The Aquarium of the Pacific which was previously known as the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific spans an area of 5 acres located at Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach California. The non-profit aquarium destination is across other San Francisco landmarks such as the Queen Mary Hotel and Attraction, the Shoreline Village and the Long Beach Convention Center. This attraction bursting with marine life attracts approximately 1.5 million visitors annually and an accredited facility of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Aquarium of the Pacific houses more than 11,000 animals hailing from more than 500 diverse species. Most of the marine life depicts the richness of biodiversity in the Pacific Ocean and featured in three of the primary permanent galleries. One of the galleries provides guests an up close look of the breathtaking reefs of the Tropical Pacific in all its vivid colors. The other gallery showcases the marine life thriving in the icy waters of the Northern Pacific. In stark contrast, the last permanent gallery highlights the animals living in the warm waters of Baja and Southern California.
The Aquarium of the Pacific also provides an opportunity for guests to get really intimate with some of the sea creatures. There is a Shark Lagoon where visitors can touch sting rays and sharks. Diverting from the marine life, a Lorikeet Forest can also be found within the confines of the facility where people can feed beautiful multi-hued Lorikeet birds with nectar. The aquariums found here are very diverse ? from the more modest 5,000-gallon capacity to the really grand and humongous 350,000-gallon aquariums.
Aside from being a fun place to visit, the Aquarium of the Pacific is also an advocate of marine life, communicating conservation and preservation messages to all of its guests. It teaches visitors about the breeding and conservation of endangered species, adopting sea otters, sea lions and seals from care centers, beach and marine habitat cleanup drives, and other activities to inform people on the constant threat to ocean flora and fauna including climate change and marine pollution.
Year-round cultural activities are also held here including the Pacific Islander Festival staged during the summer, the Moompetam Festival held during fall, unique treats for the animals during Yuletide season and the African Heritage Festival.
The architecture of the Aquarium of the Pacific was patterned after the huge, breaking waves of the Pacific Ocean and reflects the graceful yet unpredictable mood of the waters. The Aquarium opened its doors to the public in 1998.