The Country’s Most Famous Zoo

People from all around the world flock, no pun intended, to the world-famous San Diego Zoo. As if San Diego didn’t have enough going for it, with its amazing weather and great views, this sunny city also happens to have a world-class zoo!

So what is the secret? Why is it that year after year, San Diego Zoo retains its iconic status as not only the best zoo in the United States, but also as one of the world’s finest zoos? Oh, where to begin! First of all, the zoo is located within the massive and lovely Balboa Park, which is an attraction in and of itself. Secondly, the San Diego Zoo is really, truly massive. At roughly 100 acres, there is no shortage of space for the incredible flora and fauna within.

If you and your family have visited other zoos that seem a little light on the animals, don’t worry, as the San Diego Zoo is packed with all kinds of animals, birds, critters and more. Over 3,700 different animals and more than 650 animal species call the zoo home. It is virtually impossible to not learn something new during your visit.

We should pause here to point out that if you are traveling with children, especially young children, you will want to have a stroller, snack food and water, and plan on taking a break or two. A trip to the San Diego Zoo is an all-day affair, at least! It is pretty easy to wear yourself out by trying to see everything in one day.

One of the best ways to cover ground is to hop aboard one of the tour buses. The San Diego Zoo guided bus tours are not just a great way to see the zoo, but also to learn more about the animals that live there and get a feeling for the enormity of the place. In short, the guided bus tour is a good value and will allow you to make a checklist of the areas you’ll want to investigate further. An added bonus for those traveling with children — you will be able to pinpoint exactly which areas you’d like to get a closer look at with your little ones from the comfort of the A/C.

OK, are you ready? Here we go. The next three words may change your life: pandas and koalas.

Yes, indeed, there are both pandas and koalas at the San Diego Zoo. This is exciting, but be ready to wait as everyone wants to check out these animal superstars! The panda exhibit can be crowded, so be sure to give plenty of time to work your way up and see these gentle giants. There are three giant pandas there currently, and when you see them be prepared to be blown away by their incredible, undeniable cuteness.

To see the koalas, head to the Australian Outback area. The Australian Outback only opened in May 2013, but koalas have been at the zoo since 1925, when the adorably named Snugglepot and Cuddlepie came all the way from Australia to live there. Now, you can get at eye level with these adorable creatures as they perch in their eucalyptus trees.

But there’s more to the Australian Outback area. No doubt the wombats and wallabies are pretty cool, but the real shockers are the Tasmanian devils. If you want to see these little devils in the United States, then your only current option is the San Diego Zoo. Sold yet?

If for some reason you are still not sold on visiting this amazing zoo, then consider that the San Diego Zoo is also home to the pretty amazing Polar Bear Plunge. The Polar Bear Plunge, not too surprisingly, has polar bears. But that is only the beginning, as there are also such animals as reindeer, Arctic foxes, and more. If you can’t get enough of bears, then rejoice as there are also sun bears to be found in the Sun Bear Forest.

The list simply goes on and on, and most visitors are stunned by the size, diversity, and presentation of the San Diego Zoo. It is easy to lose sight of how well the San Diego Zoo is laid out, presented and operated. These factors are a major key to its ongoing success, and help it remain one of the top places to learn about animals and spend quality family time in this city.