California
Zoos & Aquariums

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Our most recommended California Zoos & Aquariums

Aquarium of the Pacific: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

1. Aquarium of the Pacific: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Admission

Take a journey of discovery at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. Discover sunny Southern California and Baja, the frigid waters of the Northern Pacific, and the colorful reefs of the Tropical Pacific. Come face-to-face with the ocean’s ultimate predators in Shark Lagoon, hand-feed colorful lorikeet birds, and watch the Magellanic penguins. Discover Pacific Visions where you explore underwater realms and future possibilities. The centerpiece, Honda Pacific Visions Theater, features an 8-minute film with multisensory effects. The massive 180-degree curved screen and floor projection disc encompass the viewers’ full range of vision, creating a uniquely immersive experience. The theater experience is included in admission.

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San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

2. San Diego Zoo: 1-Day Admission Ticket

Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals, and experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is known for its naturalistic habitats and unique animal encounters. An urban paradise for all ages, the San Diego Zoo is a must-see in Southern California. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo‘s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. Other exotic animals you may encounter include Sichuan takins, Buerger’s tree-kangaroos, arctic foxes, pangolin, and Visayan warty pigs. Explore Africa Rocks to discover penguins, baboons, the mysterious fossa, weaver birds, and other unique creatures. The festive, lively atmosphere makes the San Diego Zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows. The Zoo’s 17 Galápagos tortoises are now at home at the Fetter Family Galápagos Tortoise Exhibit. When keepers are present, you can pet and occasionally feed the tortoises over a short rock barrier. At the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge, you can get closer to polar bears than ever before. Climb aboard an Arctic research helicopter, crawl into a bear den, or measure yourself against the size of a polar bear. The Harry and Grace Steele Elephant Odyssey is a 7.5-acre habitat and a first-of-its-kind experience. This area combines the fun of a zoo with the experience of a museum by creating an untamed landscape of animals from the past and present. A leader in animal care and conservation, the San Diego Zoo is at the heart of the San Diego experience.

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Aquarium of the Bay: General Admission Tickets

3. Aquarium of the Bay: General Admission Tickets

Explore the beauty and wonder of San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay with this entrance ticket, giving you access to the 3 main exhibit halls. Discover the amazingly diverse marine life that lives beneath the surface of San Francisco Bay and its surrounding waters. Explore the “Discover the Bay” exhibit, highlighting the unique ecosystem that provides home to a diverse selection of marine life. The exhibits feature more than 20,000 aquatic animals. Learn all about this delicate underwater habitat and the need for its conservation. Then, experience the magic of the habitat at “Touch the Bay,” complete with tide pools where you can touch the creatures that patrol San Francisco Bay’s waters. No trip to Aquarium of the Bay would be complete without a visit to the North American River Otter gallery, where frisky river otters romp, swim, sleep and play. Get a scuba diver’s view of San Francisco Bay at the Aquarium of the Bay’s most iconic exhibit, “Under the Bay.” As you walk through the tunnels, you’ll see fascinating jellyfish, watch schools of fish that swim near the shore, see delicate starfish, and view larger fish, such as sharks, rays, and sturgeons, which live in the deeper waters of San Francisco Bay.

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San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

4. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences Entry Ticket

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-living museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. The superb complex incorporates all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe! Don’t miss the African penguins – and 38,000 other live animals – at the California Academy of Sciences in the heart of Golden Gate Park, a must-see attraction in San Francisco. Rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light or journey deep into the oceans of the world as the Academy boldly brings life to life. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the American alligator with albinism, and hang out with Pierre, Howard, Ocio, and the rest of the South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies and become immersed in the rainforests of Borneo, Madagascar, Costa Rica, and the flooded Amazon. Discover Borneo bats, chameleons, poison dart frogs, leaf cutter ants, gliders, snakes, and so much more. Catch the latest amazing digital planetarium show, taking you on a spectacular journey to the far reaches of the universe, held 7-10 times a day. Designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum housed under a living roof will inspire lifelong curiosity for the natural world as you experience the depths of a Philippine coral reef, climb into the canopy of a Costa Rican rainforest, and fly to the outer reaches of the universe. New Exhibit: Sharks, open through to January 23, 2022. Don't miss this traveling exhibition created by Grande Experiences. Learn about one of the most awe-inspiring and misunderstood creatures on the planet and the critical role sharks play in ocean ecosystems around the globe.

