12 Best Zoos and Aquariums in California, North to South

The generally inviting weather, plus its Pacific Ocean 840 miles of coastline, has made the state a prime location for outstanding zoos and aquariums that are fun for the whole family.

The San Francisco Zoo is an oasis in more ways than one. This accredited zoo is home to over 2,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals from over 250 species.

SAN FRANCISCO ZOO

This aquarium focuses on creatures that live in the San Francisco Bay, giving you a glimpse of this local ecosystem, which is only 10 to 15 feet deep.

AQUARIUM OF THE BAY

Home to 660 animals, Oakland Zoo has a renowned elephant program along with themed exhibit areas covering the African savannah, the veldt, wild Australia, the rain forest.

OAKLAND ZOO

Safari West has more than 900 animals from 80 species spread over 400 acres. The facility gives you plenty of opportunities to experience the feel of the African savannah through private excursions.

SAFARI WEST

This aquarium also has several excellent behind-the-scenes exhibits that will give you and your family a sense of how these creatures are cared for and how they live in the wild.

MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM

In this 30-acre park, you’ll find over 146 specials living in open, natural habitats overlooking the San Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.

SANTA BARBARA ZOO

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