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San Diego Zoo in San Diego, CA

2920 Zoo DrSan Diego, CA 92101
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Overview

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the San Diego Zoo offers a 100-acre home for more than 4,000 rare and endangered creatures of more than 650 species, as well as more than 700,000 exotic plants. Guests can enjoy exciting tours, interactive play areas, upbeat live performances, 4-D theater shows, up-close views of exotic animals and a new Australian experience—Koalafornia Adventure.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • Free parking.
  • Smoke-free property.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs available.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Same day re-entry permitted.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours available.
  • Home to amazing giant pandas.
  • Open-air double-decker bus tours.
  • Skyfari Aerial Tram.
  • Voted #1 Zoo in the world on TripAdvisor.

Description

from San Diego Zoo
Long Live Animals: San Diego Zoo Celebrates Its Centennial

In 1916, When a lone lion left in a cage in Balboa Park after the Panama-California Exposition was heard roaring by San Diego surgeon Dr. Harry Wegeforth, he quipped to his brother, “Wouldn’t it be splendid if San Diego had a zoo?” From such simple words, a 100-year revolution was born.

That singular lion roar led to the transformation of 100 acres of land in downtown San Diego into a globally renowned tourist attraction, a cultural touchstone and one of the most inspiring places on the planet.

Today, the San Diego Zoo is an urban paradise for all ages and a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to more than 4,000 rare and fascinating animals, including giant pandas, orangutans, tigers, flamingos, polar bears, gorillas, hippos, Komodo dragons, and more. Now open, come explore the Zoo’s newest exhibit, Australian Outback, a new home for our colony of 25 koalas and other Aussie animals. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows.

A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience. Hope to see you soon!



Reserve San Diego Customer Reviews

23 Reviews
Cathy Ficalora
Babylon, NY
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Fun in the sun @ San Diego Zoo"
August, 2016
I got tickets online at reserves sandiego and not only saved money but never stood online .
The zoo was fabulous and worth every cent.I would order tickets again without hesitation
Tip: Reservesandiego Rocks!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Cynthia M.
Las Vegas, NV
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Zootastic"
August, 2016
Absolutely loved it. It was mine and my 3 yr olds first time. Had a great time. Totally worth every penny
Tip: Be prepared to walk a lot. Also take guided bus tour. Worth it

Was this review helpful? Yes

Brittany Gallegos
Denver, CO
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Expected more"
August, 2016
Now let me start off by saying I love the Zoo anywhere I go. And I've enjoyed the San Diego zoo in the past however this last trip just seemed dull all animals looked miserable and HOT!! The Best part was buying the tickets on reserve San Diego which included the sky ride and all bus tours. Which was great since it was literally the only way to see animals. Overall a nice walk for the family but just not what we expected from the infamous SD Zoo ??
Tip: Lots of water and bus tours

Was this review helpful? Yes

John Phlegar
Las Vegas, NV
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"san diego zoo"
July, 2016
Had a great time, saw some amazing animals. The staff was always friendly, helpful and always ready to share their knowledge
Tip: a two day trip is really needed to see all the animals

Was this review helpful? Yes

Tammy Hundley
Stockton, CA
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"San Diego Zoo"
July, 2016
Great zoo with a lot of awesome animals. The Panda is a must! Got lucky enough to see the Panda waking up from nap and eating his bamboo lunch!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Sharon Cummins
Kimberly, ID
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Wonderful"
July, 2016
My husband and I had a wonderful time at the zoo. So much to see be prepared to walk, there is a lot of shade but as always when in the sun use plenty of sun screen. Keeping hydrated while in the park not a problem well worth buying the souvenir cup and getting refills all day.
Tip: Be prepared for a lot of walking.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Alexander G.
phoenix, AZ
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Thumbs up"
July, 2016
Very fun coming from Phoenix definitely a lot to see here

Was this review helpful? Yes

Meggun hotvedt
Oroville, CA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"San Diego zoo"
July, 2016
Had a great time, enjoyed all the animals.

