"FRIENDS AFFECTED BY FIRES": Searching for some deep peace and contemplation in the reverent and timeless setting of an aquarium? Visitors do it each and every day, whether they find a seat in front of a tank filled with fascinating cephalopods, or an exhibit that's home to some playful otters, or the room where comical crabs and critters hold court. It's no secret that going to the ocean's edge has long been a respite for those looking for an hour of quietude in an unhurried, picturesque place, and few spots are more Pacific-adjacent than the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
THE LAUDED AQUATIC INSTITUTION... may be a stately peninsula staple, but it knows its fans and followers come from all corners of the California and beyond. Wanting to do something for "Friends Affected by Fires" in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino Counties, the Cannery Row aquarium posted a moving message on social media on Thursday, Oct. 12: "For all northern California residents in communities under a state of emergency because of this week's devastating fires: We're here for you. If you can travel to Monterey, we're offering free admission for you and your family through Sunday, Oct. 22. We need each other now, more than ever. Our hearts are with you."
ALL YOU NEED? Driver's license and proof of residence when you arrive at the aquarium. And if you have three of your kin along, that's just fine, as the sweet gesture covers up to "four people per visiting party."