San Diego attractions La Jolla
Blue Beach, new at Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Photo credit: @Birch_Aquarium via Twitter.

The Birch Aquarium has opened Blue Beach, an outdoor patio with a 4,500-square-foot floor mural depicting the terrain of the sea canyons off La Jolla Shores.

The space, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography attraction, will feature “pedal-powered” music from Rock the Bike and seating with a view of the Pacific Ocean.

Megan Dickerson, Birch’s director of exhibits, said Blue Beach offers supporters a chance to relax and take in the view, but also to learn more about the coast, from the canyons to creatures like leopard sharks.

“We’ve now created a space where our community can learn and play together within view of the ocean that we are so inspired to protect,” she said.

The new patio opened Thursday in conjunction with World Ocean Day.

Starting July 10 and running through the end of August, Blue Beach will host a series of family-friendly happy hours, including pop-up interactions with Scripps scientists. The events, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, will feature craft beer and wine pairings with bite-sized foods, and music and outdoor games for entertainment.

“The new space also allows for additional hands-on activities to explore ocean science in a deeper, more meaningful way,” according to a statement from the aquarium.

Blue Beach is located on the south plaza near Shark Shores and the aquarium’s Shark Head photo op.

Birch Aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Labor Day. Tickets are $24.95 for adults and $19.95 for children.

– City News Service