Last week I ventured with the kids to Southern California to the beautiful city of San Diego. I was on a journey to the BlogHer ’11 Convention, but I was also on a journey to see the cool animals at the San Diego Zoo. I have lived in California my entire life, but had never seen the San Diego Zoo.
Last year when I was looking for things to do in Southern California, my friend Rhea recommended the San Diego Zoo. I didn’t end up going last year, but the idea definitely stuck in my mind. See we have a couple zoos here that are local to me, but they get boring after you have seen the same animals multiple times over the years. I will also say that the zoos that are local to me (in the Sacramento area) are SMALL and nothing really to brag about.
So we arrived late Thursday and woke up early on Friday to get to the zoo before the crowds. As we pulled in, I noticed that there were not too many cars and there was no charge to park. I thought to myself, this must be a small zoo. Was I WRONG…. Not only is this zoo big, I think it might take a couple days to see everything there. Check out the map of the San Diego Zoo below:
This map does not really explain how big the zoo is, you will just have to take my word for it. When we first started walking around the zoo, I was a little overwhelmed. This place is huge with different levels and it was taking quite a bit of time to cover each of the exhibits we seen when we first arrived. Since I had plans later that afternoon, I was thinking about what route to take to see the most we could see in the time were were there. I came to the conclusion that taking their guided bus tour was going to be the best option. With their cool double decker bus tour, you get to see 70% of the animals at the zoo and it beats walking around trying to find them.
The bus tour was awesome and we sat on the top. As we were walking to get in line, a guy mentioned that sitting on the right side of the bus was the best view. I am so glad we listened, because most of the things we were looking at happened to be on the right side of the bus. So if you are going to the zoo and are going to take this tour, be sure to sit on the RIGHT. The tour lasted about 40 minutes and we got to see elephants, hippos, monkeys, warthogs and so much more.
Check out a slideshow of some of the photos I snapped at the zoo…
The San Diego Zoo is amazing. If you love animals like we do, you need to take a trip there. They have the most incredible bird aviary I have ever seen. My children and I felt as though were were in the wild with the beautiful birds flying around above us. What I also like about this place is that it is a non-profit organization. All the proceeds that the zoo receives are put back into the zoo to make the zoo a great place to visit and learn.
Like I mentioned before, this place is huge and you might want to take 2 days to cover the entire zoo!
You can find out more about the San Diego Zoo by visiting: http://www.sandiegozoo.org
Disclosure – I received complimentary tickets to the zoo in exchange for this review. These opinions expressed are my own opinions and are NOT influenced by monetary compensation.