A Visit to the San Diego Zoo

Our experience at the San Diego Zoo was a great one. From the size of the zoo, the animals, the different modes of transport around the zoo, and the food options, I have nothing but good things to say. If you're considering a visit, I'd say go for it!

This zoo is one of largest in the country with over 35,000 animals. Its easy to spend an entire day there. What drew us there were the koalas and the pandas since we don't have those at our Seattle zoo. I saw koalas at the zoo in San Francisco years ago and have been waiting to see more since.

Our first stop was a ride on the Skyfari aerial tram, which was a quick gondola ride across the zoo. The zoo is located inside Balboa Park, and the view of the 200 foot tall California Tower was a good one. I happily snapped photos while our boys squealed with glee. We fueled up with a snack of nachos and cotton candy. Then we took off around the zoo to look at the animals. The polar bears were fun to watch as they swam around and did their thing. The panda exhibit is a popular one and there was a line to see Bai Yun, the 28 year old mama panda. She was just hanging out and having a snack and didn't seem to mind all of the attention.

After walking around some more it was time for lunch. We ate at Front Street Café. This is a casual eatery with a walk up window serving Mexican food. They had plenty of outdoor tables with umbrellas. They also had Margaritas, so that's what I had. It was a frozen one served in a signature cup and they did a mix of both lime and strawberry for me. It really hit the spot and the best part was you're allowed to bring it around the zoo. My husband had a Veggie Burger and our sons had the cheeseburger and cheese quesadilla from the kids menu. All of the kids meals at the zoo were served with souvenir totes and cups. I ate a little of everyone else's food. Our boys also selected lollipops with little stuffed animals from the large kid's gift shop, located by the Front Street Café.  

After lunch we went in search of the koalas! Koalas sleep 22 hours a day, so most of them were happily dozing in the trees. There was an adorable play area nearby with koala statues so while I took some photos of the koalas, our boys played and climbed. The koalas were super cute and I was happy to see some again! They look so cuddly and soft and I wish we could have held them.

After waving goodbye to the sleeping koalas, we headed off to find the guided bus tour. They have many double decker buses that drive all over the zoo and that was the last thing on the agenda for the day. The Guided Bus Tour and the Skyfari Aerial Tram were included in our zoo ticket since I pre ordered them online. This made it much easier to just hop on. We waited quite a while for the bus to start because they wanted to wait for more riders. The tour around the zoo ended up taking an hour, so one of our sons ended up napping. But I'm glad we did the bus tour because we were able to see more animals. We got another view of the polar bears, and the Asian elephants were fun. We even drove past the Koala area again and one turned its head just as we went by. The tour is guided so were able to learn even more about the zoo and the animals as we rode.

Then before we knew it, the tour was over and it was time to head back to our room and take a break. We spent five hours at the zoo and we all had an amazing time!


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