Long Marine Lab
If you love the sea and all the critters that live in it, be sure to come take a tour of the Long Marine Laboratory (Delaware Ave., 831/459-3800, www2.ucsc.edu/seymourcenter, Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sun. noon–5 p.m., adults $6, children $4). The large, attractive gray building complex at the end of Delaware Avenue sits right on the edge of the cliff overlooking the ocean—convenient for the research done primarily by students and faculty of UCSC.
Your visit will be to the Seymour Marine Discovery Center—the part of the lab that’s open to the public. You’ll be greeted outside the door by a full blue whale skeleton that’s lit up at night. Inside, instead of a standard aquarium setup, you’ll find a marine laboratory similar to those used by the scientists elsewhere in the complex.
Expect to see pipes and machinery around the tanks, which are designed to display their residents rather than to mimic habitats. Kids particularly love the touch tanks, while curious adults enjoy checking out the seasonal tank that contains the wildlife that’s swimming around outside in the bay right now.
If you’ve never been to Long/Seymour before, the best way to introduce yourself to the lab is to take a tour. Tours run at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. each day; sign up an hour in advance to be sure of getting a slot.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition