Home to over 3,700 animals, San Diego Zoo has been enormously popular with California visitors of all ages since it opened way back in 1916. Stay in a vacation rental near San Diego Zoo, and you get the benefits of being close to the city and within easy reach of the greenery of the zoo and the surrounding Balboa Park.
What to See and Do
Get Your Bearings
Start your visit by taking a short bus tour around San Diego Zoo – it’s a great way to get your bearings and decide what animals you want to spend more time visiting.
The panda enclosure is always popular, which is hardly surprising as San Diego Zoo is home to Bai Yun, mother to the first surviving panda cub in the United States.
Skyfari Aerial Tram
Get a different perspective of the San Diego Zoo by taking a ride on the Skyfari Aerial Tram, which runs across the park.
San Diego Zoo is open every day, including holidays, from 9am, with closing time varying seasonally. While parking is free, you can also easily access San Diego Zoo using public transportation; the #7 and #215 buses from downtown San Diego both stop at the zoo.
Feel free to bring your cameras to San Diego Zoo to get some great souvenir photos of the animals. However, selfie sticks are not allowed, and please don't use the flash. The zoo is wheelchair and stroller accessible and has equipment available for rent.
Dogs are not allowed in San Diego Zoo at all. Feel free to bring in your own food and drink, although alcohol and glass containers are not allowed. There is no smoking permitted anywhere in San Diego Zoo, so if you need your nicotine fix, make sure you get your hand stamped so that you can leave and re-enter the park without paying again.