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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey, California

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Great Tide Pool during King Tides

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

With an annual average of 1.8 million visitors, The Monterey Bay Aquarium showcases nearly 200 galleries and exhibits devoted to the diverse habitats of Monterey Bay.

Focused on both entertainment and education, this aquarium is the pride and joy of patrons and residents of this coastal area.

Forbes Traveler says: "One of the most enchanting aquariums in the world."

Family fun under the wave machine

Inside the aquarium is a machine that simulates the rhythmic pounding of waves and is great family fun. Standing under this glass shield, one sees the captivating and continuous power of the ocean.

The Grand opening of this aquarium was October 20, 1984, and the total number of visitors through the year 2015 has been 58 million.

A great place to take the family

You may visit the aquarium by purchasing the daily entrance fee which runs from $30-$50 per day depending on if you are a student, senior citizen, an adult or a child. But if you are a local resident of the Bay area and plan to return often, the yearly $250 family membership is the way to go. In this way you can teach your family about marine life in an engaging, colorful, unforgettable way many times during the year. There are also group rates available for 12 or more people.

A Father and daughter enjoy the jellyfish display

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

 

Children of all ages respond to the magic that is Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Here you see the jellyfish display which is simply mesmerizing. If you would like to enjoy a live webcam of the jellyfish, click here

Pink!

There is an unlimited number of underwater creatures in all colors and shapes. Each window you peer into at the aquarium will bring another grouping of fascinating sea life.

A closer look

Here is a closer look of this mass of fine-haired, pink string-like creatures.

Simply wondrous.

Chambered nautilus on display in the special exhibit "Tentacles"

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The beauty of the nautilus shell has inspired mankind for hundreds of years. These shells were popular decorations in mid-19th-century Victorian homes, sometimes made into shell drinking cups.

The Nautilus expands its living space as it grows, adding internal chambers in a perfect logarithmic spiral coated in mother of pearl. They may live more than 15 years.

A community of sand dollars

Have you ever seen so many sand dollars in one location in your life? Sand dollars are burrowing sea urchins and when alive, their exoskeletons are covered in velvet-like spines which help them move across the sea bed.

A Caribbean reef octopus, not native to the Monterey Bay

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

What a gorgeous animal! And what a great shot!

This coral reef marine animal changes color and texture to blend into its surroundings, using specialized skin cells. Its color range is very large, changing from crimson to green, and bumpy to smooth.

Food court

Hungry? Take a break from the world of the sea and visit the food court on the first floor. There are lots of choices. You can get your favorite coffee drink and a pastry, a sandwich, soup or salad.

Whimsical metal octopus

This artistic metal rendition of an octopus looks straight out of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, adding a bit of whimsy to the real-life sea animals surrounding you.

Thousands of fish!

In the center of one room was a clear, round fish tank with thousands of silvery fish swimming around the outer edge of the tank in circles.

Between the deep blue color and the motion, the scene was mesmerizing.

Adorable southern sea otters

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Terminally cute, the southern sea otter is a member of the weasel family. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters don't have a thick layer of blubber. To stay warm in the chilly 59 degree ocean waters, they wear the world's densest furóat its thickest, this two-layer fur is made up of more than a million hairs per square inch.

 

To view Monterey Bay's live sea otter web cam, click here

Visitors watching a SCUBA diver in the Kelp Forest exhibit

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The four largest exhibits at the aquarium are the Open Sea (1 million gallons); the Kelp Forest which you see above(335,000 gallons); Monterey Bay Habitats (326,000 gallons); and Sea Otters (55,000 gallons).

Marvelous family and friends at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

(photo credit: Terry Gale)

With a total of 322,000 square feet at the aquarium, after a point it was sensory overload. Even with a break for lunch, after several hours, we were exhausted! There is just so much to see and enjoy.

Locals have the advantage of returning again and again.

Cuttlefish changing color

(photo credit: Terry Gale)

Cuttlefish are sometimes referred to as the "chameleons of the sea" because of their incredible ability to rapidly alter their skin color. And this can occur within one second!

Their average life expectancy isn't long - about one to two years.

Cuttlefish possess an internal structure-like skeleton called the cuttlebone, which is porous. You probably know this more familiarly as the tough material given to parakeets and other caged birds as a source of dietary calcium.

 

Colony of eels in the !Viva Baja! exhibit

(photo credit: Terry Gale)

This aquarium has won countless awards over the years, including TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice award as the "Best Aquarium in the World" and Parenting's 3rd place of the "20 Best Places to Take the Kids."

Truly, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a winner on all counts!

View of Great Tide Pool, Pumphouse, and decks exteriors at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

(photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a privately owned non-profit, self-supporting establishment with an annual budget of $84 million. It accepts no public funding.

Open 10-5 daily, except Christmas Day, however hours of operation vary by season.

Monterey Bay Aquarium, 886 Cannery Row Monterey, CA 93940

Telephone: 831. 648.4800 Website: MontereyBayAquarium.org  General aquarium inquiries: equarist@mbayaq.org

There are feeding shows throughout the day and you can view live cams of the aquarium here

For more stories and photos of California, see our USA page

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurerís Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

For more information about financial independence and travel, visit our book store

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