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

692 Reviews
Débora E.
AR
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Big and nice zoo"
September 2019 NEW
It's very well maintained. I felt the space for the animals was not enough, but I guess that's what happens with all the zoos
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Marie R.
Covina, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Allie's 2nd Birthday"
September 2019 NEW
This zoo is like no other. From the bus guide to just taking a walk to see all the animals, it was beautiful. My daughter enjoyed it, and we had such a great experience, and would highly recommend parents to take their children there. We can't wait to return!
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Tip: The gorillas are put away prior to the zoos closing, and one should make a point to go see them at least 2 hours before closing time.

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Rebecca Wood
South Orange, NJ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Lots of excitement for little kids & parents"
September 2019 NEW
My husband and I brought our 2.5 year old who very much enjoyed the animals, but mostly the buses that were different colors passing by! The bus tour gave us a break from walking the large grounds, and the ride itself was exciting for our little one. We stumbled upon a few trainer talks, which were also informative and fun (the wolf and elephants). Appreciated that the gondola and bus tours were included in the ticket price. Wish we had more time to spend there, but overall we had a great time!
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Tip: Be strategic about what exhibits you want to see and where the bus tour goes. Some things like the polar bears are inside, so you want to go there on foot.

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Scott keagy
turnersville, NJ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Dan Diego Zoo"
September 2019 NEW
This was our second trip to the zoo! What a wonderful place. The zoo is very enviromentaly conscious and spotless. It was a wonderful day. All of the staff was wonderfull as well.
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Brandy Scott
West Sacramento , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great experience"
September 2019 NEW
My trip to the San Diego zoo was amazing. We took the bus tour that was very informative. At first I thought the price was sort of steep but now that I have seen how many animals and exhibits were there I completely get paying for it. It was a great experience.
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Tip: There are different types of tickets that can be purchased online that are a bit cheaper than paying at the gate.

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Barbara Loewen
Glendale, AZ
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Barbara"
September 2019 NEW
I purchased tickets to the San Diego Zoo and it was easy, the agent on the phone was pleasant, efficient and an email was sent immediately to my phone to use when I got to the Zoo. That was my first time using Tripster but it was very good and I will use the service again.
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Tip: Confirm email and ticket price

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Zeyad Elia
Santee, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Good"
September 2019 NEW
Very nice trip
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Kim Gyngard
Beaumont , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Amazing"
September 2019 NEW
The purchase of the tickets through tripster was so easy and convenient. Our San Diego Zoo experience was amazing, our 7-year old granddaughter was chosen to open the Zoo the day we went!
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Tip: Good walking shoes and most importantly for us since we went with such a large group, we were able to take a picnic lunch into the Zoo with us allowing us to spend money on souvenirs for all.

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Rottsnkids
Bannockburn, Australia
"Great zoo "
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 21, 2019 NEW
What a great zoo!! So many animals. It is a huge place! It does get very hot, so start as early as you can.
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LynnS290
Canyon Lake, Texas
"Amazing zoo"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 20, 2019 NEW
I was blown away at this incredible zoo. So many varieties of animals. Be sure to keep your entrance ticket handy as you will need to show it for bus rides and tram. We right away took the guided bus ride through the zoo to get our bearings. The driver gave helpful information along the way. Sit on the right side of the bus as you'll see more animals. We had lunch on site and it was very good. Not bad price wise either. $12 for my sandwich and chips plate. After wandering for a while, we took the hop on hop off bus to the air tram. What a great view of the city from up in the air. We then caught the 3:00 animal show-presentation. Really a great show. Parking is free. Lots of food and beverage spots. This zoo is on HILLY terrain. If you are in a wheelchair, it will be difficult being pushed up hill. May want to consider doing the hop on hop off bus. I'd say this is a must when visiting San Diego!
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157veekan
San Diego
"One of the best zoos. Period!"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 20, 2019 NEW
If you haven't been, San Diego Zoo is by far one of the best zoos in the country! It's well laid out and even has free parking right next to Balboa Park! Great for the whole family and also has a wild animal park in North County San Diego which is affiliated with this one and also great.
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Z1211BZmichaelv
Oro Valley, Arizona
"Family Visit"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 20, 2019 NEW
We adore the San Diego Zoo. It is beautiful and very clean. The animals are healthy and the enclosures are well designed for animal satisfaction and for viewing. We enjoying walking through the zoo because it is a great workout.
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GailG701
Southampton, United Kingdom
"Fabulous zoo - best we’ve visited"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed September 19, 2019 NEW
What an amazing zoo. Each of the habitats look clean and well thought out. The animals looked well cared for. We ignored the advice of taking the bus tour and were so pleased we did. It was a lovely midweek sunny day and we just wandered around at our own pace using the map. Lots of places to sit, eat, drink, shop. We took a return ride on the skyline cable car which was amazing. This is included, along with buses, in the ticket price. Loads of free parking. Loved it!
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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.