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Zoo • Tourist Attraction

San Diego Zoo

What They Are about

An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Spend the day monkeying around in our tropical oasis as you visit amazing habitats for animals such as gorillas, Komodo dragons, tigers, flamingos, mandrills, polar bears, birds of paradise, giant tortoises, elephants, and more. Visit the Australian Outback to see our colony of more than 25 koalas. Take a Panda Trek to visit the giant pandas and other animals that share their bamboo forest habitat. A stroll through Africa Rocks reveals the animal and plant inhabitants of six iconic African habitats. Enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or an aerial view from Skyfari, dine in the peaceful surroundings of Albert's Restaurant, and see animals up close in the Children's Zoo.​

Located adjacent to downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, the Zoo is 100 acres in size and is home to more than 4,000 animals representing more than 800 species from around the world. We suggest taking the Guided Bus Tour upon your arrival to acquaint yourself with the various areas where you would like to spend additional time. The Zoo is a unique walking experience that exhibits animals in the most natural way possible, adding shows and animal presentations throughout the day for additional enjoyment. To make your visit even more exciting, book one of our special tours like Animals in Action, Inside Look, or Discovery Tour. Meet our animal ambassadors up close, learn about our conservation work and see what goes on behind the scenes. The San Diego Zoo also offers a variety of education programs, spring and summer camps for kids, sleepovers, and catered events for family or business gatherings. 

Our Notes 

  • Arrive Early , Those of you who've been following our blog for awhile know that this is one of the very best ways to make sure you beat the crowds. So it goes without saying that our first San Diego Zoo tip is to arrive in the morning and ride the bus tour with the shortest line. The earlier you arrive, the more you can see and experience.

  • Avoid Visiting on a Hot Day, We know this is not always in your control, but many animals are a lot more active when the temperatures are in the 60s and 70s.

  • Bring Hats, Sunscreen and Water The Southern California sun is strong, and the climate is dry.  Be sure to stay hydrated and protect your skin from the sun.

  • Rent or Bring a Stroller Those hills and distances can be very tiring for little legs, so using a stroller for babies, toddlers, and even preschoolers is highly recommended and one of our top San Diego zoo tips if you have tadpoles. Single strollers rent for $12 and double strollers are $16.

  • Take a Guided Bus Tour, Taking a 35-minute Guided Bus Tour can help you get your bearings for the zoo and share some interesting information about animals and the zoo itself. It is no substitute for actually seeing the animals up close, but you will see a lot of animals from the bus and maybe get an idea of areas you want to revisit later. We recommend riding it first thing in the morning before the line gets long. We sat on the top deck in the morning and enjoyed a great view, but if you do ride in the afternoon on a sunny day, choose the bottom deck for shade. The bus tour is included in zoo admission.

San Diego Zoo

2920 Zoo Drive

San Diego, California

(619) 231-1515

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