Family Travel: San Diego Zoo,  Flickr: conspiracyofhappiness

Roaring Family Fun

The world famous San Diego Zoo is so much more than typical.  Backed by an incredible purpose of conservation and sustainability, this zoo is arguably one of the best in the United States.  Set on 100 acres in beautiful Balboa Park, the zoo is a sprawling oasis full of lush landscaping, large mature trees and over 700,000 exotic plants.   Home to more than 800 species of animals, (over 4,000 individual animals!!) this zoo is truly at the top of its class.

The grounds are massive!! Divided into nine different-themed habitats, there is no way you can explore every inch of this zoo in a single day. First time visitors are advised to snag a bus pass and take the 35-minute guided tour around the park.  If it’s a mild day, which it most likely is in sunny San Diego, hop aboard the top level of the double-decker touring bus for prime animal spotting opportunities.  Although the bus tour doesn’t hit every animal in the park, nor does it linger long at any given exhibit, you will get a very comprehensive overview of the park and its animals, and will be able to plan out your visit with a bit more confidence and information.  In addition, you will have the great benefit of using the Express Bus as transportation during the rest of your visit: the park’s terrain is very diverse, includes numerous hills, mountains and long stretches.  Strollers are advised, and a leisurely pace is recommended.

In Panda Canyon, kids of all ages can stand in awe of giant pandas.  One of only four exhibits of its type in the world, a peek into the lives of these quiet and calm creatures is a must!  In the Lost Forest, visit playful Orangutans, dominating Gorillas, numerous species of rambunctious monkeys, elusive tigers, and the ever interactive Hippos!  The recently renovated Elephant Odyssey is home to seven elephants, lions, a jaguar and numerous birds of prey including the California Condor.  The exhibit also showcases extinct predecessor animals such as the Columbian Mammoth, giant ground sloths and more.  In the Urban Jungle, pay a visit to the giraffes; visit between 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. for a chance to feed these amazing animals.  At Polar Rim, check out the polar bears!  Although the bears do a hefty amount of sleeping during the day, they are a sight to be seen if you happen to catch them at playtime!  

In addition to the animal exhibits, the zoo offers daily shows, a children’s petting zoo, an ariel tramway (for transportation and/or entertainment), plenty of dining and snack options, educational events and sleepovers, VIP encounters, and back stage experiences.  

Zoo admission starts at $42/adults, $32/children.  
Local residents can enjoy membership starting $54/adult, $39/child.

Book your family vacation to San Diego for a wild good time.

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photo: conspiracyofhappiness


One Response

  1. Katie

    Yes, plan a whole day! The Safari Park is about one hour away, it is affiliated, but would be a separate day’s trip.


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