Heading to San Diego? The San Diego Zoo is huge and absolutely incredible! You can spend an entire day here and not see everything it is that big. So make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes and get ready to explore the San Diego Zoo.
Go in the Morning
The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, so you can definitely fill a whole day in these two spots without having to go far. Go to the San Diego Zoo in the morning and Balboa Park in the afternoon. We were told by one of the zookeepers that the morning is when the animals are most active.
Don’t Wait in Line
Don’t wait in line to buy tickets. You can buy them ahead of time online or in the kiosks located in the park, near the ticket counters. It will definitely save you some time to do this. Also AAA members you get a 10% discount.
Go to Your Favorites First
Once you get in, make sure to pick out some favorite animals to make sure you get to see them. This zoo is so big and so amazing you will find yourself immersed in the experience and you don’t want to miss your favorite animals!
Pandas Are a Must
Make sure to hit up Panda Canyon & Panda Trek! There are very few places that have pandas on exhibit so this is definitely the highlight of the zoo. There will be a very long line for this exhibit, but I promise you it is worth it to see the pandas. Grab a drink or snack and hit up the bathroom before you get in line.
Skyfari is a great way to get an aerial view of the park and you can even see some Balboa Park sights. There is a long line for this, but it moves fairly quickly. It is included in an adult ticket, but not all kids tickets, so make sure to check before getting into line. Once you are on the Skyfari sit back relax and give your feet a break while you enjoy the beautiful scenery. This is high up and does quite a bit of wiggling, so those who are afraid of heights (cough…me) can focus on taking pictures of the beautiful Balboa Park in the distance. They also have bus tours and tickets for a low to the ground option.
Where to Next?
There are tons of Balboa Park Sights to check out when you are finished. Want a great lunch/dinner spot right outside the park? I have two amazing recommendations that we tried and loved, Buona Forchetta and Jimmy Carter’s Mexican. You are also super close to the Gaslamp Quarter which is full of amazing restaurants and bars! Or head to Coronado Beach or Sunset Cliffs to get some Vitamin D and watch the sun go down!