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Monterey Bay Aquarium-Do We Need To Buy Tickets In Advance?

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Mar 7th, 2013, 06:59 PM
  #1
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Monterey Bay Aquarium-Do We Need To Buy Tickets In Advance?

Hello again everyone,

Many of you have helped us plan our trip coming up at the end of the month & wonder if anyone can tell me if we need to purchase tickets ahead of time for this time of year. We will be in the Monterey/Pacific Grove area for 3 days & would like to save the Aquarium for one of those three when the weather might not be as good to be outdoors. Does this make sense? Can we just wait & purchase the tickets after we get to the area? Common sense tells me that this time of year it would be fine to wait but thought I would get some expert advice. Does anyone know if the public schools will be on Spring break that last week of March?

Thanks for all of your help! Our trip is going to be awesome!!
arwin56 is offline  
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Mar 7th, 2013, 09:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Yes, the schools will be on Easter break and there will probably be lines out the door. I had to go on a weekend once, so ordered ahead of time and picked up at will call, which is around the corner at a different entrance. I have also gotten a membership so I could go thru the easy entrance door.
MichelleY is online now  
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Mar 8th, 2013, 10:08 AM
  #3
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Thanks, Michelle! As always, you are so helpful.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 10:53 AM
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I went last Friday and, though there were obviously schools there, it wasn't crowded at all. We got there after lunch so there was absolutely not a single person in line.

My concern is less about school not being in session than it is the fact that the Otter exhibit is reopening on the 23rd. That's going to cause an increase in attendance right away.

I see no advantage to waiting to buy in person when you can avoid lines. I considered it, but time got away from me.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 11:58 AM
  #5
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suzie, thanks for the heads up about the Otter exhibit! I will definitely go ahead with purchasing ahead of time.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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arwin - After we visited the Aguarium we went to the Monarch Butterfly Santuary on Ridge Road - less than 2 miles away. Though it is the very end of the season we enjoyed seeing the butterflies that were still around. It's a pretty spot - probably didn't spend more than say 15 minutes but worth it. While walking down the path to the bottom of the park area we were joined by a fawn. We saw most of the butterflies at the top of the park area on the path at the back side of the 2 story house/hotel. The rest we saw on the sunny part of the path. Saw none in the shady parts.

FYI Right smack in the middle of Lighthouse Road there is road construction that prevents you from continuing on Lighthouse. It's a very small section that has construction but you do have to take side streets to go around.

I would take Central from the Aquarium to Congress to Lighthouse and left on Ridge. Park right by the pathway. I know that sounds like a lot of turning but it's a really short drive.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:24 PM
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Suzie you're awesome! Thanks for those detour directions. We're staying at the Sunset Inn on Asilomar Blvd. for 3 nights-do you know if this hotel is close to the Monarch Sanctuary? If so, we could leave our car at the hotel & walk to see the Monarchs(I do hope they are still there).
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Mar 8th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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From Sunset Inn to the sanctuary entrance on Grove Acre Ave it’s less than 1/5 mile. Take Asilomar to Jewell to Lighthouse to Grove Acre to the lower entrance to the Sanctuary. You will walk up the gravel path and be in the butterfly area. We saw some butterflies in the sunny spot near the bottom but way more butterflies at the top. I assume that there are some butterflies all the time. At the top we saw trees that were orange with Monarchs. We could only imagine how amazing it would be during the height of the season.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 04:17 PM
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Luckily we were on a bus tour off-season, even then the line for tickets was 2 blocks long. I would get advance reservations for Aquarium.
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Mar 13th, 2013, 07:19 PM
  #10
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Thanks to everyone! I did go ahead & purchase so we are set-can't wait!
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