Tag Archives: aquarium

Gumbo Limbo Nature Centre

hunter turtles

 

The Gumbo Limbo Nature Centre in Boca Raton is a wonderful stop for families. It’s a non-profit, with entry by donation, and is part turtle rescue sanctuary, part research facility with the Florida Atlantic University and part aquarium with wonderful sea tanks to check out.

We arrived in time to watch the feeding at the deep water tanks. It was fun to watch the frenzy of fish as they all grabbed for food and yet managed not to grab each other!

We also checked out the Sea Turtle Rehab centre and learned some neat facts about all the different kids of turtles!

turtle rescue

 

turtle rescue 2

They also have a short boardwalk trail through the mangroves, along with a 40 foot observation tower where you can see both the beach and the inland waterway.

family photo

If you paid attention on the boardwalk, you could find lots of little critters… You even got to see Gumbo Limbo, which are red barked mangrove trees.

Hanging with the animals in Monterey Bay, California

monterey jellyfish 3

 

We spent the day in Monterey Bay yesterday. Their tourism tag line is “Grab life by the Moments” and it was definitely a day full of moments. We started at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and then spent time on the Monterey Coastal bike trail and on the Coast Guard Pier.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is impressive – right from the time you spend on their website through to the actual experiences you have. They have created an app that you can download and it allowed Hunter to plan out our visit the night before, picking what feeding experiences he wanted to see and which exhibits he wanted to visit. That made it so easy to make the most of our visit and ensure there were no disappointments or missed moments.

Some favourite experiences were:

  • Penguin Feeding
  • Sea Otter Feeding (and Sea Otters in general)
  • Open Sea Feeding
  • Kelp Forest Feeding
  • Touch tanks with the star fish

The feedings were great – the staff were so informative and engaging and the Open Sea Feeding was eye opening with respect to how they manage to feed 4 distinct groups of sea animals (slower ocean sunfish, fast moving blue & yellowfin tuna & mahi maui, school of sardines and a group of hammerhead sharks) without any carnage.

monterey trail hunter

After our 4 hours in the aquarium we were ready to do some more exploring. We hopped on our bikes and road south down the Monterey Bay trail system to explore the Pacific Grove shoreline. Lots of crashing waves and rock outcrops. On our way back to the truck we detoured down to the Coast Guard pier and it was an unexpected treasure…

  • Coast Guard boats
  • Fire department boats
  • Police boats
  • 2 dive shops for Tim
  • a shoreline full of sea lions and seals at play

On our way home we stopped at a California Farm Stand and enjoyed the low prices and fresh produce as we loaded up for dinner!

monterey farm stand hunter

Ucluelet Aquarium

Lee & Hunter ucluelet aquarium

We discovered the Ucluelet Aquarium during our October trip to Tofino last year. It is a small but plentiful aquarium focused on the local marine life in the Tofino/Ucluelet area and the best part is that 50% of their space is taken up with touch tanks where you get to touch, feel and pick up the animals.

The staff are incredibly helpful and will answer any questions you have. They often do educational sessions which are great for adults and kids alike.