Sprawling across historic Balboa Park near downtown San Diego lies the world-famous San Diego Zoo. With over 4,000 rare and fascinating animals on display, this Zoo has been renowned as one of the best Zoos in the World.
What we love about the San Diego Zoo…
- The San Diego Zoo is beloved for many reasons but what tops our list is that anytime we visit, we discover something new and improved – a new exhibit enclosure like the Australian Outback, new baby animals born at the Zoo, or a new experience the whole family can enjoy.
- Visitors of every age and from every corner of the planet will appreciate the interesting facts, exhibits, and hands-on experiences at the Zoo.
- The close proximity to the airport, cruise terminal, downtown San Diego, and other attractions makes it easy to drop in at the Zoo, a definite must-see attraction even if you only have one day to experience our beautiful city.
- The animals aren’t the only thing to enjoy at the Zoo! The plants at the park are both beautiful to look at and offer many shaded areas to enjoy while visiting the Zoo. The cool, shady hills and valleys combined with San Diego’s nearly year-round perfect weather allows most animals to remain lively and visible almost every day, even on the hottest days of the summer.
- The Zoo is a great place to sneak in some exercise while on vacation. You’ll find many winding paths and trails throughout the hills and valleys of the park where you can get your heart pumping while admiring some of the most beautiful plant and flower varieties anywhere in the city.
- There are many ways to comfortably enjoy the park. Wheelchair, scooter, and stroller rentals are available as well as a guided double-decker tour bus that highlights all the major enclosures and exhibits. The Zoo has also installed outdoor escalators so you can catch a ride up the steepest hills.
- Unlike other parks, the San Diego Zoo allows you to bring in your own food and beverages and many picnic areas are located throughout the park. Note: For the safety of the animals, glass, alcohol, straws, and coolers are not permitted.
- Must see exhibits and enclosures include: Panda Canyon where can see one of the newest (and cutest) additions born at the Zoo; Elephant Odyssey, which is not limited only to elephants but also includes lions, jaguars, sloths, camels, tapirs, condors, and more. The Lost Forest, a beautiful enclosure for viewing monkeys of all different species climb and play. Plus you’ll get to see many babies hanging onto their mom or aunties.
- The Gorillas and the Meerkats are two of our personal favorite enclosures – both are very entertaining and fun-loving.
Gates open daily at 9a.m. and closing times vary by season. View 2015 Calendar Here. During Summer Nights and Holidays, hours are usually extended until 9:00pm. Passes includes unlimited use of the Guided Bus tour, Kangaroo Express Bus, Skyfari Aerial tram, all shows and exhibits. Parking at the San Diego Zoo is FREE! Food is available throughout the park where you can enjoy everything from snacks and treats to sit-down restaurants serving American style favorites as well as some exotic menu items. The San Diego Zoo allows you to bring in your own food and beverages. Please, no coolers, glass containers, alcohol, or straws allowed. Additional tours are available throughout the Zoo and are an additional cost on top of Zoo entrance fees.
Save when you build your own San Diego Zoo vacation package, which includes Zoo tickets and choice of hotel.
Recommended Hotels near the San Diego Zoo
The following hotels are located in close proximity to the San Diego Zoo and are some of our favorites because of the value and amenities they provide to families:
- Comfort Inn & Suites Zoo/SeaWorld Area offers complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, fitness center, outdoor pool, restaurant, and refrigerators in all rooms.
- Days Hotel – Hotel Circle offers free parking, free internet access, outdoor pool, restaurant, and refrigerators & microwaves in all rooms.
- La Quinta Mission Valley offers complimentary breakfast, free WiFi, free parking, fitness center, outdoor pool, and refrigerators in all rooms.
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