attractions · parks · photos

Things to do in San Diego: San Diego Zoo

Trip Advisor recently named the San Diego Zoo as the #2 zoo in the world. I’ve been there a couple of times (and recently bought an annual pass), and I can tell you that ranking is well-deserved.

The San Diego Zoo (2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego ▴ (619) 231-1515 ▴ Trip Advisor) is one of the largest zoos in the world, with over 4,000 animals, and because of San Diego’s consistent temperatures year-round, most of the animals are not enclosed in buildings and instead are housed outside in the open air.

The first time I visited the zoo was back when I was visiting Adam in February of last year, when I saw the happiest gazelle in the world:

san diego zoo gazelle

I knew I definitely wanted to go back a second time, and since my mom loves animals as much as I do, I knew she’d enjoy her time at the San Diego Zoo when she visited.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our afternoon there:

A very tired koala

san diego zoo koala

A hippo that loved swimming around…

hippo san diego zoo

A sleepy serval

san diego zoo serval

Two giraffes, just hanging out…

giraffes san diego zoo

The baby giraffes were the cutest.

One of the many elephants (my mom’s favorite) roaming around…

elephant san diego zoo

A passed out lion (which was HUGE)…

san diego zoo lion

And my personal favorite, the polar bear

polar bear san diego zoo

We saw probably 2/3 of the zoo, and when my mom comes back in February, we plan on going back to see the rest of it, as well as some of our favorite animals.

Parking is free, and it’s $46 for an adult, 1-day pass, which includes the Skyfari Aerial Tram (which takes you over the whole zoo and offers views of San Diego and Balboa Park). And FYI: there’s also a 10% AAA discount.

And, if you plan on going to the Safari Park or visiting either park more than once in a year, the one-year membership is definitely worth it (since membership covers admission at both parks and you get coupons to use at both parks as well).

If you’re planning on visiting San Diego, the Zoo is a perfect place for kids and adults. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon and I will definitely be taking full advantage of my membership and plan on visiting many more times this year.

3 thoughts on “Things to do in San Diego: San Diego Zoo

  1. I LOVED the SD Zoo when I went on a family trip 10ish years ago. It’s definitely on the “plus” list for taking another vacation out there sometime 🙂 I remember really liked the air tram.
    J and I are huge fans of zoos and aquariums, particularly those with nice habitats for the animals. The National Zoo in DC blew us away, especially their Amazon exhibit… I’d recommend it if you’re ever in that area


    1. The zoo here is pretty unreal. And the air tram was cool! I hadn’t done it before but it was really nice and showed just how huge the park is. I’ve been to the National Zoo before…that one is also huge, and I think it’s free? Either way, I spent hours walking around there and hadn’t even seen it all, similar to the San Diego Zoo. If you come and visit, you know where we’ll be going…


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