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Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

2300 Expedition Way
| +1 858-534-3474
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Great place for family or anyone who loves the ocean San Diego California United States
Grunion Run in San Diego San Diego California United States
Great place for family or anyone who loves the ocean San Diego California United States
Grunion Run in San Diego San Diego California United States

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Sun - Sat 9am - 5pm

Great place for family or anyone who loves the ocean

Birch Aquarium is located near the coastline. Although it is a small aquarium, they have some spectacular fish tanks and exhibits. The seahorse exhibit is really nice, the dragon seahorse has to be one of the most gorgeous creatures that lives in the oceans.

Outside on the patio is a little petting stingray exhibit along with a great view of part of the La Jolla coastline.

Tip: Don't bother paying for your tickets online- they charge an extra $1 per ticket and when you get there, you still have to wait in line to exchange the print out ticket for a "real" one.

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AFAR Local Expert
about 5 years ago

Grunion Run in San Diego

If you love being out by the ocean at night and want something unique for the whole family, definitely sign up for a grunion run experience with the Birch Aquarium. It's especially awesome for kids.

Grunion are silver fish about 4 or 5 inches long and only found off the coast of California. Every year around springtime, they come on the beach to spawn.

I recommend signing up with the Birch Aquarium where scientists give a short lecture about grunion, as well as how to find them, and the laws about viewing.

The grunion run about an hour after the high springtide has begun, so the folks at the aquarium kept us occupied with info about how they got their name and their place in pop culture- yes, you'd be surprised.

After the discussion and short video, they passed out small vials with a bit of sand and ocean water to each family and/or group. We lightly shook the vial and then got to watch eggs pop up from the sand and hatch!

After the informational talks and hatching, the group walks out to the beach to wait for the scout fish to come and check the beach out. If everything's all clear, they wiggle back to the ocean to give the okay and then the "party" begins!