Spending time in sunny San Diego is a great option for any traveler who is looking to swap out daily routines for time indulging in scenery and warm-weather fun. Year-round, San Diego provides a picture-perfect retreat for travelers with interests of all types to enjoy doing what they love far from the hustle of daily life. Whether you’re one for the great outdoors or you love city-center entertainment, San Diego has something for you. It’s also home to the iconic San Diego Zoo where you can infuse wild adventures with insightful learning regarding wildlife conservation across the globe.  

Encounter Incredible Wildlife at the San Diego Zoo 

When you choose to enjoy time at the San Diego Zoo, you’ll find yourself stepping into a wildlife retreat that sprawls over 100 acres of terrain. Within the parameters of the zoo, guests will find over 14,000 rare and endangered animals that represent more than 700 species and subspecies alike. Located in the greater Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo functions as a botanical garden too and on-site, you can enjoy access to over 700,000 plants across 3,100 impressive species. The zoo is a wonderful place to roam and observe animal behavior, but it’s also a destination designed to include educational and custom experiences. When you visit, you’ll be supporting the global conservation efforts being undertaken by the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance which is something to feel great about. 

On-Site Dining Options 

If all of the wild encounters have left you famished, you’ll find the San Diego Zoo hosts a variety of savory stops to explore and enjoy. Head over to the Safari Kitchen, Front Street Sweet Shack, the San Diego Zoo Sandwich Co, or the Busy Bee Café to name a few of many when cravings come calling.  

Shopping Stops 

The gift shop at the SanDiego Zoo is a great place to pick up fun souvenirs for the entire family. Its also a place where proceeds go directly back into the conservation efforts at the zoo. Here, you can browse custom zoo merchandise including plushies, apparel, jewelry, art, books, and beyond! 

Enjoy the San Diego Zoo Safari Park 

Within the San Diego Zoo, there are options for guests to enjoy touring the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as well. This 1,800 acre wildlife park is home to more than 3,000 animals that hail from across the globe and represent over 300 species. The safari park is located in Escondido and offers up a space to observe mixed species habitats across expansive savanna. This is an experience that promises to be as educational as it is thrilling and engaging every time you tour.  

Plan Your Visit 

The San Diego Zoo is typically open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm daily, but it’s always good to check the zoo calendar before you arrive to make sure no seasonal or special event zoo hour changes have occurred. 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. 

Book Your Stay Today 

When you’re ready to turn your San Diego travel plans into a reality, be sure to book your luxurious vacation rental accommodations through Vacation Rentals by Kimberly. Reach out today to learn more about our easy-to-customize options and how we can help you elevate your California adventure the next time you’re here! 


How much does it cost to park at the San Diego Zoo? 

The San Diego Zoo is happy to be able to provide free parking for all guests. There’s a parking lot right in front of the zoo that’s operated by the City of San Diego and is open to guests, volunteers, and employees of Balboa Park. The parking lots you’ll find around Balboa Park are also free of charge. While free parking options are available year-round here, the zoo is a popular place to visit and lots can fill up quickly, so it’s always recommended to come as early as possible. 

Are there lockers for my personal belongings I can use on-site? 

Yes. When you’re visiting the zoo, there are self-service lockers available for guests to use at Front Street. At the Safari Park, guests enjoy access to a collection of outdoor lockers. At both locations, you’re free to carry small bags and backpacks onto the grounds.  

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

Yes. There’s no need to bring your own stroller when we have plenty on-site that are available to rent. Head over to the Zoo Guest Services or the Safari Park Guest Services team for information and rental prices. 

Are there vacation rentals available to book near the zoo? 

Travelers who book their vacation rental through Vacation Rentals by Kimberly will have plenty of property options to choose from across San Diego that make it easy to reach the San Diego Zoo. These properties are suitable for small and large traveling groups alike.