When a little sunshine and fun would go a long way, a trip to San Diego, California is always the right choice. Here, you can easily customize your stay to fit your style whether you’re excited to get out on the water, spend time on the shoreline, or make the most of historic stops and incredible shopping and dining options too. If you happen to be a wildlife enthusiast, you’ll want to make sure to set aside time for a trip to the San Diego Zoo. It’s a fun-for-everyone destination in town that might just be the highlight of your getaway. 

Enjoy a Day Encountering Incredible Wildlife 

The San Diego Zoo is a spacious and inviting place for visitors to spend a day as it sprawls over more than 100 acres of lush terrain. A visit here puts you within reach of more than 14,000 endangered and rare animals that span 700 species and subspecies. The zoo sits within the parameters of Balboa Park and hosts an on-site botanical garden where guests can admire more than 700,000 plants that span 3,100 species from across the globe. While it’s always thrilling to spend time at the San Diego Zoo admiring amazing wildlife, a stop here is also an opportunity to learn more about wildlife conservation across the world. There are educational programs hosted at the zoo as well as custom experiences so you can meet with ambassador species and find reasons to advocate on their behalf in the future. Admission here goes towards supporting the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance which assists with global conservation efforts. 

Explore the San Diego Zoo Safari Park 

While the zoo itself is sure to inspire, there’s even more to discover at the SanDiego Zoo Safari Park! This incorporated zoo experience sits on 1,800 acres of terrain and hosts more than 3,000 animals and 300 species. The safari park is found in Escondido and is designed to support mixed-species habitats across an expansive savanna. The goal is for visitors to not only thrill at the sights but have a truly immersive experience with every tour. 

Curb Your Cravings During Your Visit and Spend Time Shopping Too 

When you could use a snack to refuel for the zoo fun, there are plenty of options to choose from. The San Diego Zoo hosts the Safari Kitchen, the Front Street Sweet Shack, the San Diego Zoo Sandwich Co, and the Busy Bee Café for those moments when a little flavor would go a long way. Afterward, be sure to check out the gift shop on-site where you can pick up great souvenirs for family and friends. You’ll find custom merchandise including plushies, books, art, photographs, and more to explore. 

Plan Your Visit 

The San Diego Zoo is generally open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm with seasonal hour changes built into the annual calendar. You’ll want to purchase your general admission tickets in advance as well as any extra experience options you’re looking to include in your visit. These range from inside look tours and VIP experiences to the early morning explorers and wildlife baby boom options. There are also discovery cart tours and animals in action experiences that require additional ticketing purchases. Planning ahead will ensure a smooth and fun day at the zoo for your entire traveling crew! 

Book Your Stay Today 

There’s never been a better time to make your way to San Diego and enjoy a sunny and fun getaway. Reach out to the team at Vacation Rentals by Kimberly to learn more about our incredible vacation rental options available across the city and how we can help you make more of every single moment you’re in town. 


Can I still see Giant Pandas at the San Diego Zoo? 

No. While the San Diego Zoo had a giant panda alliance in place with China for many years, the program officially came to a close in April 2019 and the Giant Pandas were returned. While it’s sad to see them leave, there are many other incredible animals for visitors to encounter when they make their way to the San Diego Zoo. 

Can I host a special event at the San Diego Zoo? 

Absolutely! The zoo regularly helps guests organize special events on-site from smaller gatherings of 20 to big events with thousands of guests. The zoo provides a great place to enjoy a fun gathering and there are professional coordinators in place to help you customize the experience every step of the way. Be sure to reach out to the zoo events team for more information and pricing. 

Where can I rent a stroller for my child at the zoo and safari park? 

You’ll want to make your way to the Zoo Guest Services area if you need to rent a stroller for a day at the zoo. They’ll be happy to get you set up with the gear you need so you can make it a comfortable and convenient day for everyone. 

Will my rental near the zoo come with an ocean view? 

That depends on the property you decide to rent during your stay. We have a wide variety of one-of-a-kind rentals across San Diego and many of our options near the zoo do come with ocean views. This type of view will be noted in your property listing but if you have specific questions, be sure to reach out!