Best 10 Zoos in California

Best 10 Zoos in California: From extensive enclosed spaces that imitate African grasslands to glowing kelp beds packed with sea life, California is home to many different biospheres with imposing length from north to south. The tempting weather with its Pacific Ocean 840 miles of coastline has created a key location for zoos in California.

California’s zoos give you entry to incredible animals. Get a glance of the overwhelming amphibians at the Oakland Zoo or Koalas at the San Diego zoo. Make planning to visit sea creatures and take safari next, or walk through a display of striking plants. You can easily spend whole day at these and other terrific attractions. Here are the list of 10 Best Zoos in California

Make planning to visit this place have a close look over our list of best 10 zoos in California.

1.San Francisco Zoo

Best zoos in California
San Francisco Zoo

The San Francisco Zoo placed in the southwestern corner of San FranciscoCalifornia. It is a 100-acre long zoo to be found in between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean down the Great Highway. The zoo is home for 2000 foreign, endangered, and rescued animals, representing more than 250 species. This scenic zoo is the home of Elly the black rhinos and also the home of Koko the gorilla.

In the beginning the zoo was named as Fleishhacker Zoo after banker Herbert Fleishhacker . There was a large swimming pool named the Fleishhacker Pool and also the place was house to a children’s zoo and playground. The zoo was full with transported animals including zebras, five rhesus monkeys, two spider monkeys and one cape buffalo.

Address- Sloat Blvd &, Upper Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94132, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-10 am-5 pm ,Tuesday-10 am-5 pm, Wednesday-10 am-5 pm, Thursday-10 am-5 pm, Friday-10 am-5 pm, Saturday – 10 am-5 pm,Sunday-10 am-5 pm

2.San Diego Zoo

Best zoos in California, San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is a zoo located in Balboa Park, San DiegoCalifornia. The zoo is home to 4000 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. The zoo’s parent organization, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit private organization having one of the largest zoological membership associations in the world. It also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the USA.

The zoo is a qualified member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. San Diego Zoo provides a tour bus with guide. There is an overhead Von Roll type 101 Skyfari for aerial view of the zoo.There is an overhead Von Roll type 101 Skyfari for aerial view of the zoo. The zoo has a large collection of animals, birds, reptiles and mammals.

Address-2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-9 am-5 pm, Tuesday-9 am-5 pm, Wednesday-9 am-5 pm,Thursday-9 am-5 pm, Friday-9 am-5 pm, Saturday – 9 am-5 pm, Sunday-9 am-5 pm

Also Read: 13 best things to do in Temple, Texas

3. Oakland Zoo

Flamingos at Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is placed in Oakland, California. United States. It is a shelter of more than 850 foreign and local animals. The zoo was established on June 6, 1922 and run by the Conservation Society of California. The Oakland zoo is a nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of wildlife. The zoo is known for its control in animal care and animal welfare.

Animals like African spoonbill, blue-and-yellow macaw, cotton-top tamarin, great curassow, guira cuckoo, lar gibbon, military macaw, African lion, African elephant, sun bear, tiger and many more are on exhibit to the publc. The Oakland zoo offers free and low-priced science education programs for students attending Title 1 schools in the Greater Bay Area. It also provides 5,500 vouchers to schools and community organizations every year as a part of its Zoo-to program.

Address- 9777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA 94605, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-10 am-2 pm, Tuesday-10 am-2 pm, Wednesday-10 am-2 pm, Thursday-10 am-2 pm, Friday-10 am-2 pm, Saturday – 10 am-2 pm, Sunday-10 am-2 pm

4.Santa Barbara Zoo

Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is placed in Santa Barbara, California, USA. The zoo has more than 500 animals including California condors, capybara and for having had a crooked neck giraffe. The zoo also having some non-animals, for instance the 2 ft narrow gauge zoo train. The Santa Barbara Zoo has been ranked many times as one of the nation’s best small zoos.

Australian Walkabout is an Australian theme habitat situated at the Santa Barbara Zoo is the home to Tawny frogmouth, laughing kookaburra and Sulphur-crested cockatoos. The Forest Edge residence two male western lowland gorillas and the California Trails displays California condors, Turkey vultures, Desert tortoises and Bald eagles.

Address-500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-9:30 am-5 pm, Tuesday-9:30 am-5 pm, Wednesday-9:30 am-5 pm, Thursday-9:30 am-5 pm, Friday-9:30 am-5 pm, Saturday – 9:30 am-5 pm,Sunday-9:30 am-5 pm

5.Los Angeles Zoo

Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is placed in Los Angeles, California. The zoo is a 133 acre long and established in 1966. The zoo, animals, land and services are owned by Los Angeles. The Los Angeles zoo developed into a certified botanical garden in 2002 and also in the same year the official name was changed to Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The botanical garden is having over 800 different plant species and a total over 7,400 individual plants.

In 1998 Chimpanzees of Mahele Mountains, a one acre exhibit complex was opened for chimpanzees. It is spread with palm trees, boulders, and a non-natural termite ground. Visitors can view the animals through a glass window. The Los Angeles Zoo is also having another exhibit Campo Gorilla Reserve which was opened for gorillas in November 2007. Visitors can see the gorillas through  two glass windows.

Address-5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-10 am-5 pm, Tuesday-10 am-5 pm, Wednesday-10 am-5 pm, Thursday-10 am-5 pm, Friday-10 am-5 pm, Saturday – 10 am-5 pm, Sunday-10 am-5 pm

6. Fresh Chaffee Zoo

Fresno Chaffee Zoo

The Fresh Chaffee Zoo is located within the Roeding Park in Fresno, California. It covers 39 acres and home to over 190 species. The Fresh Chaffee Zoo is approved by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and also a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). The zoo exhibits including Dino Dig, Valley farm, Sea Lion Cove, African Adventure, Stingray bay and Winged Wonders Bird Show.

