A teaching and research laboratory dedicated to the scientific study of marine habitats and animals, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center in Santa Cruz, CA is an excellent destination for visitors of all ages who hold a special curiosity regarding the ocean and its inhabitants. Learn more about this education and fun attraction below!
See Monterey Bay’s Marine Life Up Close!
Run by the University of California, this expansive facility houses a variety of marine exhibits. From one of the largest blue whale skeletons in the world to massive aquariums and tide pools where visitors can interact with sea stars and other unique marine mammals, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center provides hours of educational wonderment for guests.
For the majority of the year, the Seymour Marine Discovery Center is open on Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00am until 5:00pm. However, the center is open seven days per week during the months of July and August. The center is closed for holidays such as Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve.
Admission to enter the center ranges from $6.00 for seniors over 65 years, students with ID, and children between 3 and 16 years of age, to $8.00 for adults. Toddlers ages 2 and under, members, and UCSC undergraduates with a valid ID are all free.
Free daily tours of the Seymour Marine Discovery Center are given at 11:00am, 1:00pm, 2:00pm, and 3:00pm, with tours ranging from 30 to 45 minutes in length. Families with young children will enjoy the abbreviated 30-minute Morning Family Tour, given at 11:00am. Other tours last 45 minutes in total. Private group tours can be reserved as well.
Behind-the-Scenes tours are also available (and free). During these tours, visitors travel into the surrounding Santa Cruz area with a guide and learn about scientific conservation, local marine life, oceanic habitats around the world, and more. 90-minute tours of the Younger Lagoon Reserve near the center depart at 2:00pm on certain Thursdays and Sundays at the beginning of each month, and 30-minute tours of Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf are given during the spring and summer on Saturdays at 1:00pm and 3:00pm. The Younger Lagoon Reserve tour is recommended for visitors at least ten years or older, with the ability to walk up and down steep inclines.
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