San Diego Zoo in San Diego, CA

2920 Zoo DrSan Diego, CA 92101
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San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California

Overview

Entertaining and educating families for over 100 years, the San Diego Zoo offers a 100-acre home for 4,000+ rare and endangered creatures of more than 650 species, as well as more than 700,000 exotic plants. Guests can enjoy exciting tours, interactive play areas, upbeat live performances, 4-D theater shows, up-close views of exotic animals and an Australian experience—Koalafornia Adventure.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • The zoo offers free parking.
  • This is a smoke-free property.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs available.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Same day re-entry permitted.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours available.
  • Take advantage of the open-air double-decker bus tours.
  • Voted #1 Zoo in the world on TripAdvisor.
  • Locker rentals are available.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Tripster's own team members

Diana K.

The Skyfari provides an excellent overview of the park grounds. Plan to stay the day, and go mid-week if possible as it's less crowded. Best zoo I've visited!

View my photos

Description

from San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to more than 4,000 rare and fascinating animals, including great apes, Komodo dragons, tigers, flamingos, polar bears, eagles, koalas, and more. Africa Rocks is home to penguins, baboons, and the mysterious fossa.

The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience. Hope to see you soon!



Tripster Customer Reviews

524 Reviews
J Low
El Dorado Hills, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Africa Rocks"
May 2019 NEW
Dont miss Africa rocks its amazing!
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Tip: Walk downhill and ride the buses back up!

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Olga Ramirez
Pacoima, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Excellent San Diego Zoo Experience!"
April 2019 NEW
We had an EXCELLENT time at The San Diego Zoo! It was both my Husband & I’s first time visiting and we got to see the Pandas before they left home to China. We made sure to pick a date where the weather would be nice & nice it was. The park was very clean. I suggest downloading The FREE San Diego Zoo- Travel guide app on your phone to use their map. It was VERY helpful to help us tackle the large park! We set to allow location track & it was spot on showing us exactly where to go & made our experience so much easier.
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Tip: Take comfortable shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen & a hat & Buy park cup for 11.99 (9.99/ea if you buy 3) that includes unlimited FREE drink refills

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Betsy Alger
Las Vegas, NV
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"Zoo"
April 2019
The zoo was great. The tickets included all the tours and bus. I will definitely use this site again to book my tickets
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Debra Rice
Stockton, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great Trip"
April 2019
Was looking for discount tickets at the San Diego Zoo Reserve direct was the best price with the best accommodation thank you reserve Direct
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Tip: Reserve direct prices are better than Groupon

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tracey Augustynowicz
CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"The zoo"
April 2019
What an amazing Zoo....so clean... happy animals. The staff are so friendly and very well educated on the animals they car for
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Tip: There is a way for any one of any physical ability to enjoy this zoo

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William Turner
Woodland Park, CO
2 Reviews
Verified Traveler
"The Zoo Amazes Me Every Damn Time!"
April 2019
We scheduled two days, back to back to see the zoo. Why? Because I've been going to the zoo since I was five. I'm now 55 and brought Wife 4.0 along with my 16 year old twin daughters. Look at a map of the zoo, it's HUGE. To truly see all of the zoo properly, you must divide in half along the natural line of the map, use the Tram, first thing in the morning, use the sky ride and Kangaroo buses, take your time and you can cover it all in two days without rushing through it. It is the best way. I've been going every eight years or so since adulthood and I can't recommend this enough. My artist family has been home less than a week and are sketching and painting what they took pictures of, so it was a great trip.
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Tip: Stay hydrated and use sunscreen.

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Amanda Villa
Visalia , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great customer care!"
March 2019
We booked a three night stay and three day three park tickets. We were unlucky enough to have our tickets stolen! But very lucky to have booked through Reserve Direct! They had our old tickets canceled and new tickets emailed to us within 5 minutes! The hotel had great complimentary breakfast and quick service! And the parks were amazing!
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Tip: Plan your park tours and shows in advance! They sell out and fill up very quickly!

