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San Diego Zoo, San Diego

(20,000+ reviews on the web)
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Providing a home for 3,700 of some of the world's rarest animals, San Diego Zoo features pandas, gorillas, antelopes, orangutans, koalas, and much more. Noted for pioneering the concept of cage-free exhibits that recreate natural animal habitats, this zoo covers an area of almost 40 hectares (100 acres). Take guided tours on a bus, or hop on an overhead gondola to see the diverse habitats from the air. See different animals often found side by side in the wild, along with native plant life from places such as African rainforests and Arctic taigas. To view the collection of rare plants, visit the arboretum. Begin your visit at the visitor center, where you can pick up a free map. Arrange to visit San Diego Zoo and other attractions in San Diego using our San Diego vacation trip planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I'm not a big fan of zoos but I've seen so many shows growing up and this zoo looked different Firstly it focuses on conservation of animals and also protecting the climate The animals all look happy ...  more »
  • This was our second visit to the zoo. We went last year when in town. I was so happy to see the Panda Bears as last year they did not come out when we came by. I was disappointed that we missed them b...  more »
  • My family and I love the San Diego Zoo! They have such a great variety of animals, exhibits, and shows. The layout of the zoo is very convenient and easy to find your way around, and the decorations m...  more »
Google
  • Definitely the best zoo I've been too. This place is huge, and the variety of animals is very impressive. For the most part, the way the animals are organized makes sense. Plenty of stores offering refreshments all around, so lines are short and you have something to snack on when you need. Staff is friendly and informed. Park is clean and all the buildings and cages are well maintained. Animals seem to be treated as well as possible for a zoo. Can't go wrong here, definitely get an annual pass if you live in San Diego.
  • We had season passes for both of the two years we lived in San Diego. I like the upgraded pass as it is nice to be able to bring in a free guest. Some of my favorite less visited areas are the fern canyon trail (closest thing to my Hawaii home that I have found on the mainland) and all of the aviaries. The bus tour is best for first timers, however there is a great rooftop jaguar viewing area that you only get to see from a bus (after construction on Africa​ Rocks connector is finished and they close the road to pedestrians again), although you can just get on the kangaroo bus (quick stop bus) to see it... As long as there is room available, it can be very busy on the weekends! While I love the night hours, really Africa is the best place to see animals after 5pm as many of the animals throughout the zoo have early bedtimes and will be off exhibit in the evening hours. And take the skyfari towards the polar bears (away from the front entrance) as lines returning can be quite long. Have fun! I always see something new and interesting. I almost forgot, don't skip the reptile house, they have one of the best snake collection with lots of tropical species as well as a few local north American species. There are also some reptile sections hidden in small segments throughout the zoo. I skip the children's zoo, only because it is crowded. There is a great bug house and some nice smaller animal exhibits.
  • I love going here. It's one of the few places in San Diego that is still reasonably priced for the family Fun and still has free parking to boot. They've even made better packages and though the price has increased they've added in items that would have been an additional cost before. Both the zoo and the Wild Animal Park have been a wonderful combination and have had the pleasure of holding a membership because of it in the past.
  • This is the best zoo I've ever been to. The zookeeper talks are awesome to attend. Almost all of the animals were out and visible to see (except the polar bears). It's a great place to get a good walk in as well. All around it was a good time.
  • As a SD native, I began visiting starting around age 10, back when it was free up to age 16. Some years ago, they transformed the zoo from kind of a barren desert-like atmosphere, with too-small enclosures (especially for birds and primates), into a lush green sort-of paradise with 4 spacious aviaries and generously spacious primate enclosures, plenty of places to sit as the lush foliage shades the guests, so that both the animals and visitors enjoy themselves far more. For locals like me and my wife, the annual pass for two is a little more than $10 a month, unlimited visits and much more (like free overhead gondola rides) including unlimited free admission to Wild Animal Park.