Despite only visiting once, I love the Monterey Aquarium. I've always loved aquariums and used to make my parents go to the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut all the time. The Monterey Aquarium is like Mystic times 100, it's so fun. For me, the best part was seeing the Great White Shark they had there. They've had a number of sharks, though only for a couple of weeks each. Sadly they are babies and small and I never saw them eat anything, but the idea that it would become a ferocious being and one day star on Shark Week was enough for me. When A and I visited the shark in September 2006, we went to the gift shop so I could get a shark related souvenir. A bought a small stuffed otter (who lives in our car and is named Hector). This gives you an idea what each of us thought was the best part of our visit - some like man eating sharks, others fuzzy otters. Not that I would ever have to convince A to go back to Monterey, but I think this little guy will help do the trick. His name is Kit (all of the otters are named after Steinbeck characters - the aquarium after all is on Cannery Row) and he is a little orphaned otter who they rescued. He is the cutest thing in the world and I want to take him home and keep him in my bathtub. Please enjoy his personal blog, complete with photos and video. Seriously, you'll want to eat him up. Be warned, there is an otter cam. You may never work again.
ETA: Kit is a girl. You can read all about how male otters are territorial and don't work well in group exhibits on Monterey's otter page. Since the Steinbeck character Kit is a male, I was confused. Apologies to little girl otter Kit. Maybe she should get one of those stick on bows that bald babies wear to identify their gender, that may help avoid some confusion.