WHERE TO GO FIRST... when you step inside a world-class aquarium? Do you saunter over to the area with the otters, especially since otters and the institution you're in are such a widely known pairing? Do you call upon the sardines, the thousands of wee swimmers that glide in perfect formation in a perfectly serene space above your head? Or is it all about the Open Sea area, which gives visitors a glimpse at what life is like miles out into the vast water? The choices are so plentiful at Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the starting point so challenging to pick, especially if you arrive wanting to see it all. But arriving at the Cannery Row-based destination on Veterans Day Weekend? There's a special quality to the moment, for the aquarium extends a show of gratitude to those who have served with free admission over three days. Those three days in 2017 run from Friday, Nov. 10 through Sunday, Nov. 12, so plan to call upon the region if it has been too long or you don't visit the stunning aquarium nearly enough.
DISCOUNTS FOR FAMILY MEMBERS? Tickets "...can be purchased in advance at participating bases," if you're traveling with a few of your nearest and dearest. As for who may gain gratis entry over the second weekend of November? Veterans, active-duty military, reservists, and retirees are on the roster. As for what might be seen inside the sizable building, after you've said hello to the otters and sardines? Feedings (hello penguin, otters, kelp forest, and Open Sea), a Mysteries of the Deep presentation, and Project White Shark, just to name a few to-dos. Outside of the aquarium? Keep the free electric trolley in mind should you want to scoot around the always bustling section of beautiful Monterey. It's a weekend of gratitude and reflection, making the aquarium an ideal place to be.