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Monkey Around San Diego Zoo Adventure

Updated on July 30, 2015

Landing In San Diego


San Diego

The San Diego Zoo, is just a few minutes from San Diego international Airport, Shelter Island and hotel circle, in Balboa Park. The weather in San Diego is temperate all year round. In December you will see shorts and tees among jeans and sweaters. A trip to the zoo is great any time of the year. The zoo is one of San Diego's treasures.

Make sure you have plenty of time or plan multiple trips; this is not the place to scrimp on time.

Elephant Greeting

Elephant topiary
Elephant topiary | Source


I was staying across the street from Balboa Park. My son had visited the Zoo many times while stationed in San Diego. He and his friends went there to get away from the stress of their work. "The Zoo is amazing", he told me time and again. The military discount was attractive until the magic of the Zoo took over. He would never have forgiven me if I hadn't made the effort to get there. Balboa Park is huge. The original plan was to walk from my friends house. It was probably four miles. Despite the size of Balboa Park, I found the zoo easily. There are plenty of signs to direct you to the zoo.

From the moment I parked the car, until I left the San Diego Zoo, I was smitten. I got there late in the morning and I had quite a walk to the main entrance. This was in March, the parking gets zooish during the summer. The parking lot markers were colorful and fun. The flowers were spectacular. All this was just a preview of what was to come.

Planning Your Zoo Trip

The San Diego Zoo is divided into zones. Go on line to look at the zoo map. The zoo's website will get you excited about your visit. The kid friendly website will get your kids excited too. As you look through the zones ask your kids what they would like to see the most; then tailor your visit around something each family member is excited about. Making a plan allows you to quickly find the attractions your family is most interested in.

There are extra activities after hours at include spending the night in the zoo. Be sure you look at those options on the web site.

With plans in hand lets go!

Skyfari | Source

No Plan, No Worries

If you don't have a plan no worries. When you first walk in head toward the flamingos and the big exhibit that says MAPS. The maps are beautiful; they make great souvenirs and are useful too. The map is on the front, on the back are event and show times.

My most current excursion to the zoo was between Christmas and New Years. There was a crowd. My friend has a yearly pass, visits the zoo often and recommended we ride the, "Skyfari Aerial Tram", to get an overview of the zoo. The line was long, so we changed plans. We walked the park and rewarded ourselves with a Skyfari Ride back to the entrance at the end of the visit. While we didn't get the overview we planned; we didn't have to deal with the crowds either. We enjoyed the ride. "Being Flexible reduces stress."

Have You Been To The Zoo?

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of San Diego Zoo
Tortoise | Source

Tortoise Shells

Standing at the tortoise exhibition there wasn't a tortoise to be found. Which didn't explain why there were young children drawing tortoise shells. Then I looked down. Wow, there they were. They were leaning against the rail; so close I could lean over and touched them. I had thought they were rocks until they moved. Tempting as it is, please don't touch the wild life

The shade was chilly. The tortoises were basking in the sunshine watching the tourists up close. Fascinating.

Each child artist had a slightly different pattern on their paper. We discovered that tortoise shells identify what part of the world a tortoise comes from.

Monkey Around At The Zoo

Bonobo Monkey
Bonobo Monkey | Source

Monkeys In Cages.

The Monkey cage or should it be cages begin behind the flamingos, near the entrance of the zoo. Monkeys are fascinating. There is a huge troupe of monkeys. On this bright sunny day the monkeys were active and just monkeying around having fun. They are such social animals they chatter, swing, do tricks and are wonderful to watch. The Zoo aims to educate visitors about the animals. I learned about the difference between old world monkeys and new world monkeys. You can also discover why they call Allens Swamp monkeys, Allens Swamp monkeys.

As you wander around the monkeys try to decide which are your favorites.


When Your Feet Get Tired

When your feet get tired the perfect place to be is the Sea Lion show. (note times on the back of your map) The Sea Lions do tricks and interact with their trainers. Learn all about these charming beasts and why they make such good performers. There are several shows throughout the day.

You can also sit and listen to the waterfall in the aviary. On a warm San Diego day, I have been told by college students, this is a wonderful place to sit and do homework.

March sunset
March sunset | Source

The End Of The Day

A day at the San Diego Zoo is amazing. After marveling at the diversity of animals, learning about where they live and watching the people you will want to go back. No matter how much you see on your trip to the Zoo there is always something more to see another day.

Directions to the Zoo

A marker2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, California 92112 -
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
get directions


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    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

      Jools99, San Diego would be very warm for someone from the UK.

      I revisited the zoo in December and it was delightfully pleasant.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Nice photos and I'm glad you included the topiary. I visited San Diego Zoo in 1988 and thought it was amazing - it was very hot I remember and we kept sneaking into the shops to coll down, I ended up with quite a few souvenirs :o), I also visited the Wild Animal Park (also amazing) and Seaworld (better than the Florida one I thought).

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 5 years ago from California

      This zoo is amazing,hope you get to visit soon. San Diego is good any time.

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      I have a friend in San Diego. Next time I visit her, I'm going to suggest the zoo. Thanks for SHARING.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Brett.Tesol, Thanks for visiting. The zoo is indeed a wonderful place to visit.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 6 years ago from Thailand

      Good guide, sounds like an interesting place to spend the day at, if your in the area.

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • profile image

      yaoundesue 6 years ago

      I'm inspired to go there again once I'm back in San Diego. Your description is delicious!

    • Miss Mellie profile image

      M.S. Ross 6 years ago

      The San Diego Zoo is definitely a treasure, and a must-see for those visiting Sunny So. Cal. Its "sister park," the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is equally worthy of a visit. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • LeisureLife profile image

      LeisureLife 6 years ago from USA

      Great photos, thanks for the hub!