Everyone's favorite time of the year is fast approaching -- Shark Week on the Discovery Channel! For whatever reason, audiences year after year become engrossed in a week-long celebration, educational tool and entertainment magnet dedicated to the monsters of the sea.
While many would choose to stay as far away as they can from these legendary horror creatures, many vacation spots offer you the chance to get up close and personal with sharks of all sizes. Feel like testing your courage? Here are five spots to meet the kings of the deep.
At the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, CA, you can watch a variety of sharks species being fed, then see a specimen dissected and explained. If you'd rather get in on the action, take a trip with La Paz Espiritu Santo Kayak Sojourn to join scientists on a snorkeling excursion dedicated to researching whale sharks, the largest fish species on the planet.
For a way to get close and feel safe at the same time, take a tour with Hawaii Shark Encounters and get lowered down beneath the surface to see Galápagos and sandbar sharks whiz by, as well as the occasional whale or dolphin. At Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, you can sleep with the fishes like Luca Brasi at their Shark Sleepovers! Sleep under the watery tunnels of this massive aquarium and watch all sorts of splashing creatures in their nighttime habitat.
When Shark Week just isn't enough and you're in need of a 3D shark experience, head over to San Diego Natural History Museum, where their film "Great White Shark" finds you up close to the thing we love to fear.