San Diego Zoo in San Diego, CA

2920 Zoo DrSan Diego, CA 92101
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Overview

Entertaining and educating families for over 100 years, the San Diego Zoo offers a 100-acre home for 4,000+ rare and endangered creatures of more than 650 species, as well as more than 700,000 exotic plants. Guests can enjoy exciting tours, interactive play areas, upbeat live performances, 4-D theater shows, up-close views of exotic animals and an Australian experience—Koalafornia Adventure.

Good To Know

from Ashley, one of our San Diego Travel Experts
  • The zoo offers free parking.
  • This is a smoke-free property.
  • Strollers and wheelchairs available.
  • Open 365 days a year.
  • Same day re-entry permitted.
  • Behind-the-scenes tours available.
  • Take advantage of the open-air double-decker bus tours.
  • Voted #1 Zoo in the world on TripAdvisor.
  • Locker rentals are available.

Discover More With Us

Insights from Reserve Direct's own team members

Diana K.

The Skyfari provides an excellent overview of the park grounds. Plan to stay the day, and go mid-week if possible as it's less crowded. Best zoo I've visited!

View my photos

Description

from San Diego Zoo
An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to more than 4,000 rare and fascinating animals, including giant pandas, great apes, Komodo dragons, tigers, flamingos, polar bears, eagles, koalas, and more. Africa Rocks is home to penguins, baboons, and the mysterious fossa. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience. Hope to see you soon!



Reserve San Diego Customer Reviews

517 Reviews
Ashlie Alvord
Buckley, WA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great zoo experience!"
March, 2019 NEW
My son and I traveled to San Diego to visit my sister and her daughter. I recommend using Reserve Direct before buying San Diego Zoo ticket. Saved $5 and it was super easy to use and download! We had the best time at the zoo watched the joy on our babies faces!
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Tip: Purchase and download tickets before getting to the zoo, the confirmation process takes a few minutes to verify ticket through account for ticket download.

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Gamaliel Mora
Long Beach, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Great First Time Experience"
March, 2019 NEW
Me and my girlfriend came to the San Diego Zoo for the first time. She read reviews to know what to expect, so we saw the Birds fly out when the Zoo opened for the day and it was an amazing scene. And we enjoyed the rest of the day by looking at the happy animals and riding on the tour bus and Skyfari
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Tip: They should ride the Skyfari and go on the tour bus

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Cheryl Schoonmaker
Temecula, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"A Day at the Zoo"
March, 2019 NEW
Bought San Diego Zoo tickets from Reserve Direct. Great price and super easy. Totally took the hassle out of buying tickets. Spent the entire day at the zoo. It was fantastic. The zoo is beautiful, clean and a great place for both animals and humans. The animals were awesome and seemed to be happy and content in their beautiful surroundings. It was a memorable day. Thank you reserve direct for making it oh so easy to purchase San Deigo Zoo tickets>
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Tip: Plan to stay all day, there is so much to see! Bring a jacket for when the sun goes down.

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Julie Wirth
St Paul, MN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Best Zoo Ever"
February, 2019
My husband and went to San Diego Zoo with our son, daughter in law and 20 month old grandson
We went on the tour bus first and got an idea where we wanted to walk to. The bus was great. The driver gave us good advice and we saw quite a few animals
We then walked to see the animals we were interested to see up close.
The zoo is so lush and clean
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Tip: It’s a big zoo so make sure you have plenty of time to see it. It’s well worth your time to visit.

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Joshua Nunez
Joshua Tree, CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"San Diego zoo"
February, 2019
When looking for better deals four tickets for the San Diego zoo I have to say reservedirectcom had the better deals. It was quick and easy no confusions. Offered me I discount.Even sends you a confirmation email asking for the right amount of money that was pulled out of your bank. Makes you feel comfortable doing it but you're not being scammed. Are consistent with asking if your satisfied . I felt comfortable paying the price they gave me.
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Tip: Reservedirect is straight forward no side problems and reservedirect is easy and affordable

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Maggie Tucker
Goodlettsville, TN
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Amazing experience!!! Beautiful sanctuary!"
January, 2019
My fiance and I both met through dog rescue. We were so glad to hear many of the San Diego zoo animals are rescues themselves!! Such a great experience! Clean zoo, well-trained staff, everything flowed so good! We thoroughly enjoyed our trip all the way from Nashville, TN!! The elephants were our favorites!
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Tip: The tour buses made everything so easy with kids! Look for red shirt volunteers to help you navigate the park and answer any questions!

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Pablo B.
Perris , CA
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"Best Zoo in California"
January, 2019
This Zoo is awesome. It’s big, it has WAY more animals than I thought it would which was great. They also seem to take really good care about most of the animals.
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Tip: Get their as soon as it opens so that you are able to finish the entire park. I wasn’t able to finish it as I got their a bit late

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Justus Johnstone
Urbana, IL
1 Review
Verified Traveler
"A great place for both adults and kids"
January, 2019
Spend a whole morning with my daughter. There is lots to see, staff are helpful, the bus ride is a must but walk around after so you see closely. Morning is best to visit
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Tip: Be prepared to spend at least half day. Carry some extra money for a photo but this is up to you

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TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor user image
Campers1963
Canton, Ohio
"One day is not enough"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 24, 2019 NEW
The San Diego Zoo is a great for everyone. We spend only one day here, but should have planned for two as we did not get to see everything. Lots of educational programs with very knowledgeable staff. We had very little waiting, except for the Pandas. If I had it to do over, I would do this first, before the crowds pick up. I probably would pack my own food next time.
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NewfiePupLover
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
"The Zoo of Zoo's - Wonderful Destination in San Diego"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 23, 2019 NEW
I've reviewed SD Zoo before, but my family & I visited again on spring break this year, and the zoo seems to get better each time I visit. The zoo is very large, but there are multiple ways you can experience it; on foot, tour bus, private tour carts, etc. Some of the greatest exhibits I've ever seen for koalas and big cats, and of course the panda exhibit is a major draw since there are only a handful of zoos in the world with them. Wear your good walking shoes and be prepared to spend an entire day here; it's worth it! The only negative I would say is the price of food & beverage within the zoo. It's very prohibitive for families of lesser means. However, I do understand that all of the product sales are also helping support the zoo and the work they do outside of the zoo as well.
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109brandin
Fort Worth, Texas
"Perfect"
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 23, 2019 NEW
Absolutely perfect experience. Rode the train first thing and was able to see most of the zoo that way and see the layout.
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JC D
Toronto, Canada
"Waste of money Toronto zoo much better"
TripAdvisor user rating 2 out of 5
Reviewed March 23, 2019 NEW
Why advertise slothes if you don’t have them. Saw lots of turtles and birds not many animals Busy lots of walking
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David L
Lansing, Michigan
"A few tips for the San Diego zoo."
TripAdvisor user rating 5 out of 5
Reviewed March 23, 2019 NEW
Yes, this is one of the best if not the best zoo in the world. Some people object to zoos because animals are imprisoned. There are places like that. San Diego is different. All the zoos talk about maintaining animal populations, not just satisfying our curiosity. The SDZ walks the talk. Look it up online. The California Condor would likely be extinct if it wasn't for the SDZ and other species are similar. Enough preaching. I have just a few tips for your zoo visit. I am not an expert, just a few things were noticeable. The park continues to fill up from opening at 9 until noon. An early will get you less crowds or alternatively the last couple of hours of the day are less crowded. During the school year, there are class trips so some of the large groups of kids clears out as the end of the school day nears. Food and drink purchases support the zoo of course. But things are very expensive. If you can live without soda, carry a water bottle and fill it at the numerous drinking fountains. A lunch or heavy snacks in a back pack is a good savings. Ride the skyfari or walk to the back of the zoo early or take one the yellow buses to stops back in the zoo will give you an hour or two of less crowded exhibits. The tour bus is nice but has long lines when people are arriving. Lines are short later in the day and sometimes you can walk right on to it. If you are looking for an exhibit, just ask a worker. They really know the place. Finally, we got a 10% discount with AAA. You can save a lot with the package tickets that include the various museums in Balboa park.
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Frequently Asked Questions about San Diego Zoo

Does the San Diego Zoo have stroller rentals?
Yes! The Zoo and Safari Park have strollers available for rent. The daily charge for a single stroller is $14 and a double stroller is $18. There is one size of stroller, made of molded plastic, to fit a variety of children; you may check the fit before renting. Strollers have cup holders and a storage pouch in the back. Our double strollers offer side-by-side seating. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations are available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the Zoo offer wheelchair rentals?
Yes! Our parks have wheelchairs and electric scooters available for rent. The daily rental charge for a manual wheelchair is $14; an electric scooter is $50 unless the guest's membership level qualifies them for a Wild Perks discount. Guests must provide a valid driver's license or San Diego Zoo Global membership card. We have a limited inventory and provide these items on a first-come, first-served basis. No advance reservations available. We recommend arriving early to secure one.

Does the San Diego Zoo have access for the disabled?
We have a variety of options to assist you and your family. The Zoo has an “Easy Access Pass” that allows you to go to the head of the lines at the Zoo’s Bus Depot and Skyfari aerial tram. In addition, there are complimentary shuttles to assist you and your party in accessing our lower canyon areas.

Does the Zoo have lockers for visitors to use?
The San Diego Zoo has rental lockers located between the San Diego Craft Beer and the Front Street Café on Front Street, near the Exit sign. Payment is by credit card only and payment can be made at the Kiosk on site. No cash is accepted for locker rentals, which start at $8. Sizes are as follows:

  • Small locker: 12" x 20"
  • Medium locker: 15" x 18"
  • Large locker: 18" x 27"

In addition to this guest storage amenity, the Zoo has a larger secure storage area inside Front Street Rentals, where guests can rent strollers, wheelchairs, and ECVs. This area can accommodate suitcase storage and larger items that will not fit inside the large lockers. The cost for this storage area is $15 per piece and comes with unlimited access.

How much is parking at the Zoo?
The Zoo has free parking.

Is it possible to leave the Zoo and be re-admitted?
Guests who are on grounds at the Zoo and wish to leave and return the same day at no charge during open hours may have their hand stamped at the Exit Gate turnstiles. Be sure to keep your ticket!

What time of day will I see more animals?
There really isn’t any special time that more animals are in view, although many of our animals are “early risers” and may be a bit more active in the morning. In our concern for the many endangered species that we house at our facilities, we have built exhibits that mimic natural environments. Like natural environments, these areas give the animals plenty of room to hide. We have found that the ability to hide is important to the well-being of many species.

Are pets allowed in the park?
We house significant populations of rare and endangered species at the Zoo and these are considered to be quarantined facilities. State and federal regulations for such facilities do not allow for the access of pets accompanying guests to these facilities. This also includes the unavailability of kennels to house pets during a visit to either facility.

Can I bring food into the parks?
Guests may bring personal food items into our parks. Large food storage containers such as coolers are not permitted on grounds, and no facilities are available for food storage. For the convenience of guests, there are picnic areas located outside the Zoo’s main entrance. Zoo guests who have already entered our parks may get their hand stamped for re-entry on the same day of their visit during operating hours. Special accommodations for school groups may be made. For the safety of guests and the animals in our care, please do not bring glass, alcohol, or straws into our parks.

Are backpacks allowed? 
Guests are welcome to bring a backpack into our parks.

What is the smoking policy at the Zoo?
Smoking is not permitted anywhere on Zoo grounds or parking lots. Guests who wish to smoke are welcome to have their hands stamped for same-day re-entry when leaving our grounds to smoke. Please keep your ticket!

Can my child enter the San Diego Zoo without an adult?
Children 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by a paid adult age 18+ to enter and throughout their visits to our parks.