The Siberian American: California Road Trip: San Diego Zoo Tips

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

California Road Trip: San Diego Zoo Tips

I’m slightly embarrassed to say it has been two months since I have written a California road trip post, but our move to Chicago has been dominating this blog. I have been really looking forward to sharing our day at the San Diego Zoo with y’all because it was so much better than I expected.

I love animals, but a zoo is not usually the first place I want to visit in a city. However, Chris loves zoos and had always wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo, so I added it to our itinerary. I knew the San Diego Zoo was known as one of the best zoos in the country, but I expected to be disappointed. I loved our private tour (which I will discuss in another post), and the zoo had many unique animals…and absolutely adorable babies. I came away thinking I wouldn’t mind visiting the San Diego Zoo again next time we’re in San Diego.

The thing about the San Diego Zoo being one of the best zoos in the country is that it is often crowded. Here are a few tips to help you beat the crowds and make the most out of your day at the zoo:

Get there before it opens 
Get to the zoo about 30 minutes before it opens. The crowds are smaller first thing in the morning, so it’s a great way to see the most popular exhibits.

Visit the pandas and koala bears first 
Speaking of popular exhibits, many visit the San Diego Zoo just to see the pandas and koala. We went to see the pandas first, and there was no line. Later, we walked by the exhibit again and the line was over an hour long. We visited the koalas a bit later in the day, and it was really busy. Our timing worked well for us, though, because a koala had just been moved to a new habitat and was awake during the day (very rare for koalas), so he could spread his scent.

Do research about exhibits before you arrive 
The zoo is constantly rotating exhibits, so check online to see what is happening while you will be there. I was eager to see some babies and was really excited when I found out that a baby hippo had been born two days before the visit, and a baby gorilla was with its momma in the gorilla habitat. Seeing the babies was a highlight of our time at the zoo. The baby hippo was adorable, and I loved watching the momma play with her little one. The baby gorilla’s mom brought her little one close to the glass and played with it in front of us.

Next, I will share our private tour of the zoo (and why we went on one in the first place).

 Catch up on our California Road Trip:

Are you a big fan of zoos? Have you ever been to the San Diego Zoo? 


  1. OMG I can't even deal with how much cuteness is going on in those pictures! I LOVE Pandas and Koalas! I've been to the San Diego Zoo once but now I really want to go back. Great tips girl!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  2. Omg seeing and playing with koala's in real life is the best thing. And how cute is that panda?!!!

  3. psssssh who wants to see koalas? boring!! i heard they had an amazing tiger exhibit :) i would love to see baby animals though, they are always fun to see!

  4. Ahhh so cute!! SO cool that you got to see the pandas and koalas! And baby animals, squeee! :)

  5. A baby hippo- ahhhhh bring him to me! I lived 2 hours from the SD Zoo for 5 years and never went! What a shame!

  6. Oooh so cute! I totally want to visit the San Diego Zoo. I so want to see the koala bears.

  7. The koalas and pandas are adorable! I haven't been to the zoo {any zoo} in forever - probably since childhood. You're really making me want to go again!

  8. Ahh I forget that pandas and koalas aren't common in zoos (even though I've been to plenty of them!). I want to go to the SD Zoo just for those two! I pet a koala in Australia and they are sooo soft.

  9. I have no been to the San Diego Zoo in many years. We've been talking about taking Chris's kids to the Wild Animal Park, but maybe we should figure out a way to do both...

  10. I have always always wanted to go to the San Diego Zoo! The Pandas are a must. Thanks for the tips, Olya!:)

  11. How adorable are those koalas and pandas! I'm not a big zoo person either but I've always wanted to go to this one :)

  12. Great tips. My hairdresser is going to San Diego in February. I'm going to share some of your San Diego posts with her.

  13. I've STILL never been to San Diego! It's way high up on the bucket list, though. Thanks for all the tips :)

  14. The panda is so cute! I've never seen one in real life!


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