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Ashlie Alvord
Buckley, WA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great zoo experience!"
March 2019
My son and I traveled to San Diego to visit my sister and her daughter. I recommend using Reserve Direct before buying San Diego Zoo ticket. Saved $5 and it was super easy to use and download! We had the best time at the zoo watched the joy on our babies faces!
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Tip: Purchase and download tickets before getting to the zoo, the confirmation process takes a few minutes to verify ticket through account for ticket download.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
funnygiflorida
"Disappointed "
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 25, 2019 NEW
We went to this zoo to see the pandas and the polar bears- they were both advertised on their webpage. When we got there, neither were on display. It turns out, the panda bears went back to China, and they are renovating the polar bear exhibit , so you can’t see them either. For $50 plus dollars a person, this was a huge disappointment! They really should have it posted on their webpage as well as posted when you purchase the tickets. If we had known, we wouldn’t have rushed to the zoo to see all the same animals we can see back home.
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branderson59
Salt Lake City, Utah
"Avoid until 2021"
TripAdvisor user rating 1 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2019 NEW
The San Diego zoo is world class. We went in 2017 when our kids were 1 & 3 and they had a blast. This year however was a total flop. The knocked out their kids area that had playground equipment, a petting zoo, etc. and it won’t be rebuilt until 2021. Had we known this we’d have saved the money and spent another day at SeaWorld (which the kids loved). The zoo for small kids without the kid area made for a very expensive and very awful experience. So, if you have little kids I’d avoid until the new children’s zoo is available in 2021.
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V3652DDsarahc
San Diego, California
"It’s the best zoo ever!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2019 NEW
Everybody knows that already right? If you’re in SD, you have to do the zoo! The lush greenery, the beautiful bird songs, and of course the fantastic variety of wild life, what’s not to love? We are members and go once a week because we love the calm contentment we feel just wandering the property.
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412eileenk
"Great Zoo trip"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 24, 2019 NEW
San Diego has an excellent Zoo. Unfortunately the pandas have returned to China, but there are many other interesting animals. Two baby giraffes were on display while I was there, one of them only 2 days old. It is set up to maximize the enjoyment of patrons of all ages. There are very good tours by bus that allow passengers to see many animals while on board. There were also many places to sit down on the paths from area to area and numerous places to get food. My only negative comment is that the map and signage could have been better. It was difficult to find the way from one exhibit to another or even to find the exits.
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TripAdvisor user image
Mary B
"The Absolute Best Place to Visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 23, 2019 NEW
I'd move in if I could!! This makes all other zoos look like petting zoos. Everything is done perfectly from the ground covers to the animal habitats. When you are walking through the areas you can imagine walking through the actual countries they represent. The animals look healthy and as if they were in the wild. Beautiful birds, animals, fish and lizards are all in their habitats and are very well taken care of. There is staff at several of the exhibits telling you the names of the animals and something about each of the animals your viewing, which is very interesting. Karen (gorilla) was very sweet and likes to interact with visitors. She came right up to the window and sat and ate her lettuce. (A book has recently been published about Karen and why she was a miracle baby.) I believe you could spend days in this zoo without seeing the same thing twice. I met a woman that comes once a month (has been doing this for 40 years) and was a blessing to talk with. If you want to see one thing special in California, it's the San Diego Zoo!
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Zoo

Does the San Diego Zoo have stroller rentals?
Yes! The Zoo and Safari Park have strollers available for rent. The daily charge for a single stroller is $14 and a double stroller is $18. There is one size of stroller, made of molded plastic, to fit a variety of children; you may check the fit before renting. Strollers have cup holders and a storage pouch in the back. Our double strollers offer side-by-side seating. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations are available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the Zoo offer wheelchair rentals?
Yes! Our parks have wheelchairs and electric scooters available for rent. The daily rental charge for a manual wheelchair is $14; an electric scooter is $50 unless the guest's membership level qualifies them for a Wild Perks discount. Guests must provide a valid driver's license or San Diego Zoo Global membership card. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the San Diego Zoo have access for the disabled?
We have a variety of options to assist you and your family. The Zoo has an “Easy Access Pass” that allows you to go to the head of the lines at the Zoo’s Bus Depot and Skyfari aerial tram. In addition, there are complimentary shuttles to assist you and your party in accessing our lower canyon areas.

Does the Zoo have lockers for visitors to use?
The San Diego Zoo has rental lockers located between the San Diego Craft Beer and the Front Street Café on Front Street, near the Exit sign. Payment is by credit card only and payment can be made at the Kiosk on site. No cash is accepted for locker rentals, which start at $8. Sizes are as follows:

  • Small locker: 12" x 20"
  • Medium locker: 15" x 18"
  • Large locker: 18" x 27"

In addition to this guest storage amenity, the Zoo has a larger secure storage area inside Front Street Rentals, where guests can rent strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs. This area can accommodate suitcase storage and larger items that will not fit inside the large lockers. The cost for this storage area is $15 per piece and comes with unlimited access.

How much is parking at the Zoo?
The Zoo has free parking.

Is it possible to leave the Zoo and be re-admitted?
Guests who are on grounds at the Zoo and wish to leave and return the same day at no charge during open hours may have their hand stamped at the Exit Gate turnstiles. Be sure to keep your ticket!

What time of day will I see more animals?
There really isn’t any special time that more animals are in view, although many of our animals are “early risers” and may be a bit more active in the morning. In our concern for the many endangered species that we house at our facilities, we have built exhibits that mimic natural environments. Like natural environments, these areas give the animals plenty of room to hide. We have found that the ability to hide is important to the well-being of many species.

Are pets allowed in the park?
We house significant populations of rare and endangered species at the Zoo and these are considered to be quarantined facilities. State and federal regulations for such facilities do not allow for the access of pets accompanying guests to these facilities. This also includes the unavailability of kennels to house pets during a visit to either facility.

Can I bring food into the parks?
Guests may bring personal food items into our parks. Large food storage containers such as coolers are not permitted on grounds, and no facilities are available for food storage. For the convenience of guests, there are picnic areas located outside the Zoo’s main entrance. Zoo guests who have already entered our parks may get their hand stamped for re-entry on the same day of their visit during operating hours. Special accommodations for school groups may be made. For the safety of guests and the animals in our care, please do not bring glass, alcohol, or straws into our parks.

Are backpacks allowed? 
Guests are welcome to bring a backpack into our parks.

What is the smoking policy at the Zoo?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on Zoo grounds or parking lots. Guests who wish to smoke are welcome to have their hands stamped for same-day re-entry when leaving our grounds to smoke. Please keep your ticket!

Can my child enter the San Diego Zoo without an adult?
Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult age 18+ to enter and throughout their visits to our parks.