The Bald Traveler Review
The San Diego Zoo is one of two main nature parks in San Diego, the other being Sea World. The Zoo is located in Balboa park and is situated on a valley that runs the length of the zoo. There are attractions on the top of the valley and down the sides to the valley itself. Be prepared to walk up or down the hill sides to see all of the attractions. There is an Elevator that will take you from the lower section to the upper section so it is possible to walk downhill and ride back up. When it is running there is also a Tram that you can ride from the bottom to the top of the zoo.
The Zoo is broken up into multiple sections, Arctic, African Desert, Elephants, Asian, Australian, etc so that the animals for the most part are grouped together for viewing. If you have a specific selection of animals you can head to that section first.
It is possible to see the entire zoo in one day. On our trip we were able to see all of the exhibits, and eat lunch, within a five hour time span. I recommend picking up a map before you go or when you enter and planning out your route. The Asian section and the Hippo’s are located in the valley when planning your route.
See our Tour video of the Zoo here:
Covid 19 precautions:
The zoo is currently screening each person before entering and asking a series of questions about Covid-19 exposure. They are currently not checking temperature though.
Face masks are required while in the Zoo except while eating or drinking and staff will remind you if they see it worn incorrectly.
Buildings have an occupancy limit and you will need to wait to enter. For most buildings is not a problem. You may have a wait at the entrance shops though. You will be offered hand sanitizer before entering any building.
Food is sold in all of the restaurants and Food stalls. There is seating available around each food service area. Souvenir cups are being sold with free refills on the day and discounted refills if you come back. Staff will not fill your cup but will give you a paper cup with your choice of drink.
High Traffic areas have zones where groups are expected to stand together so that social distancing can be observed. If you are with multiple people this is expected to be your group for queuing.
When to go
The best time to go is later in the day as the crowds have thinned out. With San Diego’s mild weather year round there is no season or time of the year that is really better then any other.
What is nearby?
San Diego has a lot of attractions nearby.
- Balboa Park
- Little Italy
- Coronado Island
- La Jolla
- San Diego Convention Center
- Gaslamp Quarter
- Petco Field
How to get there?
The Zoo has free parking on site and is located in Balboa Park. You can also take public transit to get to the park and walk to the zoo or get to the zoo directly.
The address is:
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Hours of Operation
The hours for the zoo varies but is generally 9AM to 6PM. Be sure the check the website.
The Zoo offers memberships which can lower the multi-day price. For a one day ticket the cost is $60 + tax.