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7 Tips for Savoring the Sights at the San Diego Zoo

One of the most talked about attractions in San Diego is the San Diego Zoo. Sometimes the hype can overshadow the actual experience, however this zoo is every bit as amazing as people say.

With an epic zoo such as this, you need to make a plan to get the most out of your time there. Here are five tips for savoring the San Diego Zoo:

1. Start With The Bus Tour

One of the most unique attractions at the San Diego Zoo is their double-decker bus system. Right as you enter the park, you can get in line to ride the bus around the zoo. I'm partial to the upper level because you have an unobstructed view of all of the exhibits.




As you ride around, you can get a feel for the park and make note of what animals are top on your list to revisit.

2. Stay Hydrated

The zoo is hilly and large, so you'll get a good workout while enjoying the exhibits. The good news is that you can bring a water bottle into the zoo and any of the restaurants or food stands will refill it for free!


Thankfully, there are many shady spots to stop and rest along the way.

3. Attend Feeding Time at the San Diego Zoo

If you want to see the animals active and engaged, pay attention to the scheduled feeding times. We loved watching bundles of lettuce and tomatoes being thrown to the gorillas. They were running around and excited for their feast.


We also saw feeding time for the pandas! Their personalities were just about opposite of the gorillas. They are so chill and laid back. Feeding time is such a great way to observe the animals in action.


4. Bring Your Own Food

While there are many excellent restaurants in the zoo, it's easy to save a little money on food and brig your own lunch. There are picnic benches right outside of the San Diego Zoo where you can rest and refuel. We just grabbed our cooler out of the car and enjoyed our lunch in the shade.


While we ate, we saw a hummingbird enjoying the beautiful flowers surrounding us. It was one of my favorite parts of the day!

5. Enjoy the Botanical Diversity

The San Diego Zoo is a botanical wonder. Every path has unique trees and flowers that are stunning and wonderfully aromatic.

6. Remember that Many Animals are Nocturnal

It's always hard to walk through the zoo just to see all of the animals sleeping. My cousin reminded me that many of the animals in the zoo are more active in the evening, so it's not uncommon for them to be napping throughout the day.


In the summer months, the San Diego Zoo has "Zoo nights" where you can stay later to enjoy the cool of the evening and see animals wake up and be more active.


We didn't get to stay that long, but I would have loved to experience the zoo in the evening.

7. Bring Your Camera

With so many beautiful sights, you'll want to make sure that you have plenty of space on your camera or memory chip to take tons of pictures.




If you'd like pictures of your group, the zoo has plenty of great locations for making memories. Most of them have photographers stationed, ready to take your picture. Just be prepared for the cost of these keepsakes. When we were there, three photos were around $37. We just opted for our own photos.


There is a new bridge that connects the treetops market to the polar bears. As you cross the bridge, there are some stunning views of Balboa Park and downtown San Diego.



There are a lot of exciting changes coming for the San Diego Zoo. Currently construction is underway on their latest exhibit: Africa Rocks. When we were there, the African penguins were settled in their enclosure, but we saw bustling activity of construction for the rest of the exhibit.

If you get a chance to make it to San Diego, the zoo is a must see. It really is an attraction worth savoring!

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