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San Diego Zoo Pictures & Info

Visit one of the world's top zoos--right here in Southern California!

In the slide show above, you're viewing pictures of San Diego Zoo animals and attractions! Included are pictures of the San Diego Zoo's famous panda bears; the San Diego Zoo is the only place in Southern California where you can find them! On this page, you'll discover general zoo information. Or, to find zoo coupons and savings, please see the San Diego Zoo Discount Tickets page.

Should you visit the San Diego Zoo?

Yes! It's one of the world's top zoos!

Picture: sky ride at the San Diego Zoo, cleverly named the Skyfari ride Southern California has several interesting zoos...but by far the most popular zoo with both visitors and locals alike is the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California's huge Balboa Park.

The San Diego Zoo is one of the world's foremost zoos. It is at the very center of animal research and endangered animal breeding programs. The San Diego Zoo partners with other zoos all over the country---and, indeed, the world---to help and advise these zoos with their own animal conservation programs.

In addition to research, the San Diego Zoo, OF COURSE, offers a first-class zoo experience for thousands of visitors each year. At the San Diego Zoo, you'll find all the services you'd expect from a major zoo---spacious and natural compounds for the animals, informative tours, interactive exhibits, animal shows, gift shops, and "creature comforts" for humans, too (like plenty of restrooms and restaurants with tasty food.)

San Diego Zoo -- Part of amazing Balboa Park

Picture: Turtle fight at the San Diego Zoo! One of the the first things you should know about the San Diego Zoo, if you've never yet been there, is that it sits in the middle of huge and lovely Balboa Park, San Diego's pride and joy. You should be prepared in advance to decide how much time you will allocate to the attractions of Balboa Park before your visit; once you discover the other attractions, you will WANT to see them, too! Yet, you could spend DAYS at Balboa Park and not repeat doing the same activity twice!

There are approximately 30 museums and exhibit buildings at Balboa Park, many of them built for the 1915 Pan American Exposition held in San Diego. These original buildings (featuring Spanish-style architecture) are simply stunning. You could spend several HOURS simply getting to all the buildings and admiring the their exterior architecture, without ever stepping foot inside them!

Families, in particular, will enjoy Balboa Park's Reuben Fleet Science Museum, the San Diego Aerospace Museum and the San Diego Museum of Natural History. Children will also enjoy a ride on the Balboa park's carousel, romping on one of the park's spacious lawns, or heading to the playground area.

San Diego Zoo -- Exhibits

Picture: Baby panda sleeping at the San Diego Zoo When it comes to describing the exhibits at the San Diego Zoo, it would make a much shorter list to talk about the animals that they DON'T have!

Giant Panda Research Station---

At the San Diego Zoo, you'll see all of your favorite animals, and then some. Of course, the pride and joy of the San Diego Zoo is their giant panda exhibit, which consists of two parts. There's the giant panda viewing area, called the Giant Panda Research Station (which features a "Panda Cam" where you can view these cuddly-looking animals from home.)

Giant Panda Discovery Center---

Another great activity for families is the Giant Panda Discovery Center, which is a mini-kids museum featuring all sorts of interactive exhibits that your children will enjoy...while learning all about these attractive and interesting creatures.

Other Popular Zoo Exhibits---

Other San Diego zoo exhibits have exotic-sounding names. You'll see Polar Bear Plunge, the Rainforest Aviary, the Ituri Forest, Absolutely Apes, Gorilla Tropics, Tiger River and Monkey Trails. Then there are other exhibits which don't have exotic names...but still feature great views of bears, camels, the big cats, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, koala bears, elephants, meerkats, ...and other animals that are less-familiar, as well.

There are animal shows you and your family will enjoy. At the Wegeforth Bowl (an amphitheater), you can catch a Sea Lion show (which is held twice daily during the "slow" season, and more often during summer.) At the Hunt Amphitheater, you may enjoy a presentation about animal predators! (Keep your fingers and toes close to your side! Just kidding!) And in the Children's Zoo area, there's a humor-filled show aimed at the kiddies called the "Dr. Zoolittle Show." All shows at the San Diego Zoo come included with the price of admission.

