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“World Class Zoo”
Review of San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo
Book In Advance
Ranked #4 of 387 things to do in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Founded in 1916, the Zoo has been an icon in San Diego for nearly 100 years—and an absolute must-see in Southern California. Spend the day monkeying around in our tropical oasis as you visit beautiful habitats that are home to gorillas, eagles, tigers, sun bears, Asian leopards, rare reptiles, a palette of colorful birds, and more. Visit the Australian Outback to delight in our colony of 24 koalas, and travel along Panda Trek to experience giant pandas and other animals that share their bamboo forest habitat. Go back in time through Elephant Odyssey to discover what animals used to roam Southern California and see what the elephants are up to. Enjoy a guided tour on a double-decker bus or the scenic view from the Skyfari aerial tram, and dine in the peaceful surroundings of Albert's Restaurant. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and keeper chats. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed July 23, 2013 via mobile

This, as everyone says, is a world class zoo. It is not to be missed if visiting San Diego. We only had half of a day (afternoon), so it was very hot and some animals did not feel up to entertaining. We knew this might happen so we took it in stride. There is so much to see. There are pandas, and a line to see the pandas, so as it can't be missed I recommend you go early. The baby panda likes to hang out in a tree so get your camera ready. The zoo has a really large aviary and the birds are plentiful throughout. There are cats of all kinds, lions included. There really isn't any animal they don't have. The arial tram was a treat to ride and made it easy to travel in the zoo. Be aware if you have children that the tour buses are everywhere and you need to be safe. These bus tours are available and can be used to see the zoo without getting out. This way, you can chose what you want to go back to see.

Thank TrvlGrl1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 501 reviews
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in 381 reviews
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in 307 reviews
"big cats"
in 235 reviews
"safari park"
in 549 reviews
"polar bear"
in 446 reviews
"walking shoes"
in 230 reviews
"wear comfortable shoes"
in 283 reviews
"day pass"
in 357 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 238 reviews
"free parking"
in 241 reviews
"animals"
in 10,962 reviews
"skyfari"
in 621 reviews
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in 474 reviews
"cheetah"
in 282 reviews
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17,550 - 17,554 of 25,170 reviews

Reviewed July 23, 2013

Plus side: animals you might not see at a local zoo. Negative side: With coupon, $40 a person to get in, expensive for a family. Much walking. Some cool animals were in places you might not find, like the Komodo dragon. We just happened to stumble across him.
The pandas, our main focus in visiting, are not really an exhibit. You need to stand in a very long line and walk past to see them in their enclosure. The outside was blocked from anyone just passing by. Didn't like that, not noted in the zoo website.
Plan on a whole day to see everything. Many places to eat and drink.

2  Thank MoniqueERH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

A definite must-do when visiting San Diego - it really is world class!

We were given great advice to try to get to the pandas (included a new baby panda!) first thing as it does get crowded later in the day and the lines are very long.

The rest of the zoo is amazing too - saw lots of animals I'd never seen in real life before. It's easy to walk around but we also jumped on they Skyfari and double decker bus tour, which was a great way to see lots of the park quickly. Highly recommend!!

1  Thank Joanne L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2013

The San Diego Zoo is probably the best zoo in U.S., but I wouldn't go in the summer again. This was our second visit to the zoo. I much preferred our March visit. When we went in June, the crowds were much bigger . We even went midweek . The zoo is still a great experience, but I believe it's better off-season. Also during the cooler months animals are more likely to be active.

If this is your first visit to the zoo, plan on spending the entire day. There's no way you'll see everything in a few hours. Be ready for lots of walking. If walking is a problem, there are some other possibilities. If you live in the San Diego area consider buying a zoo pass. The price of a pass isn't really that much more than the price of admission. Then you can go back and really see things.

1  Thank photoguywisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2013

This is a HUGE Zoo. So expect a full day adventure. The pandas and Koalas were our favorites. You can bring your own lunch which cuts down on the cost. We also had a $5 off coupon per person from the magazine on the airplane which came in handy.

1  Thank Oc3anM0m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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