I LOVE aquariums. I find so much inspiration there- from the colors of the sea creatures and vegetation, to their shapes, to their fluid movement through water.
During my road trip through Big Sur, I landed in Monterey Bay and spent my morning at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a "window to the wonders of the ocean" sitting on the edge of Pacific waters.
The Giant Pacific Octopus is possibly one of the most elegant and interesting animals I have ever seen- I was mesmerized by its graceful leaps through water and occasional change in body color to blend with surroundings.
If ocean life fascinates you, this is a great west coast spot to visit. It does not have the massive exhibits where you find yourself walking on glass over sharks, but it does have a unique collection of species and an overwhelming sense of tranquility coupled with ocean breezes.