Friday, April 10, 2009

Saddle up with sea horses: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Tiny, graceful, and big-eyed, sea horses are charismatic and, well, cool. What other animal has a belly pouch like a kangaroo, head like a horse, a prehensile tail like a monkey, and can change colors like a chameleon?

They're pretty complex, which may be why sea horses remain so mysterious. The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Secret Lives of Seahorses aims to unveil some of the mysteries of these cute creatures. You'll see 15 species of sea horses, pipefish, and pipehorses. And check out their mating rituals: intertwining tails, showing bright colors, and twirling about. And THEN, the males give birth. Talk about some impressive guys!

This is the first weekend of the exhibit, and it's a great excuse for a Monterey getaway. After seeing the sea horses by the seashore (we couldn't resist), take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Aquarium, then roam the wharf, hop on the bike path out to Lover's Point, or just wave-watch as you sip a latte at an ocean-front cafe. Hey, you may not be tiny, graceful, and big-eyed, but you deserve a break, too, right?

Details: The Sea Horse exhibit runs now through 2012. Monterey Bay Aquarium is open daily 10-6 on Cannery Row; entry (includes the Sea Horse exhibit; behind-the-scenes tour is extra): $29.95, $27,95 senior and student, $17.95 ages 3-12. For lodging and dining info, visit the Monterey County CVB website.

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COPYRIGHT Lora Finnegan 2008-2009

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