The journey through the Pacific Rim unfolds as you are guided through three major regions of the Pacific Ocean: Southern California/Baja, the Northern Pacific, and the Tropical Pacific. The exhibits introduce the inhabitants and seascapes of the Pacific Ocean, while also focusing on specific conservation messages associated with each region. As you enter the Aquarium’s vast Great Hall of the Pacific, a full-scale model of a blue whale, the largest animal in the world, floats above your head. Visitors are given a preview of what awaits in the Aquarium’s main galleries, including an up-close look at Southern California/Baja, with the nearly three-story-tall Honda Blue Cavern exhibit, home to barracuda and other kelp forest fish.
The temperature and atmosphere undergo a drastic change as you enter the Northern Pacific gallery and are introduced to the ice-cold waters of Alaska, Russia, and northern Japan. Puffins and other diving birds nest overhead and “fly” underwater, while the sea otters frolic in a nearby habitat. After leaving the mesmerizing sea jellies and a giant Pacific octopus, bright sea stars and giant Japanese spider crabs await visitors.
Leaving the frigid world of the Northern Pacific, Aquarium explorers burst into the sun-splashed paradise of the Tropical Pacific gallery. From coral lagoons to deep reefs, this gallery represents the areas surrounding the islands of the Palau, Hawaii, and Indonesia. Visitors are introduced to a coral lagoon with colorful fish and exhibits featuring seahorses and more. In the Aquarium’s largest exhibit by volume, the Tropical Reef Habitat, sharks and colorful sea life swirl around visitors in a tunnel and through various viewing windows.
On the Aquarium’s Harbor Terrace with ocean views, you can experience the Moon Jelly Touch exhibit where you can carefully touch these delicate and mesmerizing creatures. Continue on your journey into the Lorikeet Forest aviary to feed this colorful Australian bird species. As you exit the aviary, you can learn about the importance of fresh water and what you can do to conserve it in the Our Water Future exhibit. Then, you can visit the Southern California Steelhead Story exhibit, where you can see and learn about a local fish that can change its body to live in both freshwater rivers and the ocean. Visitors can see large sharks and rays in the Shark Lagoon’s main habitat and touch tropical species of sharks and rays in its 2 touch pools. Adjacent to Shark Lagoon, you will find the Molina Animal Care Center, where you can learn how the Aquarium cares for its animals. On the second floor outdoors, you will find the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat. The upper floor is home to the June Keyes Penguin Habitat, the Ray Touch Pool with bat rays and shovelnose guitarfish, and the Shorebird Sanctuary featuring local wetlands species, including fish and rescued birds.