California Coast invites visitors to explore the astounding richness of our own coastal waters. Be dazzled by an enormous window revealing the underwater haunts of eels, anemones, rockfish, and more; take in a series of smaller jewel tanks highlighting some of the area’s most fascinating residents; and get your hands wet while interacting with starfish and urchins.
Northern California Coast
This 100,000-gallon tank replicates habitats of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, from quiet salt marshes to turbulent rocky inlets. Stroll the surface walkway to smell the seawater and witness the filling and draining of tide pools, then head below to see what lives in the sanctuary's strong, nutrient-rich ocean currents.
Our latest addition to the California Coast exhibit is an astoundingly colorful, 2,000-gallon tank filled with vibrant brittle stars, painted greenlings, and rosy rockfish, giving visitors a glimpse into the vast array of fish and invertebrates that thrive in California’s National Marine Sanctuaries.
At the Tidepool Explorer station, visitors can experience what it's like to participate in citizen science—and learn more about how to protect California's vibrant and vital coastal ecosystems.
Touch and examine ocean creatures at the Discovery Tidepool, where Steinhart Aquarium biologists and docents help visitors of all ages interact with and learn about starfish, sea urchins, and other creatures native to the California coastline.
And So Much More
Don’t miss our giant Pacific octopus, halibut, and the Southern California Kelp Forest, housing colorful Garibaldis and other fish that glide through strands of giant kelp.