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

523 Reviews
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 NEW
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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Gamaliel Mora
Long Beach, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great First Time Experience"
March 2019
Me and my girlfriend came to the San Diego Zoo for the first time. She read reviews to know what to expect, so we saw the Birds fly out when the Zoo opened for the day and it was an amazing scene. And we enjoyed the rest of the day by looking at the happy animals and riding on the tour bus and Skyfari
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Tip: They should ride the Skyfari and go on the tour bus

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Ilya D
Sacramento, California
"May be an overcast day had a bad effect on the Zoo animals, but we’re all in hiding!"
TripAdvisor user rating 4 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
I have visited many zoos in different parts of the world. I had great expectations of the San Diego Zoo, too. It did not happen. The inhabitants of the zoo were all hiding from the visitors even though it was not a hot day, only low 70-s. Elephants were being taken care of by the veterinarians. So, we weren’t impressed. We also took a bus tour - even lesser view of the inhabitants. We tried to ride in a cabin that goes over the tree-tops - it did not help! The Zoo boasts of having over 3,600 animals - where were they?! Better lack next time?!
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Ruth M
"Amazing Zoo and Work done by staff"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
San Diego Zoo is amazing. The park is very well done and easy to walk or take the guided tours. The animals, birds, reptiles and other species are varied and great to view. The standard of care provided to the animals is amazing.
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livingyoungcg
"WORLD FAMOUS SAN DIEGO ZOO"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 19, 2019 NEW
There is a reason it has earned the name World Famous Zoo, it is AMAZING. So many animals in beautiful enclosures to see. I also love that they have a small children's zoo area. The bug house there is so good. My kids loved it. Some of the trails are steep and hard to maneuver with a stroller so be sure to ask a guide the best rout if tour navigating with one. However, evey trial is amazing even with that to overcome. Definitely give yourself lots of time. This zoo is HUGE!!! The bus tour is a good way to start, then hit the trials it missed and spots you want to see closer along with the kids zoo. To make the best of your time.
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O5509DLrickw
Dallas, Texas
"World class Zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2019 NEW
This Zoo lives up to its name and reputation. A good way to start is by taking the bus to her so you can get a chance to see where everything is. We really enjoyed coming during a cooler part of the year because all of the animals are out and several of them had babies. As you work your way to the back of the zoo just take the tram back to the front when you're ready to leave. Highly recommend anybody.
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jcisinthehouse
Monterrey, Mexico
"Best zoo I’ve been"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed May 18, 2019 NEW
This place is huge and it gets very crowded so arrive early. Buy tickets in advance and enter right away. You’d see a lot of people in line but that is to buy tickets, so if you already have them by pass the line and walk trough the middle to reach the entrance. The place is huge, we couldn’t believe it will take an entire day to visit but it did. We spend 8 hours there.
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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.