Review of The San Diego Zoo
by Meg Brunson
This year the San Diego Zoo is celebrating its centennial. Over the past 100 years it has become one of the most well known zoos in America because of their focus on conservation. When we decided to plan a trip to San Diego, putting the zoo on our agenda was a no-brainer.
The San Diego Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species and we loved having the opportunity to see them all. We saw some of our favorite animals, like penguins and otters, and got to see some animals that the kids have not seen yet, like pandas and koalas. The zoo's website even has a variety of live cameras so the kids can log on to the computer to see what the penguins (or other animals) are doing after they have returned home.
Throughout the zoo were many different dining options, and I loved how each restaurant fit in with the exhibit in which it was located. The Hua Mei Café located in Panda Canyon, for example, offered a variety of Asian favorites along with some American classics. We also noticed Sydney's Grill, in the Australian Outback exhibit, which offers entrees like the "Queensland Gyro Pita Sandwich, our Walkabout Fish & Chips, and Sausage Sandwich" as well as burgers "from the barbie." There are full-service restaurants as well as cafe-style dining experiences throughout the park.
There were so many great photo ops and play areas for the kids as we journeyed through the zoo. We had made it all the way to the back of the park when it became evident that our younger children were done. We had been there most of the day and they were tired (let's be honest, so were we!). Luckily, the San Diego Zoo has a convenient ariel shortcut, which allowed us to fly over the zoo, taking in the amazing views of the park and the San Diego city skyline, and bringing us right back to the main gates. The Skyfari was even able to accommodate our lightweight single stroller (jogging, oversized and double strollers cannot be accommodated).
The Skyfari doesn't just offer an painless way to return to the exit; you can also ride the Skyfari to the back end of the park, then start exploring from there and make your way back to the exit.
There are tons of special events and activities listed on the zoo's website, plus information about the different Animal Cams, educational resources, and the ability to shop their amazing gift shop!
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Meg Brunson, a mother of four, is Phoenix editor of KidsOutAndAbout.com.