The Monterey Bay Aquarium: Play. Eat. Nap. Repeat.

So goes a day in the enviable life of our friends the otters, says the Monterey Bay Aquarium. And this summer, you’re invited to play too, and to celebrate a brand-new sea otter pup!

In its 25+ year history, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has rescued 540 stranded animals. This year brought the latest edition to the family, temporarily named ‘Pup 540,’ in an exciting new exhibit you won’t want to miss. This little pup, believed to be about one day old at the time of rescue, was found washed up on the coast in April and now lives happily in her new home with surrogate mother Joy, the aquarium’s most successful surrogate mother to date. Catch these two playing on the aquarium’s YouTube channel!

Also new this summer is the Open Sea exhibit—an awe-inspriring million-gallon display with a 90-ft window where you’ll see hammerhead sharks, mola molas, puffins, sardines, sea turtles, and more. And the aquarium is hoping to have a white shark on exhibit this fall, the first since releasing one of the majestic predators into the wild in 2009.

There’s more to do at the aquarium than could ever fit into one day. Summer is a prime time to visit, with countless Aquarium Adventures, including Day and Evening Sealife Sails where you may even get a chance to steer the boat; a SCUBA diving program for children ages 8-13; and a Summer Deck Program combining music, theater, and puppets. You can even watch aquarists feed the penguins or the creatures in the Open Sea Exhibit.

On weekends, the aquarium holds a special concert series through September 4 called Evenings by the Bay. Visitors can enjoy the underwater magic of Monterey with a glass of wine and specially prepared menu, all set to the soundtrack of Monterey Jazz Festival musicians. Stay after hours for Summer Nights Sleepovers—bring your sleeping bag and camp out next to your favorite exhibit, then wake up to an MBA continental breakfast.

But the aquarium is more than just an attraction. Besides the daily rescue and care of our finned and feathered friends, its ongoing commitment to protecting the environment and the community is shown in its programs Save the Oceans, supported among others by celebrity Betty White, and the Seafood Watch program to promote sustainable fishing practices. Many local restaurants have joined the effort, among them Fish Hopper and two waterfront restaurants at the Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa on Cannery Row. Click here for a list of participating restaurants. You can even download an App from the MBA website that shows you where you can find sustainable seafood and sushi, as well as share your own findings with others.

Be sure to visit the aquarium website for weekly podcasts, blog updates, amazing pictures and videos, fun facts, and even a free downloadable wallpaper—and learn what you can do to help protect our oceans and its beautiful creatures.

Book your accommodations with PGI and receive two days at the aquarium for the price of one. Find out more on our website or call our innkeeper for more details!

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