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.

Online: montereybayaquarium.org

photo: cmichel67 via flickr

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium - Monterey, California
  • Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta, Georgia
  • Shanghai Ocean Aquarium - Shanghai, China
  • L’Oceanogràfic - Valencia, Spain
  • AQWA - Perth, Australia
  • Turkuazoo - Istanbul, Turkey
  • The Deep - Hull, England
  • Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium - Okinawa, Japan
  • Tennessee Aquarium - Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • AquaDom - Berlin, Germany
  • CONNECTICUT, MYSTIC - Mystic Aquarium
  • Shedd Aquarium - Chicago, Illinois
  • National Aquarium - Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dubai Aquarium - Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Aquarium of Genoa - Genoa, Italy
  • WASHINGTON, SEATTLE - Seattle Aquarium

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

–Christal Yuen & Scott Wardell