Have been out to San Deigo a couple of times over the last 3-4 years. Went out again this year in August and took the wife and kids to the San Diego Zoo. I didn't read the other review of the zoo so I'm sure there is a great deal of complimentary ratings, and completely agree. The zoo looked like it was basically carved into a very hilly area, not at all what I was expecting. Because everything works around the natural landscape, it looks incredible and it seems like you are always turning a corner and discovering a new part in the zoo. Let me list some pros and cons;
Before you visit, there are iphone\ipad apps you can use to plan your trip and even navigate around the park.
Also, I had noticed the many hummingbirds in the area on previous visits, and thought for sure there HAD to be a hummingbird house at the zoo. Yet I apparently walked right by it, as it wasn't listed in the IOS app and on the zoo map there is no text next to it, just a tiny silhouette of a hummingbird. If you love these little birds, it's located right next to one of the skyway stations (the one near the zoo exit)
- Guides were *incredibly* helpful around main gate .. as soon as I or my wife paused because we looked confused, someone was literally next to us within 5 seconds asking if they could help. I normally don't like to be asked this at places, but it's like these docents were telepathic!
- Setting incredibly nice. Also, nice cooling breezes and lots of shade. Though it was an 85+ degree day when we visited, in the shade it was cool and comfortable
- Great variety of displays and animals. It's a world class zoo, this is of course what you would expect. We took advantage of the giraffe feeding, so that was my cook experience of the day, but we saw lots of other great exhibits, including several awesome aviaries
- Food \ Drink - lots of places to get it, and quite a variety too.
- Crowds. Though walking around pathways was fine, the design of the zoo tends to funnel people into some small viewing areas depending on the section. To name an example, trying to view the polar beards was an exercise in crowd patience, and I feel like little kids would have a hard time. Be prepared to take your time and wait for good viewing slots
- Hills! The same thing that makes the park awesome to behold also makes getting around on foot tough. This is because of the many hills the zoo trails all go up and down, and also because navigating some of them is really confusing. Plan on taking your time on hot days and especially if you are pushing a stroller!
- Some inconsistency in habitats; for instance, one tiger exhibit was huge (could have had a bunch of tigers, the ones we saw were dozens of yards away), but the Lion exhibit was tiny?
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC