The Ocean Institute invites you to explore the ocean’s underwater world and California’s fascinating maritime history through fun, interactive programs and family activities that indulge your ocean curiosity.
On weekdays, our campus bustles with eager students on educational field trips, but we invite you explore our Headlands and Beyond exhibit area that includes:
Local sea creatures in the Rocky Reef tank
Each weekday, we focus on a different part of California’s unique ecosystem and history. Join us for:
Marine Impacts Monday
Facilities Open:Headlands & Beyond exhibit area
Saturday & Sunday
On weekends, we open the campus and welcome you to explore our site-wide, immersive journey into the mysteries of the Pacific Ocean. Come and learn all about Moon Jellies, encounter live animals in our Discovery Pool touch-tank, join in animal feedings, and even conduct squid dissections if you’re adventurous!
Weekends through November, learn more about a sailor’s life in the 1800’s with historic dock tours and activities guaranteed to spark your little scallywag’s curiosity!
Facilities open:Headlands & Beyond exhibit, tidepool playscape, Maddie James Seaside Learning Center and all labs inside the Ocean Education Center, the Brig Pilgrim.*
*Tours of the Brig Pilgrim are offered on Sundays during regular admission hours. Please note that the Pilgrim will be closed for maintenance December 18- January 1.
Private tours are available for groups of 10 or more. Must book at least two (2) weeks in advance.
Groups of 10 more receive special pricing of $5.00 per child and $7.50 per adult when you book in advance. Call us at (949) 496-2274 to reserve your tickets.
Join the Ocean Institute for a tidepool hike led by one of our expert naturalists.The hike will take us into the rocky Marine Conservation Area located directly behind the Ocean Institute. Families can explore the area and search for snails, crabs, sea stars, and other animals that make the tidepools their home. The winter months are the best time to explore these magical marine ecosystems!