Museums >San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA | Directions 9210132.737113 -117.148419
Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm;Sat. - Sun. CLOSED
Neighborhoods: Central, Balboa Park, Central San Diego
Sister park to my favorite Wild Animal, now San Diego Safari Park, there's a reason why it's called the best zoo in the world. I never understood my girlfriends snobbery about zoo's until I went to this one, the one she grew up with. The parking is free and the zoo is part of a larger complex of museums housed at Balboa Park. But you can spend an entire day at the zoo and not finish. The place is huge with lots of things to see and do. The food at the park is great. I like the tree house cafe best. Splurg to take the bus if you want to avoid serious hill walking.
It was a wonderful day at the zoo. We got there when it opened and we were glad wehad bought our tickets on line since there was a pretty long line already. However, we enjoyed tolerable crowds before noon and saw a lot of the exhibits before the larger crowd came after lunch.
Totally Worth the Cost – WOW!! I've only been here once or twice because it's so expensive but the price is totally worth it and you can tell the difference when compared to other zoos.
I'm originally from St. Louis where we have a free zoo so I was surprised when I moved to San Diego that the zoo was so pricey, but the difference is profound. The animals are so healthy and active whereas in St. Louis they hide most of the time or are sleeping. They feed the animals more naturally here by having them search for their food instead of giving them a bowl full. The enclosure quality is gorgeous as well as the entire park's landscaping. It's just an amazing place to be and definitely well worth paying the extra money for.
I do suggest getting there very early because dowtown San Diego is not fun to drive in (sudden change from three lanes to one lane!!). And try to find off-street parking (save the parking money for admission), Balboa Park is beautiful to walk in anyway so you might want to walk anyway.
crazy zoo – I went to this zoo in the summer and it was so hot but fun. There were more summery animals there. The flamigo area smelled pretty bad. The snake room kinda scared me since the glass was so clear. But this is a perfect plce to take your kids.
Not as incredible as people say. – San Diego zoo is a really nice zoo, but I grew up my whole life believing this was going to be a holy grail of zoo experiences.
I really loved that there's no smoking anywhere in the zoo and the layout and landscaping are wonderful, but I think the reason for this zoo's over-inflated reputation is down to the fact that it's one of the best zoos in the USA and there's LOTS of Americans to sing its praises, most of whom have never experienced some of the world's great zoos.
I found this to be bigger than, but not better than the zoo in my home town of Perth Western Australia. More animals and features, but weaker on the habitats and overall vibe.
I love the Zoo – My family goes to the zoo all the time and we are San Diego residents. We bring our lunch and see the animals and sit and have a picnic. We have annual passes which are pretty inexpensive. We love this place
Expensive and pretty boring – The cost ($28) for general entrance, $2.99 for a small bottle of water and $6.99 for a basic hamburger is too expensive for a few hours of wandering around a park with less than adequate signage and only a few actual "rare" animals. They had much more fun interactivity back in the late 1980's - maybe they should consider their audience when making changes to the park. I came across more than a few older folks that looked like they were about to have a heart attack from walking in circles unable to understand the signs. I'd go to Sea World if I were you.
Best zoo anywhere - world famous. – The San Diego Zoo is constantly being renewed with special exhibits and programs. Different kinds of programs are offered throughout the year. Last week my wife and I enjoyed a "Sunrise Surprise Stroll". It was a guided walk, 7:30-9:00am, giving us adults an up-close, behind the scenes look before the zoo opened to the public. We were a group of about 30 people with a very enjoyable funny guide who knew the Zoo inside out. We went to two locations and talked to the keeper at each. I have been going to the Zoo for years but this really was fun and opened a whole new dimension. The keepers are highly trained professions with years of experience and love their job. If you are interested in this guided tour act quickly because those 30 openings fill up fast. Tell them CitySearch sent you.
Did you know that the plant collection at the zoo is actually more valuable than the animals? Check out the web logs by the zoo's horticulturists, arborists, and gardeners.
I've been a member of the zoo for many years. It's one of the best bargains in San Diego. You get free admission for a whole year and many others things. My wife and I go just when the zoo opens, walk for about 4 hours and then leave for some other activities. A membership is a very enjoyable way to start a Saturday. www.sandiegozoo.o...
Oh, and by the way, TripAdvisor just voted our "San Diego Zoo" as the #10 U.S. tourist attraction. (Sure, I know! Why not #1?) It's in good company: Orlando, Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas, Hana Highway Maui, Grand Canyon, Central Park, Alcatraz, Top of the Rock Observation Deck NY, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Bellagio Fountains Las Vegas.
fun with the animals – This a wonderful zoo. I love watching the polar bears swimming around their tank. The reptile house was a bit nerve racking for me because I really don't like snakes, but they had a wide variety of species. I really love to go watch the elephants and the giraffes. The employees were very friendly and helpful. The zoo is so large that it is difficult to see all of it in one day. The food is a bit overpriced.
Penguins, Polar bears, Primates, and so much more! – It's extremely difficult if not entirely impossible to see everything here in a day. Their penguin exhibit was really cool, and it's neat to see the polar bears swim. There's alot of walking so you should wear really comfy shoes.
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