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San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco

3.7
#11 of 41 in Zoos & Aquariums in California
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
San Francisco Zoo hosts gardens and habitats with over 1,000 animals from more than 250 species. Among numerous mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates, you'll have a chance to see the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in captivity. You'll also have the chance to examine insect specimens under a microscope and observe a large selection of live arthropods, including centipedes, hissing cockroaches, termites, tarantulas, and bees. The zoo hosts exhibits of Africa and South America with their native animals, aviary, large cat, bear and primate centers, and a children's zoo with a feeding and petting farm. Check out the miniature steam train ride here. Before you head to San Francisco, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly San Francisco vacation generator, to make sure you see all that San Francisco has to offer, including San Francisco Zoo.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
677 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The zoo is vary large and animals are well displayed. We had a nice day, but be prepared for a lot of walking to see everything. They offer reduced fees if you belong to your local zoo so bring a card...  more »
  • Took our four year old twins and were very disappointed. Yes, there are a few large cool animals but there were some very sad looking cages with no animals. The insect section ( use to be my favorite)...  more »
  • We went before noon and did not have a major problem parking. We lucked out with a close place near the front gate as someone was leaving. The zoo is a bit pricey for what you get. There are not a hug...  more »
Google
  • Definitely entertaining for children. Being an adult, it was cool to see some of my favorite animals, however the ones I cared to see most were sleeping or just plain cold. Not sure if it's because out of their environment or cause it was around high 60s but the "cats" weren't active at all. Descent food and beer, but hefty prices $10 for a beer. Again, we were there for our son, so it was worth every penny. Even when parking lot is full, parking outside for free is not a bad walk at all.
  • I have three kids and they all enjoyed this zoo! Very spacious and clean. A huge bonus is the amazing playground in two themes - trees and an iceberg (or somewhat like that). We loved the idea of volunteer teens sitting around with different small animals and explaining facts about them, have never seen that in other zoos. My kids wanted to stay and volunteer too ))
  • Really don't even waste your time or money! I am EXTREMELY disappointed we wasted over 50 dollars for two adults to walk around to see nothing much. The zoo closes at 5 we were there at 3, they started closing down any inside exhibits or food at 4pm... I paid good money honestly don't think y'all need to close down at 4 to view inside exhibits. A lot of the staff seemed very rude about us trying to see what we paid for. I am a photographer and visiting zoo's is something we do while on vacation and i could tell you this was the biggest disappointment yet!!! I would rather pay 800 in plan tickets to fly to Florida and get a better experience! I have maybe 3 good photos of animals and more plant photos than anything! You do also have to pay $12 dollars to park as this wasn't extremely obvious to us until we were in the parking lot already! I would really love a refund but instead i made the decision to hope that money goes towards the animals to help them! Trust me i don't normally write bad reviews but this is definitely a 1 star worth review
  • Overall a beautiful zoo because of the old trees and such but I feel some of the animal spaces could be bigger.. But I like that they rotate the cats, so they can get a sense of smell of the other cats which stimulates them and also they have more tied to explore! That takes hard work, and is admirable. Signs could be better though, we got lost a couple times trying to follow the signs, but we could have used the map. Was a good time. Peaceful.
  • As a nanny, I love the SF Zoo for the endless entertainment it provides small children. Playgrounds are large and themed. The animals on display seem to have a lot of space. With the renovations, the animals seem more accessible while actually being safer from visitors. Membership is relatively inexpensive and well worth it for regular visitors.

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Where to stay in San Francisco

From inexpensive hostels in quiet residential areas to high-end hotels near the city center, San Francisco has accommodations for every budget. Key consideration is what kind of neighborhood you want to stay in. You'll find luxury hotels in Union Square, which has prime shopping, is near theaters, and is on the cable car line. Many hotels are in the northeastern portion of the city, near the tourist-driven neighborhoods of Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf, both easily explored on foot. To get away from the tourist crowds, consider the smaller inns and family-run bed and breakfasts in some of the city's more charming neighborhoods, such as Noe Valley or Pacific Heights. There are also boutique hotels scattered around town. Avoid staying in the Tenderloin. If you plan to have a car with you, ask about parking availability and fees. Parking is often difficult and expensive.
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