San Diego Tourist Guide

San Diego Zoo

Picture of Giant Panda at San Diego Zoo

A walk on the wild side. The San Diego Zoo has been entertaining visitors since 1916. It is one of the largest zoos in the world covering 100 acres in lush Balboa Park and houses over 4,000 animals. The atmosphere of this zoo is incredible, projecting an ambiance of true nature and the wild. Animals live in spectacular habitats that have been specially constructed to mimic natural ecosystems. The zoo in San Diego is renowned for its amazing botanical displays of exotic and rare plant life in addition to its vast array of animal species.

San Diego Zoo offers a glimpse into numerous habitats from around the world, from Australian koala bears to macaws from the Amazon. See
tigers prowling in an Asian jungle. View animals from the Artic in their icy surroundings. Lazy hippos float in a balmy African river and orangutans swing playfully from the trees. The exhibits are constructed with the purpose of providing an optimum view of the animals in their natural environments, and the experience is as authentic as it can get without actually venturing into the wild.

The Zoo. A Top San Diego Attraction

One of San Diego Zoo’s most famous attractions. One of the few places in the world where you can view the rare panda bear in a natural habitat, the "Giant Panda Research Station", where pandas have successfully bred in captivity. This exhibit offers what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to glimpse into the lives of the endangered giant panda.

Children's Zoo. Although the entire zoo is a great experience for children of all ages, the Children’s Zoo was especially designed for the kids. Here, they can visit goats and bunnies in the petting zoo or see some of the adorable baby animals in the two nurseries. Everything at this attraction is made for kids, so count on them being captivated with this part of the zoo.

Getting around the San Diego Zoo. Walking is the best way to get up close to the incredible wildlife, but the zoo’s steep hills may be a little too strenuous for some, especially if you have small children along. The zoo provides speedy guided tours in open two-story buses, or you can travel across the zoo more quickly using the express buses or Skyfari Aerial Tram.

The San Diego Zoo attracts quite a number of visitors. Avoiding crowds can make your visit all the more enjoyable. Try to catch the most popular shows and exhibits early in the morning or late in the evening. As usual, holidays are not the best times to visit if you are trying to stay away from the masses. Plan to spend the whole day to enjoy all that the zoo has to offer. If you get hungry, delicious food can be found at any of the numerous fast food shops throughout the zoo. A fine dining experience is available at Albert’s Restaurant. There are many gift shops can also be found throughout the zoo, so be sure to stop by and pick up an exotic souvenir.

For ticket discounts to the zoo and other San Diego attractions. Checkout the Go San Diego Card. Get unlimited admission to over 45 attractions including the San Diego Zoo, LegoLand, Wild Animal Park, Knott's Soak Water Park, Harbor Excursions, Birch Aquarium and much more.

San Diego Zoo Video

San Diego Zoo Location and Directions

From the North Going South. South on Interstate 5, take the Pershing Drive exit and follow the signs. From Interstate 15, take State Route 163 south to the Park Blvd/I-5 South exit. Exit at Park Blvd. Turn left on Park Blvd and head north; Zoo entrance is off Park Blvd at Zoo Place.

From the South Going North. North on Interstate 5, take the State Route 163 north exit, then the Zoo/Museums (Richmond Street) exit and follow the signs.

From the East Going West. From Interstate 8, take State Route 163 south to the Park Blvd/I-5 South exit. Exit at Park Blvd. Turn left on Park Blvd and head north; Zoo entrance is off Park Blvd at Zoo Place. From State Route 94, proceed into downtown San Diego to 12th Avenue. Turn right on 12th Avenue, which turns into Park Blvd, and proceed north. Zoo entrance is off Park Blvd at Zoo Place.

Public Transportation. Call San Diego's traffic and transit information (511) or visit the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System website.

Map Directions To The San Diego Zoo

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Other Animal Parks: Safari Park and SeaWorld

San Diego, California