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The San Diego Zoo

Located in beautiful Balboa Park, the 100-acre world-famous San Diego Zoo was founded by Dr. Harry Wegeforth in 1916. Today, the San Diego Zoo cares for over 3,800 animals of 800 species. Its collection of animals, as well as its plant collection of 6,500 species, is acknowledged as one of the finest in the entire world. The San Diego Zoo is a must for the entire family.

Swing by the San Diego Zoo and visit our newest exhibit, Absolutely Apes, and explore other naturalistic attractions including the SBC Giant Panda Research Center. View animals in habitats that simulate their native homelands of Africa, Asia, North and South America, and more. In all, you'll view more than 4,000 amazing mammals, reptiles, and birds

Literally thousands of wild animals and with many on the endangered species list, it is no wonder that the World Famous San Diego Zoo is just that-- World Famous! The animals range from the timid shrew to the mightiest elephant and has just about every creature in between. The call of the wild awaits you!


San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA
(619) 234-3153
San Diego Zoo Website

bulletHours: Open daily
bulletReservations: Not required
bulletCost: Admission charged; see options for cutting costs below
bulletLocation: Balboa Park, near downtown
bulletHow Long: Allow at least half a day
bulletBest Time to Visit: Animals are active in the early morning and afternoon, and it's less crowded fall through spring

The world-famous San Diego Zoo and its 4,000 animal inhabitants entertain and educate over 3 million two-legged animals each year. It's a happy place, where kids of all ages enjoy themselves. Children are seldom seen crying at the San Diego Zoo, and even small babies enjoy seeing the animals.

Visitors find not only familiar animals at the San Diego Zoo but also little-known and seldom-seen creatures such as koalas, tree kangaroos and komodo dragons. The observant visitor will notice that the San Diego Zoo is also a botanical garden with more than 6,500 plant species, and some its plants are more exotic than its animals.

San Diego Zoo Exhibits

The Ituiri Forest exhibit is a geographically-oriented area where hippos swim underwater alongside monkeys and forest buffaloes (like water buffaloes but without the water). Many of the animals at the San Diego Zoo enjoy large open exhibit spaces and even if the animals don't have the large territory they do in the wild they seem at ease. However, many smaller animals at the San Diego Zoo still live in smaller more traditional cages.

The pandas are perennially popular at the San Diego Zoo, especially since the birth of baby Hua Mei, who is now in China. Sometimes the exhibit is closed for the good of the animals. Set your children's expectations accordingly.

Some of the other popular San Diego Zoo exhibits include Tiger River, Sun Bear Forest, Gorilla Tropics, the Scripps Aviary, and Polar Bear Plunge.

Want to save money on the San Diego Zoo?

bulletCheck with your hotel to see if they offer discounted tickets or look for discount coupons in "This Week" or "Quickguide" magazines (generally $2 off per person).
bulletSea World offers a 3-for-1 pass valid for unlimited entry for five days to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park.
bulletBetter yet, a San Diego Zoo membership can be less expensive than admission and it's tax deductible.
bulletIf you plan to visit Knotts Berry Farm, Sea World or Disneyland during the same two-week period as the San Diego Zoo, the Southern California CityPass can save you up to 30%.

Other Options

If you are uncomfortable with visiting traditional zoos, feeling that caging the animals is cruel or unnatural, consider visiting the 1,800 acre Wild Animal Park which is more like a safari.

Want Information on the San Diego Wild Animal Park? Click here

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