) giant black seabass.
Seadragons & Seahorses
This exhibit features one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world. Learn all about these charismatic creatures and get a peek into the work the aquarium’s renowned husbandry team is doing to ensure their survival.
Tide Pool Plaza
Get your hands wet for an up-close look at “life on the edge” of the ocean. You’ll get to touch sea stars, sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and more organisms that live in rocky intertidal habitats.
Meet the ‘locals’ when you come face-to-face with leopard sharks, rays, and more in this large outdoor exhibit that explores the animals that live next door to Birch Aquarium at La Jolla Shores.
Research in Action: 100 Island Challenge
More than an engaging coral display, it is also a working laboratory for Scripps Oceanography, scientists to test research equipment before heading around the world to study wild coral reefs.
Expedition at Sea: RV Sally Ride Gallery
Showcases what it’s like to live and work onboard Scripps Oceanography’s newest scientific research vessel. Get hands-on with kinetic sandboxes, see unusual specimens, and learn what it takes to work at sea.
Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … Giant Tube Worm? The aquarium’s comic-inspired exhibit highlights the astonishing adaptations of creatures from the world-renowned Scripps Oceanographic Collections.
Birch Aquarium Highlights
- Birch Aquarium admission included.
- See over 5,000 fish in 60 habitats.
- Hands-on activities including touch pools.
- Feedings, talks, and multimedia displays.