Birch Aquarium at Scripps

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San Diego Birch Aquarium
Birch Aquarium San Diego

What you'll do

If you're looking for a San Diego aquarium, look no further than Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla.

Visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps with Go City®

  • With us, there are no entry fees on the day – all you've got to do is show your pass.
  • Birch Aquarium admission included. 
  • See over 5,000 fish in 60 habitats.
  • Hands-on activities including touch pools.
  • Feedings, talks, and multimedia displays.
  • Pass holders also get free access to many more attractions in California.


Learn about living coral reefs, watch baby seahorses play, listen to whale songs, and even pet sea stars at this immersive aquarium in San Diego.

The Birch Aquarium is home to more than 5,000 fish in over 60 habitats. And you'll see everything from sharks and lobsters to turtles while learning all about ocean science and the marine environment. There are daily feedings and sea life interactions to watch, and if you want to get hands-on, you can head to the touch pool and pet sea stars and crabs.

The Birch Aquarium interprets the research and discoveries of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography – a world leader in marine science – so you'll be learning straight from the source.

Birch Aquarium highlights

Hall of Fishes  from the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical Indo-Pacific seas, there are always unique creatures to spot in the Hall of Fishes. Don’t miss the giant pacific octopus and the rescued loggerhead sea turtle (and the 3D printed brace on her shell).

Giant Kelp Forest  be dazzled by this two-story tall exhibit that showcases the giant kelp forests found throughout southern California. Spot bright orange Garibaldi fish and marvel at the endangered (and huge) giant black seabass.

Seadragons & Seahorses  this exhibit features one of the largest seadragon habitats in the world. Learn all about these charismatic creatures and get a peek into the work the aquarium’s renowned husbandry team is doing to ensure their survival.

Tide Pool Plaza – get your hands wet for an up-close look at "life on the edge" of the ocean. You’ll get to touch sea stars, sea anemones, hermit crabs, sea cucumbers, lobsters, and more organisms that live in rocky intertidal habitats.

Shark Shores – meet the ‘locals’ when you come face-to-face with leopard sharks, rays, and more in this large outdoor exhibit that explores the animals that live next door to Birch Aquarium at La Jolla Shores.

Research in Action: 100 Island Challenge – more than an engaging coral display, it is also a working laboratory for Scripps Oceanography scientists to test research equipment before heading around the world to study wild coral reefs.

Expedition at Sea: RV Sally Ride Gallery – showcases what it’s like to live and work onboard Scripps Oceanography’s newest scientific research vessel. Get hands-on with kinetic sandboxes, see unusual specimens, and learn what it takes to work at sea.

Oddities: Hidden Heroes of the Scripps Collections - It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a … Giant Tube Worm? The aquarium’s comic-inspired exhibit highlights the astonishing adaptations of creatures from the world-renowned Scripps Oceanographic Collections.

Go City is a better way to sightsee. Your pass includes Birch Aquarium tickets, plus admission to dozens of top San Diego attractions for one money-saving price.

Ready to start exploring San Diego? First, choose between an All-Inclusive Pass or Explorer Pass.

Experience Birch Aquarium at Scripps and many other attractions with the All Inclusive Pass.

View the All Inclusive Pass

Know before you go

Getting in: please go to the ticket booth at the front entrance to exchange your pass for a Birch Aquarium ticket upon arrival.


Q. What is Birch Aquarium at Scripps?
A. Birch Aquarium at Scripps is a public exploration center and aquarium that is part of the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Q. What kind of exhibits can I find at Birch Aquarium at Scripps?
A. At Birch Aquarium at Scripps, you can find a variety of exhibits featuring marine life from the Pacific Ocean, including sharks, seahorses, jellyfish, and more.

Q. Is there anything to do for kids at Birch Aquarium at Scripps?
A. Yes! Birch Aquarium at Scripps has a variety of programs and exhibits designed specifically for kids, including a touch tank, a tide pool plaza, and interactive exhibits.

Q. Are there any outdoor exhibits at Birch Aquarium at Scripps?
A. Yes, Birch Aquarium at Scripps has several outdoor exhibits, including the Tide Pool Plaza, which showcases the diverse creatures that live in rocky intertidal habitats.

Q. Is there anything special happening at Birch Aquarium at Scripps right now?
A. Birch Aquarium at Scripps offers a variety of special events and programs throughout the year, including special exhibits, concerts, and outdoor movie nights.

Q. Can I bring my own food to Birch Aquarium at Scripps?
A. Outside food and drinks are not allowed inside Birch Aquarium at Scripps, but there is a café on-site that offers a variety of food and beverage options.

For more information, visit the Birch Aquarium at Scripps website.

Where you'll be

Operating hours

Daily: 9AM-7PM

We recommend checking directly with the attraction for updates on opening hours as the aquarium may close early for events. 

Closings & holidays

The aquarium will be closed on the following dates:

  • Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

All holiday hours are subject to change without notice.

Buy with confidence

Free cancellation

Plans can change, we get it. All non-activated passes are eligible for a refund within 90 days from your purchase date.

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