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This beautiful facility is both an aquarium and a museum, operated as the interpretive arm of the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The aquarium affords close-up views of the Pacific Northwest, the California coast, Mexico's Sea of Cortés, and the tropical seas, all presented in more than 60 marine-life tanks. The giant kelp forest is particularly impressive; other highlights include a variety of sharks and ethereal moon jellies. The outdoor demonstration tide pool not only displays marine coastal life but also offers an amazing view of Scripps Pier, La Jolla Shores Beach, the village of La Jolla, and the ocean. The museum section has numerous interpretive exhibits on current and past research at the Scripps Institution, which was established in 1903 and became part of the University of California system in 1912. The bookstore is well stocked with textbooks, science books, educational toys, gifts, and T-shirts. Off-site adventures, such as tide-pooling, scouting for grunion runs, and whale-watching, are also conducted year-round (call for more details). Give yourself at least 90 minutes here.