We just got back from a great trip to the San Diego Zoo. We went with my brother who lives in San Diego.
Discount Tickets and Deals
Never pay full price. Be sure to do an search for online discounts and deals at San Diego Zoo. AAA has a coupon out now that gives you $9 off. You have to print out the coupon plus show your membership card. Usually the membership card gives you 10 percent off, but this is even better. You can also check discounts at Costco.
Also, Mimi’s Cafe has some voucher you can get if you stop by. It allows you to buy an adult deluxe admission at the San Diego Zoo and get a free child admission.
You can also try eBay for discount tickets if you plan ahead.
If you plan to ride the little bus at the zoo (and you will if you want to see it all) then get the deluxe admission. In fact, it is kinda hard not to get the deluxe admission cause I don’t think they even list the regular admission at the gate. You have to ask for it. So if you are sure you do not want the bus then ask.
If you ride the bus, get in line early. My brother gave us a tip to sit on the right hand side of the bus. Both sides are Ok, but the right is the best. Also, sit on the top deck of the bus. You see more. Unless it is super hot.
Bring a camera with a zoom lens if you have one.
There is sometimes a line at the panda exhbit so try to do that early. A panda cub was recently born so the mom and cub are off display. But there is another panda (pictured) you can still see live. you can see mom and cub online via a live panda web cam.
Do not miss the gorillas or the koalas.
The newest exhibit is Elephant Odyssey, which showcases the link between fossils and ancient species and the current animals, especially those of the California. While the exhibit is very well done, I still find it hard to watch elephants at the zoo. Even if the enclosre is large and well furnished, it’s hard to think these guys are happy. The exhibit is educational, however, and would be great for kids learning about evolution or fossils.
I sorta hate to see the cats (jaguar and tiger etc) pacing at the zoo as well. San Diego has nice enclosures, but any zoo still seems a jail in a way for some of the animals.
Overall, San Diego is one of the better zoos. We like the LA zoo as well, but this was great for a change.
Check out the pics of my trip in the gallery.
For more info on the San Digo Zoo, visit the official zoo site.
The zoo has a great gift shop for souvenirs . . . but it is a little pricey. Visit it at the end of your trip so you do not have to carry purchases around. Or better yet, shop after you are home from Amazon (see links above for some great ideas).