Birch Aquarium is north of San Diego in La Jolla. It's not as big as some of the other aquariums in California or as flashy as the big sea-themed park down the road, but instead just right, filled with interesting exhibits and home to leafy sea dragons like the one above, creatures so improbably they look more like something from a children's book than from the ocean.
At the Birch Aquarium, you can watch the creatures being fed, touch some in an outdoor tide pool and get mesmerized gazing into a 70,000-gallon kelp forest. But our favorites are the sea horses. And their cousins the sea dragons.
Pros and Cons
Birch Aquarium is nicely sized and a good choice especially for smaller children who may feel less overwhelmed than at a bigger place - and the price is right-sized too.
If you're already going to Sea World and opt for the aquarium exhibit at Legoland, this one might just be too much of the same thing.
More About Birch Aquarium
If you need more information, check the Complete Guide to Visiting Birch Aquarium
. It will tell you about hours, how to get tickets, admission discounts, how to get there and the best time to go.
See where it is on a map.