Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is also located at this beach. Admission is Free but there is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $1 for kids. The Exhibit Hall has many exhibits to educate the public about the different coastal environments and marine life that lives there. There are tanks containing various species of fish, a sea horse, sea anemones, and a Moray Eel. There is also a Touch Tidepool Tank next to the Exhibit Hall. Another building houses the Aquatic Nursery where young sea animals live. Next to it is the Exploration Center where you can take a look through a microscope visit a Breakwater Tank, and see the Fossil Wall and Coastal Habitat exhibits. The museum offers many programs that are also free such as Grunion Run Tours in March, June, and July which educate you about the silvery fish that swim up onto the beach to spawn and also free weekend tide pool walks on the wooden tide pool trail to Point Fermin.
Cabrillo Aquarium Moray Eel
Cabrillo Aquarium Fishing Pier Exhibit
The museum is open from 10 am - 5 pm on weekends and Tuesday thru Friday from 12 pm - 5 pm. There is a Gift Shop on site to purchase souvenirs of your visit to the Aquarium. Cabrillo Coastal Park is adjacent to the museum and has walking trails to tidepools at Outer Cabrillo Beach, paths to the Native Plant Garden and the Salt Marsh. Cabrillo Beach is accessible from the same parking lot where the museum is located, so you can take a dip in the ocean after exploring the exhibits.
Cabrillo Aquarium Fish Tank
The Tidepool Touch Tank is located within the Exhibit Hall. It closes 1 hour before the Aquarium closing time, so be sure to get there early enough so you do not miss out on it. A volunteer at the Aquarium is on hand to provide great information about the living sea creatures such as starfish and sea anemones in the tank. The railing and height of the tank is perfect for kids to see everything.
Tide Pool Touch Tank
Tide Pool Touch Tank - Close Up View
Cabrillo Aquarium Sea Anemones Tank
For the grunion run, it is legal to catch the fish, but as it is on the beach, a valid fishing license is required and you may only catch grunion by hand. Not exactly easy to do as the grunion run at night by the light of a Full Moon or not so light New Moon! They also offer free Salt Marsh tours of the Salinas de San Pedro wetlands habitat where you can learn about the birds and other animals that live in this environment.
Sea Anemone Tank
The Tide Pools are just a short walk towards the Bath House, down the beach bike path, and to a wooden, railed path. This path leads to a rocky beach, so watch your footing. At low tide, you can see the natural tide pools at this beach
Cabrillo Beach Path to Tide Pools
Cabrillo Marine Aquarium Entrance