Discover moon jellies, sharks, mommies and guppies
Show up any day, except Monday, at the Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach at 10:30 a.m. and enjoy a swell shark encounter. That’s the actual name of a variety of shark, swell shark, but visitors to the aquarium are pretty much guaranteed a swell time, too!
The swell shark has the unique ability to inflate to twice its normal size when it feels threatened by grabbing its tail fin in its mouth and swallowing water. Moon jellies are a species of “jelly fish,” scientifically known as Aurelia aurita. Learn more about the swell shark, the moon jelly, and more of their marine life companions at the Central Coast Aquarium.
The aquarium is a marine science education center located just steps from the beach. Visitors are treated to daily educational talks, the opportunity to explore touch tanks, and see over 50 different species of wildlife. From shark and ray exhibits to rocky intertidal displays filled with unique local fish and crabs, there is something for everyone at the Central Coast Aquarium.
Additional happenings include
- Private tours are a great activity for senior groups and reunions. Reservations required.
- Floating laboratory, hop aboard a boat for scientific exploration.
- Adopt an aquarium animal.
- Sea Explorer Marine Science Summer Camps, for youth 5 to 14, gives young people an opportunity for special hands-on experiences with marine life and marine science. Spring and winter camps are also available.
- Mommies and Guppies is a monthly event designed for preschoolers and their guardians to explore the museum. Tots enjoy close-up encounters with some of the aquarium’s marine life, story time, sing-alongs, and games and crafts.
- School programs include a variety of informative marine science lessons and experiences, scientific explorations of life above and below the surface of the San Luis Obispo Bay, biological monitoring studies, and more.
The gift shop offers educational games along with a wide variety of unique gifts and clothing that benefit the marine science program at the aquarium. Gift certificates are available.
The mission of the Central Coast Aquarium is to cultivate a community dedicated to ocean stewardship. The aquarium was born from a passion for the sea and community, and is committed to providing opportunities centered around education, engagement, and action by offering a fun, hands-on experience that encourages stewardship of our oceans.
The Central Coast Aquarium is located at 50 San Juan Street in Avila Beach and is open every day but Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. General admission is $8, $5 for seniors and military (with ID), and free for children ages 2 and under. For more information, call (805) 595-7280 or visit centralcoastaquarium.com