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Fodor's Southern California 2014
Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific Review
Sea lions, nurse sharks, and octopuses, oh my!—this aquarium focuses primarily on ocean life from the Pacific Ocean, with a detour into Australian birds. The main exhibits include lively sea lions, penguins, large tanks of various sharks and sting rays, and ethereal sea dragons, which the aquarium has successfully bred in captivity. Welcoming visitors to the aquarium's Great Hall is the multimedia attraction Penguins, a panoramic film that captures the world of this endangered species. Be sure to say hello to the newest rescued sea otter, Betty, at the engaging sea otter exhibit. For a nonaquatic experience, go to Lorikeet Forest, a walk-in aviary full of the friendliest parrots from Down Under. Buy a cup of nectar and smile as you become a human bird perch. If you're a true tropical animal lover, book an up-close-and-personal Animal Encounters Tour ($100) to learn about and assist in the care and feeding of the animals; or find out how the aquarium functions with the extensive Behind the Scenes Tour ($39.95). Certified divers can book a supervised dive in the aquarium's Tropical Reef Habitat ($299). Twice daily whale-watching trips on the Harbor Breeze depart from the dock adjacent to the aquarium; summer sightings of blue whales are an unforgettable thrill.
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