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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.

Highlights

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • Home to amazing giant pandas.
  • Open-air double-decker bus tours.
  • Skyfari Aerial Tram.
  • Voted #1 Zoo in the world on TripAdvisor.
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Good To Know

from Diana, our San Diego Market Manager
  • Free parking.
  • Smoke-free property.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs available.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Same day re-entry permitted.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours available.
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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!



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Reserve San Diego Customer Reviews

9 Reviews sorted by: Write a Review
Gianina Olmos Tucson, AZ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Vacation 2K16"
Reviewed March, 2016
This was mine and my boyfriends first vacation together we both love the zoo so coming to the San Diego zoo was amazing for both of us we enjoyed seeing all the animals with their babies I love giraffes and when I saw the baby giraffes I absolutely fell in love feeding them was an amazing expierence that I will never forget the employees were so friendly and helped us more than twice when we got lost haha but we are definitely going to be back this summer with our families!:)
Tip: People should definitely come early to expierence the whole zoo and get on the sky crates to view the zoo from above

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Sydney Gutierrez Sandpoint, ID
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego Zoo"
Reviewed November, 2015
San Diego Zoo is a major attraction. Not only is it well planned, handicap accessible but also a huge amount of fun. We also purchased several animal close up tours and they were absolutely wonderful. Very informative. It is also nice that San Diego Zoo is so involved in conservation and preservation of species. They have a vision. My family and I had an excellent time.
Tip: If you need a wheelchair or motorized scooter; early arrival is essential.

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Tracy Morning Menomonie, WI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Zoo visit"
Reviewed October, 2015
Zoo is beautiful! Clean, easy to get aroumd, plenty of shade and very welcoming and helpful staff! Our family had a wonderful experience!
Tip: Lots of walking, would recommend guided tour. Especially if you have children. The zoo is beautiful, very clean, easy to maneuver. We all loved it! Definitely need more than 1 day!

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Reserve San Diego Customer San Jose, CA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Gorgeous Zoo"
Reviewed October, 2015
I loved the zoo. I went there with my two kids and wife. We all loved the place. Really, really nice zoo, big a lots of animals to see.

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Megan Aguilar Lampe, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Love the zoo!"
Reviewed October, 2015
Go early, the animals are more active in the morning. We really enjoyed the monkeys and elephant exhibits. The gondola is the best way to get across the park.
Tip: Go on the bus tour first, it gives you a overall perspective of the park.

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Brandi Thomas Gilbert, AZ
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Our San Diego advenrure"
Reviewed October, 2015
We had a fantastic time and Reserve Direct made it so simple!! Even when I had to change the reservation!! We will absolutely use them again

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Vicente V. MX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Interesting but way too big!"
Reviewed July, 2015
The zoo has a lot to see in a very wide area, so you have two options: (1) take the bus, don't tire yourself and have a blur and distant view of some of the animals, or (2) go walking, burn a lot (and I mean a lot) of calories along with your kids, go upstairs/downstairs the equivalent of 8 stories or so, and have a closer and better look of the animals (or maybe a combination of the two options). The personnel is attentive and nice. Dinning is acceptable but expensive, but you may bring your own meal (we didn't know that!).
If you live near (ex. California) it's a good deal, but for us, since we were on vacations from aboard and stayed at Anaheim, CA, I think it was a mistake to visit the zoo at San Diego, this day would be better invested in another attraction near L.A. or going to a shopping mall. Other zoos that I have visited are not as big, but comparable in price-to-satisfaction ratio. I hope it helps.
Tip: Take sport shoes and clothes, sun protector, a good camera with zoom, a shading hat, a stroller if you have small kids, and your own food (sandwiches, fruit juices, etc.)

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Amandeep Gill Yuba city, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego zoo trip"
Reviewed April, 2015
I liked bus tour it's a big zoo.with tree kids it's hard to walk around
Tip: Go early at lest between 8-10 am otherwise most of the animals are sleeping.

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Martha Peterson Rescue, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
""Because We're Happy""
Reviewed January, 2015
Our sojourn into the San Diego experience was so Happy, we felt like we were in a " room without a roof"! The view from our Shelter Island Dr motel was pure "Happiness & that's the truth."
We highly recommend planning ahead to major venues like the zoo. Our e-tickets took us to the front of the line with unlimited access to their amenities.
With our personal GPS navigating the freeways to find our way to The GasLamp area, Coronado & our favorite "Old Town" where our imaginations took us back in time, was easy. We brought home treasure from our visit to Old San Diego to enjoy as momentos of our "Happy - nothing can bring us down" time. We can't wait to return!
Thank you so much San Diego!!
Tip: Plan ahead with E-tickets, go slow & bring walking shoes!

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TripAdvisor Reviews
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Robyn_256

Feilding, New Zealand

"Nice Day Out"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2016 NEW

We booked our trip to the Zoo from New Zealand with our travel agent. We had a really good time and it took us from 11am until about 5.30pm to do it all. With children of course it would probably take a little longer. But we were surprised by how nice the enclosures were and how tidy the grounds/walk ways were. We enjoyed the panda the most as we had never been anywhere else that has pandas. It was a hot day but there seemed to be cold air around the place, I don't know if this was made that way? But I had a cardy and leggins on all day and didn't feel the need to take them off. The elephants were getting fed a little as we went round and a man gave us a little talk. It was interesting to read the 100 year board, nobody else was so we took advantage of the quiet space. The gift shops were amazing, so many plush animals! We thought it was a great day out and totally recommend to all groups of people.

TripAdvisor user image
hcubed85


"A little disappointed "
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2016 NEW

We love the animals and the habitats are lovely. Lots of walking. The zoo is currently under major construction so we felt like we missed out on some animals. Enjoyed seeing the baby gorilla and orangutan.

TripAdvisor user image
key0902

Hillsboro, Oregon

"Great Family Time"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2016 NEW

We had a wonderful time at the San Diego Zoo. The layout of the park was great and while we got our steps in, there were many bus options available for those who wanted it.

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A. Vinnie V


"Best Zoo..."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2016 NEW

The San Diego Zoo celebrate this centennial year. I always love going to the zoo. It brings out the child in you. So much to do and see. You can that a bus tour, skyfari, walk, or just sit and relax. So many beautiful animal to watch and look at. The staff are amazing and love what they do. I always learn and see something new every time I go back. I could go on but if your ever in San Diego. You must experience it for yourself. The best Zoo..

TripAdvisor user image
Chitoman9

Tucson, Arizona

"Awesome ttime"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed May 26, 2016 NEW

This zoo was the best zoo I have ever visited. I loved it. All the animals are very unique and the location is amazing. The rates are somewhat high.

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San Diego Zoo is located at 2920 Zoo Dr | San 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!

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