Gardens: Not only known for its animals, the San Diego Zoo also has a vast botanical plant and orchid garden. The Orchid House is open for the Orchid Odyssey on the third Friday of every month, and select Sunday’s from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The San Diego Zoo and Safari Parkalso act as "rescue centers" for rare and endangered plants.
The San Diego Zoo Tour: In order to make your visit to the San Diego Zoo more efficient, take the 35-minute bus tour of the park before you do anything else. This San Diego Zoo tour will help you get your bearings and give you some idea of which areas of the park you want to be sure and revisit.
Rentals: Strollers, motorized wheelchairs and lockers are available for rent at the San Diego Zoo for those in need of greater mobility. For your convenience there are also ATMs, a First Aid station and a Lost and Found station that are open for the entirety of the San Diego Zoo hours.
Animal Friendly Focus: Since the 1920's the San Diego Zoo has pioneered efforts to create cage-less exhibits - don't worry, though, the lions can't escape from their exhibits! Cage-less just means that the animals are kept inside their exhibits by moats and enjoy humane surroundings that replicate their natural habitats as closely as possible. The San Diego Zoo also features some of the largest free flight aviaries in the world, so if you like bird song and gorgeous foliage, the San Diego Zoo is the place to be!
Admission and Parking: San Diego Zoo admission price varies based on the package you choose but pricing is lower for children (ages 3-11). Gift cards and full year membership passes are available for purchase. Special parking, rest rooms, and access to exhibits, shows, and tour buses are all available to Zoo guests with disabilities. General parking is free, long spaces are available for RV/buses, no overnight parking.
Why It's Awesome: The San Diego Zoo is a great place to go in San Diego for a lot of reasons. Not only is it a huge park with almost inexhaustible exciting animal exhibits to see, but it is also fun for all ages. The park makes an effort to entertain the youngest of kids and also the adults that go with them, or go on their own.
The Pandas: One of the coolest animal exhibits at the Zoo is the giant panda exhibit. The San Diego Zoo is one of only four facilities in the United States to carry the giant pandas, which are a critically endangered species. The panda exhibit is the most popular exhibit at the San Diego Zoo, so make sure to arrive early because this will probably have the longest line.
It's Good for the Animals: We're not talking about the education your kiddies will surely gain, though that's a plus too! But you can buy San Diego Zoo tickets with a clear conscience - the Zoo focuses on providing amazing care for all of the animals and this includes habitats that mirror each animal’s original natural habitat as closely as possible. The San Diego Zoo is also hugely active in conservation and species-preservation actions.
The Full Bar: This is one of those reasons that adults love the San Diego Zoo so much. Come with the family or for a date night, but don't miss out on Albert's. If you are looking for a fine dining restaurant with a full bar you won’t be disappointed at the San Diego Zoo. Visit Albert’s located in the Tree House complex next to Gorilla Tropics. It is open for lunch and summer evening dining and overlooks a private waterfall, a perfect view for any occasion.
The Local Scoop: San Diego Zoo tickets are available in different forms including single day tickets, multi-day tickets and multi-park tickets. SanDiego.com has great San Diego Zoo discount tickets to make your trip even more affordable. If you are a local or live just a drive away, consider getting a San Diego Zoo membership and enjoy huge savings and access to the Safari Park as well!
Do Go All Year: The San Diego Zoo is open year-round with San Diego’s perfect climate. San Diego Zoo hours vary by season, but the park is open every day of the week including holidays. The best time of year to save money is in October, when kids are admitted free. On SanDiego.com you can find San Diego Zoo discount tickets that can save you money no matter when you want to go!
Do Stay in a Nearby Hotel: Located in Balboa Park near downtown, the San Diego Zoo can be conveniently reached by car or public transportationfrom most San Diego hotels. Book a Downtown San Diego hotel and plan your next trip to the World Famous San Diego Zoo!
Don't Try it in One Day: The San Diego Zoo is famous for having over 4,000 animals and 100 acres. Even with the help of the Skyfari Gondola lift and tour bus it's pretty much impossible to see the whole park in one day. Instead grab a map and plan out which animals you'd like to see on specific days, and plan on making it to the San Diego Zoo more than once in your next trip!
Don't Miss Out on the Local Area: As if the San Diego Zoo didn't hold enough excitement, which it does, this wonderful park is located right in Balboa Park! Just steps from the entrance to the Zoo you'll find the Spanish Village Art Center with local artists displaying uniquely crafted artwork. Walk through the rest of the park to enjoy the rest of this San Diego staple. And don't forget to check out Downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter, too!