Photo of the San Diego Zoo entrance What doesn't come included with your admission ticket? Well, that depends on what "level" ticket you've purchased. The least expensive ticket includes ONLY admission to the zoo. This BASIC admission ticket does NOT include the 40 minute, double-decker tour bus ride. Concerning the bus tour...I'd strongly like to recommend it! Well, of course, the bus guide gives you all sorts of interesting information about the zoo's animals and exhibits...but even more than that, this tour really saves your FEET! I need to warn you that this zoo is HUGE. You WILL be tired after your visit if you don't carefully guard your energy from the moment you enter the park! Taking the bus tour is one of the best ways you can do this.

Another foot-saver is the express bus, which makes stops at various exhibits around the park. With an express bus pass, you can get on and off again however you please.

There's also a sky ride called the "skyfari," which can be purchased either separately or as part of an admission "package" ticket. Riding the Skyfari will give you a totally different look at the zoo's animals from overhead...and can help you decide which exhibit's you'll want to explore in the most detail.

There's one more little attraction that your kids will enjoy---a cute little mini-train ride. The cost of the train ticket isn't included in any of the park's admission plans...but only costs $1.75 per person (any age.)

San Diego Zoo -- Address, Map, and Directions

Picture: Meerkat at the zoo The San Diego Zoo phone number is---
(619) 234-3153

San Diego Zoo hours of operation: The San Diego Zoo's hours for the spring season (March 31 thru June 20) are as follows: San Diego Zoo opening time is 9 am , last admission time is 4 pm, and zoo closing time is 6 pm. Summer Hours at the San Diego Zoo are more generous. Juring July and August, the SD Zoo opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm. On September 2, Fall hours begin...with the zoo opening at 9 am and closing at 6 pm (with last admission at 4 pm.)

The San Diego Zoo address is---
San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

The above address is the zoo's street address that you'll use to actually visit the zoo. However, if you need to write to the zoo, use the San Diego Zoo's mailing address---
P.O. Box 120551
San Diego, CA 92112-0551

Looking for directions to the San Diego Zoo? Luckily for tourists, the San Diego Zoo is easy to find---just off of Interstate 5. Since there aren't too many miles south of the zoo until you'll reach the Mexican border, I'll assume that you'll be coming to the San Diego Zoo from the north.

Take I-5 heading south. You'll pass the exit to SeaWorld...and then the exit to the San Diego airport. Next, Interstate 5 will enter the Downtown San Diego area...and you'll want to start watching for the zoo exit. After you've passed through the tall buildings, you'll find the exit clearly marked for Balboa Park and the zoo. That's your exit--take it and follow the signs!

Map to San Diego Zoo--- To get a better mental picture of where you'll be heading, use the following link to see a Google map to the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park.

Map of San Diego Zoo Grounds--- If you'd like to get a head start in deciding which exhibits you'd like to visit (so you won't wear out your feet by wandering around!), you'll want to study a map of the zoo grounds before you go. At the San Diego Zoo's website, there's even a PDF map that you can download! You may use the following link to get to the "maps" page of the San Diego Zoo's website, where you'll find a map of the San Diego Zoo grounds.

San Diego Zoo's official website: For your convenience, here's another link to the San Diego Zoo's official website...but this time to the home page. On the zoo's website, you'll find a complete schedule of special activities, the latest news about animal babies born at the zoo, and 4 zoo cams! (The Pandas, the Polar Bears, the Apes and the Elephants all have web cams for your at-home animal-viewing enjoyment.) Here's a home-page link to the San Diego Zoo official website, which is

Balboa Park Information: The San Diego Zoo is just one of many fun family attractions within San Diego's impressive (and very beautiful!) Balboa Park. To learn more about all the other attractions that you can visit while you're at Balboa Park, use the following link to go to the "Balboa Park" page of this website, or you may use the following link to the Balboa Park official website.

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