The zoo was created about 1908 and its initial record consists of two bears and about fifty birds of different species. In between 1940 and 1950. 100 animals and more birds were added to the zoo. With the help of Fresno Rotary Club an elephant named Nosey was obtained. In 1982 three new elephants were transported to the zoo.

Address-894 W Belmont Ave, Fresno, CA 93728, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-9 am-4 pm, Tuesday-9 am-4 pm, Wednesday-9 am-4 pm,Thursday-9 am-4 pm, Friday-9 am-4 pm, Saturday – 9 am-4 pm, Sunday-9 am-4 pm

7. Sacramento Zoo

Sacramento Zoo

The Sacramento Zoo is placed in William Land Park in Sacramento, California. It was established on June 2, 1927.The zoo covered 4.2 acres with 40 animals brought from other local parks together with raccoons, birds, deer and monkeys until the early 1960s. Now the zoo is having 14.3 acres with over 500 animals.

In 1958the Sacramento Zoological Society was created to increase funds for the zoo. Six penguins release to the public on April 6, in 2007. In the year 2009, the zoo was constructed on a new barn and yard for the giraffes. The giraffe territory has a pavilion for visitors to have a close look of the giraffe.

Address- 3930 W Land Park Dr, Sacramento, CA 95822, United States

Open Hours-

Monday-9 am-4 pm, Tuesday-9 am-4 pm, Wednesday-9 am-4 pm,Thursday-9 am-4 pm, Friday-9 am-4 pm, Saturday – 9 am-4 pm, Sunday-9 am-4 pm

8. Santa Ana Zoo

Best Zoos in California
Santa Ana Zoo

The Santa Ana Zoo is located at prentice park in Santa Ana, California. The zoo was earlier approved by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is a 20 acre zoo taking care of animals and plants of central and South America. The zoo entertains over 270,000 people annually and maintains a compilation with over one dozen species from different parts of the world.

Tierra De Las Pampas a new exhibit was built in April 2010. The first one in a series of new exhibits with covering 2 acres and contains giant theaters. Rainforest Exhibit a small in size exhibit is shelter to white faced monkeys and green iguanas. Another popular exhibit, Amazon’s Edge repeats a part of the Brazilian rainforest. The exhibit includes black necked swans, howler monkeys and crested screamers.

Address- 1801 E Chestnut Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92701, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-10 am-4 pm, Tuesday-10 am-4 pm, Wednesday-10 am-4 pm,Thursday-10 am-4 pm, Friday-10 am-4 pm, Saturday – 10 am-4 pm, Sunday-10 am-4 pm

9. Sequoia Park Zoo

Best Zoos in California
Sequoia Park Zoo

The Sequoia Park Zoo is placed in Eureka, Calfornia. The zoo is covering 60 acre area including Eureka’s largest public playground, a duck pond, coast redwood forest and formal and natural gardens. The zoo is home to 200 vertebrates and hundreds of invertebrates, representing about 54 different species. The Sequoia Park Zoo is dedicated to provide educational skills that support links between animals, humans, and environment.

The zoo was established in 1907and the zoo achieved membership from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 1995. It exhibits white-handed gibbons and brown-headed spider monkeys. The zoos “Barnyard” interacts with domesticated animals together with, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, donkeys, alpaca and a cat and non interactive exhibits contain skunk, mice, opossum, and spiders.

Address- 3414 W St, Eureka, CA 95503, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-Closed, Tuesday- 10 am-5 pm, Wednesday-10 am- 5 pm, Thursday-10 am-5 pm, Friday-10 am-5 pm, Saturday-10 am-5 pm, Sunday-10 am-5 pm

10. Big Bear Alpine Zoo

Best Zoos in California
Big Bear Alpine Zoo

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is located in Big Bear Lake, California, USA. This zoo is one of the two Alpine zoos in USA. The zoo is dedicated to release and rehab of local Alpine species. Those animals that can’t be discharged are given a shelter for life in the zoo. The Big Bear Alpine Zoo representing 80 species and 160 animals including grizzly bears, cougars, eagles, wolves and black bears.

Since 1959 the zoo has been protecting alpine wildlife. Almost 90% of animals brought to the zoo for rehabilitation and later successfully sent back onto their native location. The zoo is operated and owned by Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District. In 2016 the construction of zoo was started, and on November 5, 2020 opened to the public.

Address- 42801 Moonridge Rd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315, USA

Open Hours-

Monday-10 am-4 pm, Tuesday-10 am-4 pm, Wednesday-10 am-4 pm,Thursday-10 am-4 pm, Friday-10 am-4 pm, Saturday – 10 am-4 pm, Sunday-10 am-4 pm

Best time to visit California

The best time to visit California is summer, when temperatures stay between 19°C and 30°C.The majority of the state draws a pleasant climate with decent temperatures.

Best Places to stay in California

Fleur Noire Hotel

Fleur Noire Hotel is placed in Palm Springs, only 2.2 kilometers away from Palm Springs Center. The hotel provides free bikes, free parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a garden. There is a shared kitchen and a shared lounge with free Wifi available for customers.

Sky Rise Apartments

This beautiful Sky rise Apartments located in Los Angeles offers city views, an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre, a patio, a bar and a garden. The room is air conditioned with a hot tub.

LUMA Hotel San Francisco

LUMA Hotel is place in San Francisco and 400 meters away from Oracle Park. The hotel features with a fitness center, a private parking, bathrobes and slippers. The accommodation offers a 24-hours front desk and room service with WiFi.


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