The Central Coast Aquarium

Did you know that there is an aquarium here in our very own Avila Beach? The Central Coast Aquarium (CCA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to cultivate community by fostering ocean stewardship through hands-on education and conservation actions. We are located right next to the pirate park, and the beach, at 50 San Juan St, Avila Beach Ca.


We are a two-room aquarium full of exhibits and activities that leave our guests with a unique, impactful, and fun experience. One of our favorites is the swell shark encounter, where guests get to learn about one of our favorite local shark species and even touch them! You read that correctly–here at CCA, your dream of petting a shark can come true. 


We also love showing off our other creatures, from invertebrates to big fish, and offer plenty of ways for guests to get to know all our animals. Looking for some hands-on learning? Our touch tanks let guests dive in and learn about the amazing creatures that inhabit the local

intertidal zones. Wondering how a jellyfish eats? Guests can also observe many of our animals feeding during informative talks and demonstrations. 

In addition to educating visitors in the exhibit hall, we offer ways for you to help conserve marine life. Become a steward with our DIY beach cleanup kits that provide all the tools you’ll need to make the coast a little cleaner, all you need to bring is yourself. 

Don’t just take our word about having a great experience at our small but intimate aquarium, here are a few guest reviews from google review that agree with us (4.3/5 stars on google review). 

While the place is small, it still has so much to offer. Gotta say my favorite are the jellyfish! My friends and I very much enjoyed our time there, thank you! ”-Miss A., 5 stars 

The tour guides were very knowledgeable about each species and their environment, fun experience”-Steven W., 5 stars 

The aquarium is really fun. My 6-year-old had a lot of fun. She got to see a giant lobster, a very active octopus, an awesome [jellyfish] exhibit, and small sharks. As feeding time rolled around everyone crowded around to watch […] my family had a great time.”- Brandon R., 4 stars

This [is] the smallest yet BEST Aquarium I have ever been to. Loved all of the knowledge of the staff. We were lucky to be there for the shark feeding and the octopus feeding. I would definitely stop in if visiting Avila Beach.”-Janet M., 5 stars 

Ready to come ‘sea’ what we are all about? Drop-in and experience all the amazing marine life CCA have to share. We are currently open for exploration: Thursday-Friday 12 pm-3 pm, and Saturday-Sunday 1 pm-4 pm. No reservations required, you pay admissions at the door. Check out our website for our most up-to-date hours, as well as any special events that might be happening.

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