Founded in 1984, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is comfortably nestled at the end of cannery row in Monterey Bay, California. The aquarium, and its exhibits are widely popular, and have an annual attendance of 1.8 million visitors. With over 600 different species of sea life, it’s one of the most ecologically diverse aquariums in the world. It’s also set apart from other aquariums due to its ocean water pumping system, which essentially connects all of its exhibits to the ocean directly. The water is filtered for clarity during the day but at night, plankton and other naturally occurring minerals are let through, allowing the sea life to receive the same nutrients as they would in the wild.
One of many amazing exhibits is dedicated to jellyfish. These curious creatures float freely through an brightly lit enclosure and against a background. Standing in a dark room, you’re treated to a luminescent view of these floating blobs of jelly, each of which create a different picture each time.
If you’re in the area (Monterey Bay is a day trip from San Francisco), I highly recommend making the aquarium a highlight of your trip.