Your kids are dying for a chance to explore the ocean floor but without that scuba diving degree, they’ll have to settle for a visit to a few larger-than-life aquariums. Not just a place to view animals, these watery hot-spots are all about being marine-conservation savvy, too. From under-water elevators to amazing architecture, flip through the slideshow below to see stunning marine museums from all around the world.

Monterey Bay Aquarium – Monterey, California

Home to both delighted marine animals and a waterfront view, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a tranquil space for water lovers to stroll through 200 exhibits--from their stingray petting tank to their plexiglass splash cove--and learn about ocean conservation. This aquarium does amazing work for local water-loving creatures by helping out sea otters, bluefin tunas, albatrosses and more with their rescue and release program.

Star Attraction: Who can resist feeding times? Younger visitors will love watching penguins gobble down their meal and exploring the kelp forest as divers hand-feed sharks, fishes and other animals. Take a peek into the aquarium now by watching the live web cams here.


photo: cmichel67 via flickr


Is there an aquarium that didn’t make the list? Share your favorite fishy encounter in a comment below!

–Christal Yuen & Scott Wardell