PLAN A VISIT |PLAY
Aquarium of the Bay is San Francisco Bay’s Aquarium and home to approximately 30,000 animals that are found in the bay and along the California coastline, including native sevengill sharks, grand bat rays, giant Pacific octopuses, an array of jellies, and North American river otters.
Located just steps away from the San Francisco Bay, Aquarium of the Bay boasts two magnificent crystal clear tunnels totaling 300 feet and holding 700,000 gallons of carefully maintained bay water between them. With a focus on education and conservation, Aquarium of the Bay is the only aquarium dedicated to the diverse marine life and distinctive ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed.
Aquarium of the Bay features four main exhibit areas for guests to explore:
Discover the Bay
“Discover the Bay” highlights animals that are commonly found closest to shore, right off of San Francisco’s docks where the fish tend to be smaller and juvenile, including green moray eels, wolf eels, juvenile swell sharks, a swirling school of anchovies, and the California state fish, the orange garibaldi.
Under the Bay
“Under the Bay" is the Aquarium’s main and most iconic exhibit area. When visitors first enter “Under the Bay,” they step into a tranquil environment where they discover five species of mesmerizing jellies. The jellies gallery is followed by two massive tunnels that are home to over 200 species of animals. In the first tunnel, guests will find a variety of animals including the giant sea bass, a rainbow of colored rockfish, California sheephead, and more. The second tunnel represents animals from the deeper waters of San Francisco Bay. Here, visitors will find multiple species of sharks including sevengill sharks (the Bay’s largest predator), spiny dogfish sharks, and leopard sharks, as well as grand bat rays, white sturgeons, and more.
Touch the Bay
“Touch the Bay” offers a hands-on experience for Aquarium visitors. Guests can touch juvenile bat rays, skates, and even sharks in the exhibits first touchpool. In a second touch pool that resembles California’s rocky coastline, guests can touch sea stars, sea anemones, and sea cucumbers. Guests will also encounter the “PG&E Bay Lab,” which features land-dwelling animals that are ambassadors for climates around the world.
The “Bay Lab” demonstrates the effects of climate change on these animals and their natural habitat. Visitors can learn about the animals in the “Bay Lab,” including blue-tongued skinks, red-eared sliders, and a California king snake, as well as participate in hands-on science experiments led by Aquarium naturalists.
River Otters: Watershed Ambassadors
Lastly, guests will encounter “River Otters: Watershed Ambassadors.” This exhibit features three playful North American river otters in a serene environment that combines land and water habitat. The exhibit includes two freshwater pools, a river stream, plus plenty of dry land and dig pits for the otters to enjoy. The river otters act as an ambassador species to help teach guests about the importance of the health and conservation of the watersheds that flow into the bay.