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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

20 Reviews sorted by:
John Phlegar
Las Vegas, NV
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"san diego zoo"
July, 2016 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
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 NEW
Had a great time, enjoyed all the animals.

Was this review helpful? Yes

michael steele
Mesa, AZ
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Love the zoo"
July, 2016 NEW
I have been to a lot of zoos and this one is the best. It's always good to go to a zoo that actually has animals in the exhibits. Amazing

Was this review helpful? Yes

April love Durban
Long beach, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Family time??????"
June, 2016
Really amazing place it's really good for family and friends ??????

Was this review helpful? Yes

MItchel Farmer
Sanger, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Day at the Zoo"
June, 2016
I thoroughly enjoyed spending the day with my family at the zoo. It was so handy reserving my ticket on line so that I did not have to wait in line and I even saved a few bucks. I would recommend go this route to all that would listen.
Tip: They should check on Reserve San Diego for all attractions that they have in mind

Was this review helpful? Yes

TERESA J.
Fitzhugh, OK
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"granddaughter trip"
June, 2016
Reseresandiego is an amazing sight to use, not only was it easy to use, but incase you made an error the customer service was just as amazing, it was my first time, and wanted my trip with my granddaughter to be special. It was and thank you again for helping with my trip
Tip: it was very user friendly, and the customer service is amazing

Was this review helpful? Yes

Jennifer Velasquez
San Gabriel, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Awesome!"
June, 2016
The zoo was awesome! Took the bus tour and the sky ride. Staff was helpful, zoo was clean, animals were out. Great experience.
Tip: Clean zoo, well deigned- appreciated the design details

Was this review helpful? Yes

Reserve San Diego Customer
Pheonix, AZ
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Getaway"
June, 2016
San Diego Zoo is a lot of fun. I've been twice and each time has been a different adventure. You can go alone or with family. Lots of animals to see and they are diligently work to expand the zoo. I like the tours and the sky ride very relaxing. Only requirement is a good attitude and comfortably walking shoes. Have fun.
Tip: Ware comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Gianina Olmos
Tucson, AZ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Vacation 2K16"
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

Was this review helpful? Yes

Sydney Gutierrez
Sandpoint, ID
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego Zoo"
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Tracy Morning
Menomonie, WI
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Zoo visit"
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!

Was this review helpful? Yes

Reserve San Diego Customer
San Jose, CA
3 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Gorgeous Zoo"
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Megan Aguilar
Lampe, MO
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Love the zoo!"
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Brandi Thomas
Gilbert, AZ
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Our San Diego advenrure"
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

Was this review helpful? Yes

Vicente V.
MX
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Interesting but way too big!"
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.)

Was this review helpful? Yes

Amandeep Gill
Yuba city, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego zoo trip"
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.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Martha Peterson
Rescue, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
""Because We're Happy""
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!

Was this review helpful? Yes

TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Sue M
"Somewhat Sad"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2016 NEW
Maybe it's me, but I was sad seeing some of the enclosures for the larger animals. They seemed too small without enough space for them to move around. That being said, they really do push conservation and trying to ensure endangered animals are bred. They seem to have a good success rate. Take the bus tour and ride the air tram, both were great. The tour gives a great overview when you first arrive so you can plan your day. The workers are great and enthusiastic for the most part. See the shows and listen to the talks. If you have time to stay at night, it's nice and cooler, so the animals seem more active, of course. I'm not sure this is better than any other zoo we've visited.
TripAdvisor user image
djlu
Solvang, California
"Not the same"
TripAdvisor user rating 3 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2016 NEW
We were disappointed in what we experienced. The pandas were hiding, as we're many of the large cats. The enclosures seemed not as lush, or the water features clean. The bus tour was disappointing and you couldn't see much in the way of animals. There were a couple hilites, the hippos sleeping right next to the glass and the polar bear cooling off in the water gnawing on a bone. I recommend not coming here hungry. The food is mediocre and expensive. You can however purchase a souvenir cup near the entrance and get refills for 99 cents around the park. This is a large park and will require a lot of walking up and down hills. The entrance fee of $50 does not support the experience, however they say it helps conservation around the world. So I guess it's worth it after all.
TripAdvisor user image
Lauraworman
Barry, United Kingdom
"Great education"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2016 NEW
I liked the fact that they display a very big message about saving the planet, preventing extinction and the work they are doing to help animals. The staff are very friendly & knowledgable. Liked the bus tour
TripAdvisor user image
andrewDublin_Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
"Excellent zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2016 NEW
We spent hours at San Diego zoo and would highly recommend it. There's loads of animals & plenty of places to eat. Just a word of caution, there's very little shade on a hot day
TripAdvisor user image
SandSteve3
Wisbech, United Kingdom
"Great day out"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed July 30, 2016 NEW
we went to San Diego zoo yesterday - during most school.holidays here and in a heatwave. we got there early and found a place to park quite near the front but there is plenty of free parking. Lines to get tickets were quite short. Once inside the zoo (entry fees stack up well against any major attractions) we found a map which was easy to follow. Our one - day ticket allowed us to use the Park Tour bus - we did this first so we could get our bearings and I'd recommend it. we sat up top and got some great photos early on. the guides are very informative and entertaining. After that we walked to the Sky tram (also included in the day ticket) and stopped off to see Ice Age 4d - brilliant - make sure you do at least one of the 4d shows. This theatre is a little cramped and staff at that point were not ensuring that people moved all the way along rows but it was not full at that stage so this might change later in the day. The Park also has a free hop-on hop - off bus service which takes you around the park to save your legs. it's called the Kangaroo bus and it operates throughout park opening. At the end if the day we went to see the other 4d show Rio - which was even better. We had to pay $4 each for this one (only one show included in the day ticket) but well worth it. This theatre is much more roomy and you can access the rows from either end. Lines for lunch can be long. Beverages are expensive although there are water fountains dotted around the Park. We purchased a souvineer cup which comes with free refills on tgecday of purchase for $11 and shared it. it proved good value for money since we refilled it around 8 times. You can refill beverage cups at various trading posts as well as restaurants although at lunchtime the lines were long. Professional photos are taken at a lot of exhibits - we didn't buy any so not sure of the price.
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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!