Join the wild bunch at the San Diego Zoo and discover why folks return again and again to San Diego?s most famous attraction!
The first exhibit you?ll see at the San Diego Zoo is the much-photographed Flamingo Lagoon. Also near the entrance is the Children?s Zoo, which features 30 child-size exhibits, the Petting Paddock, and a baby animal nursery. These are the best stops for children, along with the Wegeforth Bowl (home of the popular Sea Lion Show) and the Hunte Amphitheater shows. Then there?s the Giant Panda Research Station, home to the San Diego Zoo?s most famous residents.
Other attractions include Polar Bear Plunge and Elephant Mesa, where you can watch the chimps play and listen to colorful birds sing. The whole family will enjoy the gorilla and orangutan exhibits. And, while it?s easy to be enraptured by the animals, don?t forget that the San Diego Zoo?s broad mesas and steep canyons host an astounding variety of tropical and sub-tropical plants. Many feature interpretive signage with information about their country of origin.
You can park in the Zoo lot off Park Boulevard. Parking is free and abundant, but it?s always wise to get an early start during the summer months and on weekends and holidays. You can buy film, sunscreen, and treats at the Zoo entrance; strollers and wheelchairs are also available there for rent. For current information, visit the San Diego Zoo website or call (619) 234-3153.
The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park just north of downtown San Diego. Southbound from I-5, take the 10th Avenue exit, turn left on A Street, left again on Park Boulevard, and follow signs to the Zoo. Northbound from I-5, take the B Street / Pershing exit to Pershing and then go left on Florida Drive. Turn left on Zoo Drive, left onto Park Boulevard, and follow the signs to the Zoo. Southbound from Highway 163, take the Park Boulevard exit, turn, and follow the signs.
Tips & Suggestions
Getting Around in the Zoo
Explore the San Diego Zoo on foot, take a guided bus tour (for an additional charge), or try some combination of both. Keep in mind that walking the entire park can be very strenuous, especially for elderly folks and children (parents may want to rent strollers).
The bus tour is ideal for families with children under 6 and for those who prefer to relax as a knowledgeable guide shares stories of the Zoo inhabitants. You?ll see 75 percent of the Zoo on a 40-minute tour. Express buses stop at five locations throughout the Zoo (these stops are also included with the bus tour). For an aerial view of the Zoo and Balboa Park, Skyfari?a great option for families?has east and west terminals.
Dining & Shopping
Dining choices abound throughout the Zoo. Food carts are always close for a quick snack or a cool drink. The Treehouse Caf? (in the Treehouse complex near Gorilla Tropics) offers casual meals in a beautiful garden setting. Albert?s is another favorite. The Zoo?s world-class gift shops, with their international flavor, make fun destinations on their own.
Visit San Diego Zoo website