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
guthriestoneboise
Boise, Idaho
"Best zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2017 NEW
The San Diego zoo is the best of i have ever seen! Even better than the Seattle zoo! The incloseures we're amazing and the animals happy and healthy! Liked it much better than Sea world!
TripAdvisor user image
Linda L
Silver Spring, Maryland
"The Country's Best Zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2017 NEW
Plan on spending many, many hours investigating all the nooks, cranny's and animals in this superior zoo. There are wonderful animal exhibits, and it's a day to make every member of the family happy. More animals that most of us knew existed.
TripAdvisor user image
northernk
Phoenix, Arizona
"Very good zoo just not my all time favorite"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2017 NEW
So waited a long time to see The San Diego Zoo, really since i was a child and almost made it but didn't with my family. In any case this was christmastime, so i am glad that unlike most zoo's one can stay here and enjoy some of the evening lights and festivities of the zoo. That may be because in comparison to other zoo's, even LA's Zoo, San Diego doesn't really do a lot overall. They have a tree lighting and they have some acapella singers the Tinseltones i think. And they have a jazz band that entertains and that's pretty much it. Still it's fun to ride the gondola like ride at the zoo both in day time and in night. Personally, i found the double decker bus not worth the wait and time consuming, better to use the map and wander. Better you are at map reading, better you will be to plan your day. There are many really nice areas of the zoo indeed and great places to get close to the animals. The Bus that circles the park and is included can be helpful in your planning as can the across the park gondola which we rode many times. The thing is it's more expensive at this zoo than other zoo's and they have lots of upgrades here and at the Safari park. But, i'm not sure it's worth it over some of the better priced zoos but certainly worth going at least once.
TripAdvisor user image
zeekhealing1234
Las Vegas, Nevada
"Cool place"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2017 NEW
This zoo was huge. I do wish the elephants would have had more room- with grass and area to play in. the exhibit was all dirt- sad. The highlight was a baby gorilla that was super playful and cute. The gorilla family had good size exhibit for them- some of the other animals definitely needed more space and more natural habitats. Maps were a little confusing. It would be great if they could make the flow better- so you don't have to backtrack.
TripAdvisor user image
Bob W
"A Fun Day at the Zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed January 17, 2017 NEW
Our family had a nice dat at the Zoo. Who does not like a zoo? Yes, we saw the Panda. The zoo is very well-maintained. We went in January and it was not as crowded as other times, but it seemed crowded. I cannot imagine what it is like when the parking lot is full.
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San Diego Zoo is located at 2920 Zoo DrSan Diego, CA 92101
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Zoo

Does the San Diego Zoo have stroller rentals?
The Zoo has strollers available for rent.  The daily charge for a single stroller is $12 and a double stroller is $16.  There is one size of stroller, made of molded plastic, to fit a variety of children; you may check the fit before renting. Strollers have cup holders and a storage pouch in the back. Our double strollers offer side-by-side seating.  We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations are available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the Zoo offer wheelchair rentals?
Our parks have wheelchairs and electric scooters available for rent. The daily rental charge for a manual wheelchair is $12; an electric scooter is $45 for nonmembers, $35 for members. Guests must provide a valid driver’s license or San Diego Zoo Global membership card. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the San Diego Zoo have access for the disabled?
We have a variety of options to assist you and your family. The Zoo has an “Easy Access Pass” that allows you to go to the head of the lines at the Zoo’s Bus Depot and Skyfari aerial tram.  In addition, there are complimentary shuttles to assist you and your party in accessing our lower canyon areas.

Does the Zoo have lockers for visitors to use?
At the San Diego Zoo, we have quarter-operated lockers located in the Discovery Outpost across from Poppy’s Patio.  Small locker: $.75 (16x24x14); Large locker: $1.50 (29x15x23).  In addition to this guest storage amenity, the Zoo has recently added a larger secure storage area inside Front Street Rentals, where guest can rent strollers, wheelchairs and EVCs.  This area can accommodate suitcase storage and larger items that will not fit inside the large lockers.  The cost for this storage area is $5.00 per piece and it comes with unlimited access.

How much is parking at the Zoo?
The Zoo has free parking.

Is it possible to leave the Zoo and be re-admitted?
Guests who are on grounds at the Zoo and wish to leave and return the same day at no charge during open hours may have their hand stamped at the Exit Gate turnstiles. Be sure to keep your ticket!
 
What time of day will I see more animals?
There really isn’t any special time that more animals are in view, although many of our animals are “early risers” and may be a bit more active in the morning. In our concern for the many endangered species that we house at our facilities, we have built exhibits that mimic natural environments. Like natural environments, these areas give the animals plenty of room to hide. We have found that the ability to hide is important to the well-being of many species.

Are pets allowed in the park?
We house significant populations of rare and endangered species at the Zoo and these are considered to be quarantined facilities. State and federal regulations for such facilities do not allow for the access of pets accompanying guests to these facilities. This also includes the unavailability of kennels to house pets during a visit to either facility.

Can I bring food into the parks?
Guests may bring personal food items into our parks. Large food storage containers such as coolers are not permitted on grounds, and no facilities are available for food storage.

For the convenience of guests, there are picnic areas located outside the Zoo’s main entrance. Zoo guests who have already entered our parks may get their hand stamped for re-entry on the same day of their visit during operating hours. Special accommodations for school groups may be made. For the safety of guests and the animals in our care, please do not bring glass, alcohol, or straws into our parks.

Are backpacks allowed?
Guests are welcome to bring a backpack into our parks.

What is the smoking policy at the Zoo?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on Zoo grounds or parking lots. Guests who wish to smoke are welcome to have their hands stamped for same-day re-entry when leaving our grounds to smoke. Please keep your ticket!