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This is a list of must see Zoos in Southern California. Get up close and personal with farm animals, even wild animals, feed them, touch them, and learn about them as you take tours of these beautiful zoos. 

Los Angeles

The 133 acre Los Angeles Zoo is home to more than 1,100 animals, including 29 endangered species. Get close-up looks at spectacular Sumatran tigers, Elephants of Asia, Giraffes, and African Lions. Learn more about some of the L.A. Zoo’s animal residents from the amazing animal keepers with different shows and activities at the Zoo. As you stroll Zoo grounds, also take some time out to appreciate the botanical bounty around you. And, if you have little kids, visit the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo to get up close with goats and sheep in the Muriel’s Ranch.

Location: 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

​Tel: (323) 644-4200

Hours: Open daily from 10 am - 5 pm

Parking: Free

Admission: Adults $21, Children (2-12) $16

Membership: Family $146, Family Deluxe $186

Santa Ana

The Santa Ana Zoo is a small zoo that has wonderful primates and macaws, a rain forest exhibit called "Colors of the Amazon" that highlights the wonderful colors of the animals that live in the Amazon; a huge porcupine' and a walk-through aviary. The Crean Family Farm provides a barnyard adventure with goats, sheep, and chickens that can be fed and petted. Zoofari Express rides are also available on the weekends.

Location: 1801 East Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701

​Tel: (714) 836-4000

Hours: 10am - 4pm (grounds close 5pm)

Parking: Free

Admission: Adults $12, Children $9, Train Rides $1.50


The Orange County Zoo is a small friendly zoo in the middle of Irvine Park. The zoo focuses on animals and plants from the southewestern United States. Animals on exhibit include black bears, mountain lions, bald eagle, island foxes, ocelot, red-tailed hawk, great horned owls, porcupine, coyotes, turkey vultures, coati and more. The zoo also features a barnyard with domestic goats, jacob sheep, pot-bellied pigs, doves and pheasants.

Location: 1 Irvine Park Road, Orange, CA 92869

​Tel: (714) 973-6847

Hours: weekdays 10 am - 3:30 pm; weekends 10 am - 4:30 pm

Parking: $3 on weekdays, $5 on weekends

Admission: $2 per person; Ages 2 years and under are free

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara Zoo is one of the most beautiful and friendly zoos in Southern California. It is a small zoo where you get to see all the animals in one day. There is also a small carousel and a train ride.  You can also have a private tour group (Behind-the-Scenes Tour) as you see animal exhibits in a way the general public never see.

Location: 500 Ninos Dr., Santa Barbara, CA 93103

​Tel: (805) 962-5339

Hours: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Admission: Adults $18, Kids $10

Parking: $8 weekdays, $11 weekends

San Diego

The 100-acre Zoo is home to more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. Exhibits range from an African rain forest featuring gorillas to the Arctic taiga and tundra. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. The Zoo offers a guided tour bus that traverses 75% of the park. There is also an overhead gondola lift called the Skyfari, providing an aerial view of the zoo.

Location: 2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101

​Tel: (619) 231-1515

Hours: 9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Admission: Adults: 1 Day Pass $54, Child (3-11) $44

Parking: Free

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The Safari Park is an expansive wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.75 million specimens. Entertainment and activities include Frequent Flyer show, Robert the Zebra, Cheetah Run, Animal Tales, Animal Presentations, Kids Activity Station, Keeper Talks, Animal Movement Moments, and more. You can also add different Safari Experiences to your day (extra charge for each safari).

Location: 15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027

​Tel: 619-231-1515

Hours: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

Admission: Adults: 1 Day Pass $54, Children (3-11) $44

Parking: $15 per vehicle; $20 for RV parking. Preferred parking is available on weekends and holidays for an additional $18 ($15 + $18 = $33 total to park in preferred parking).

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Palm Desert

Explore the 1200 Acre zoo on hiking trails and extensive tram lines that cross ecosystems from Africa, the Americas and the Australian Outback. Watch for the park’s 450 animals as you learn how they adapt to life in earth’s most arid places, and enjoy live shows, animal feedings and family-friendly activities aimed at education and conservation. Observe more than 1,400 species and desert plants that grow in California’s Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, as well as other deserts around the world.

Location: 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert, CA 92260

​Tel: 760-346-5694

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (October 1 to May 31) 8:00 am to 1:30 pm (June 1 to September 30)

Admission:  Adults $19.95, Children (Ages 3-12) $9.95, Children under 3 free

Membership: Family $129.95

Shuttle Prices: Adults $6.00, Children (Ages 3-12) $3.00, Children under 3 free

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