If you are visiting San Diego, you MUST put the San Diego Zoo on your to do list. There are many reasons why you should go, but here are 10.
1. It is not crowded on weekday mornings: Go right when it opens and enjoy it through lunch time, at least. First thing in the morning, it’s relatively quiet. Parking is easy too. It’s not like Disneyland, where you’ll need a shuttle to the front entrance. I have always been able to park in the first 5 full rows. It might a few minutes walk if I’m toward the back, but it’s only a fraction of what I walk during my visit.
2. It’s ageless: Before we were married, La Jolla Dad and I would go on our own for a few hours here and there. I’m enjoying it even more now that La Jolla Girl is older. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or if you have kids or not. You’ll enjoy it.
3. Animals are visible to young kids: You don’t have to lift them up to see a majority of the animals.
This was taken without zoom in the Koala area. Most of the animal enclosures have low, glass or slatted fencing that the kids can see over or through.
4. Petting zoo: I admit that I’m a sucker for a petting zoo. The animals can walk away into their safe zone when they’re not in the mood. There’s hand washing facilities on the outside. Sheep, goats, and a few pigs roam the space. There are rabbits and miniature horses in no-pet enclosures.
5. Plenty of lunch time seating: Last time we ate by the pandas and there were plenty of clean tables. You may bring in your own food, however, no straws or lids for the safety of the animals.
6. Helpful staff: I’ve never had a poor customer service experience here. See this zoo keeper? He’s telling kids about the monkeys in the cage nearby. He didn’t have to stop and do this.
7. Amenities for out of towners (or locals): Strollers, lockers, and motorized wheelchairs are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis near the entrance. Prices: strollers, $10; double strollers, $15; wheelchairs, $10; electric scooters, $35 (membership number or state identification card number is required).
8. World class botanical garden: Between the zoo and Wild Animal Park, there are more than a million plants on a total of 1,900 acres (770 hectares). They’re stunning. They provide shade on hot days and if you like a nice morning walk or jog, I would encourage you to do it at the zoo. The landscaping provides for a more zen experience. You may even catch the animals having breakfast. I walked it for landscaping ideas when I was renovating.
9. Awesome activities: If you time your visit right, you may feed a giraffe some biscuits, journey through Elephant Odyssey or take the Skyfari tram. You might even be able to spend the night at the zoo. Look at the schedule before you go.
10. Pandas: Yes, we have and adore them. I would encourage you to see them, however, they may be sleeping or hiding out. They aren’t that active. You may just see their rear ends up in a tree. Perhaps, study the Panda Cam prior to visiting. I am a huge panda supporter, and have traveled into the middle of no where China to see pandas. They aren’t super active, just be prepared. Check out the panda section on the Zoo website. You can also can enjoy the Early Morning with Pandas program and enter the zoo before it opens.
If you are visiting San Diego and in need of admission to multiple theme parks, including the Zoo, I suggest you read how to save money on San Diego attractions as there are multiple ways to bundle tickets. Site affiliate partner aRes Travel also offers the opportunity to purchase discount San Diego Zoo tickets that you can head straight-to-the gate with.
What do you love about our zoo?