We spent our second day in San Diego at the zoo. It had been… well, I can't remember the last time I had been to a zoo, and going to the San Diego Zoo just sounded like the thing a good tourist ought to do. It seemed like it could have been a pretty overwhelming place, but we got there in the morning and didn't have trouble finding parking or waiting in lines to get in. Right off the bat we were impressed by the beautiful grounds and very helpful and friendly staff. We intended on picking and choosing our top priority exhibits, but in the end, I think we wound up seeing most of the zoo anyway.
The Best of the San Diego Zoo:
Besides the friendly staff and beautiful grounds, one of my favorite things about the zoo was the aerial tram. Not only did it get us from one end of the zoo to the other, but it was a nice rest for weary feet and it provided a great view of the zoo and surrounding areas. Plus, it was included in our ticket price.
The best exhibit at the zoo by far, in my opinion, was the polar bears. They were super playful and more than happy to put on a show for visitors. Their habitat was also laid out really well for maximum viewing potential.
Another thing that we found to be nice about our day at the zoo was that we could leave the grounds and come back later the same day with just a quick stamp on the hand. This allowed us to leave and have a nice lunch elsewhere and reenergize out of the sun and away from zoo commotion.
Not the Best of the San Diego Zoo:
I hate to use the words "the worst," because we really did have an overall good zoo experience, but there were a few things that I found disappointing that future visitors might want to keep in mind.
When we first got to the zoo, we seemed to have a hard time actually seeing the animals. A lot of them had found a nice napping place in some nook or cranny of their habitat. It was later recommended to us to arrive at the zoo right at feeding time, because the animals are out and excited about getting their breakfast.
My least favorite exhibit was the panda bear. There was a lot of hype surrounding it, and even a waiting line for viewing the exhibit, which probably heightened my expectations. However, the line wasn't very good about actually moving, and by the time I was able to see the panda bear it just wasn't a prime viewing experience.
The only other disappointment of the day was that we had somehow missed the turn for the giraffes and zebras, and only caught a glimpse of them as we rode the trolley on our way out. But if our feet hadn't been so tired at that point, we certainly could have turned around and remedied that pretty easily.
All in all, we had a good, full day at the zoo and I think I would have regretted leaving San Diego without checking it out. Plus, we got to see this guy strutting his stuff on our way out.
When was the last time you visited a zoo? Which animals are your favorite?