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San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

5. San Diego Zoo Safari Park 1-Day Ticket

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre Safari Park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species—many living in wide, open field enclosures. So jump onto one of our thrilling array of tours and create memories of adventure for you and your family – all while benefiting the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe. Welcome to a land of volcanoes, tropical rain forests, a treasure trove of biodiversity—and tigers. Sumatra is home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger, along with other endangered species such as orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and their current struggles within their island world. Lion Camp - Get nose to nose with our African lion pride—literally! Bring the kids up close to see lions that may come right up to the glass to check you out. Heart of Africa - The winding trails take you through an African forest and savanna to a serene lake. Stop and cool off at Jamison Research Island. Elephant Overlook - An elevated walkway takes you out where you can get a closer look at our Elephant Cam stars. Don't miss the youngsters born right here! Hidden Jungle - Enter our tropical greenhouse and experience a habitat of exotic birds, insect, and plants, home to our annual Butterfly Jungle event. Wings of the World Aviary - Everything in this free-flight aviary is designed to approximate the natural turf for over 140 birds of 40 species. Condor Ridge - Follow the trail of North American habitats and animals to see bighorn sheep and learn the great conservation story of the California condors. Other activities included in your admission: Elephant Enrichment - Watch our elephant herd enjoy morning treats. Discovery Station - This kid-friendly area is filled with musical instruments, puppets, books, craft activities, and wildlife “toys” and is designed to give children and their adult companions a playful space for animal-themed fun. Savanna Cool Zone - Walk through palm trees offering a gentle mist to three slippery critters that spout water: a turtle, a lion, and a crocodilian. Jameson Research Island Interpretive Center. Africa Tram Safari - Guided tour rides depart 10 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. daily (The Africa Tram Safari is an exciting expedition with brightly colored tour vehicles and our diverse animal collection creating a relaxing adventure. Lorikeet Landing - Watch our colorful rainbow lorikeets swoop down to enjoy nectar offered by guests. Exhibit entrance if free; lorikeet food is available for purchase to experience the thrill of feeding these birds by hand. Petting Kraal - Touch gentle deer and antelope. Have you “herd”? with Robert the Zebra - Robert the Zebra lives in digital, animated form on a large screen, where he can see the people who have come to visit. He asks questions, cracks jokes, talks about zebra life, and is very curious about humans. Frequent Flyers® Bird Show - An East African crowned crane in flight is a stunning sight viewed by only a privileged few, until now! The crane is one of the stars of the Park’s bird show, Frequent Flyers. The program lets you witness birds in full flight and focuses on a variety of birds from around the world. Animal Encounters - This interactive program gives you an opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the Park’s animal ambassadors like a cheetah, alligator, serval, and other rare and exotic animals. You may interact with trainers and ask questions about the species. Cheetah Tales - Come meet our cheetah ambassadors in Heart of Africa. Note: Schedules may vary or be canceled due to weather or animal health needs.

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San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

6. San Diego: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 55+ Attractions

Activities, attractions, and tours included on the Go San Diego All-Inclusive pass: THEME PARKS & ZOOS• San Diego Zoo • SeaWorld San Diego• San Diego Zoo Safari Park• Belmont Park• Knott's Berry Farm• LEGOLAND California OUTDOORS• San Diego Speedboat Adventures• La Jolla: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• La Jolla: Full-Day Snorkel Adventure• La Jolla: All-Day Bike Rental• La Jolla: Surfboard Rental• La Jolla: Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) Rental• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr SUP• San Diego Harbor: 2-hr Kayak Rental• San Diego Harbor: 1-hr Pedal Boat Rental• Coronado: 90-min Tandem Kayak Rental• Coronado: SUP Board Rental• Coronado: Full-Day Bike Rental• San Diego Pier Fishing TOURS & CRUISES• 1-hr San Diego Harbor cruise by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises• Whale Watch & Dolphin Tour - Beautiful Newport Beach• San Diego Hiking Tour• San Diego Beach Tour• San Diego City Tour• Catalina Flyer (ferry to Catalina Island)• One Way Coronado Ferry• PETCO Park tour• GoCar San Diego 30-min tour• Dolby Theater Tour MUSEUMS & PLACES OF INTEREST• USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum• Japanese Friendship Garden• San Diego Air and Space Museum• San Diego Natural History Museum• The Fleet Science Center with IMAX• Birch Aquarium at Scripps• San Diego Museum of Man• San Diego Automotive Museum• San Diego Model Railroad Museum• San Diego Museum of Art• The New Children's Museum• The Whaley House Museum• Coronado Museum of History and Art• Museum of Photographic Arts• Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown)• San Diego Art Institute• The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House• Mingei International Museum• San Diego History Center• Living Coast Discovery Center• Museum of Making Music• Hollywood Museum• UTC Ice Sports Center• South Coast Shop & Dine Package The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass is an all-access attraction pass offering the ultimate in convenience, savings, and flexibility for visitors to the area. Choose a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7-day pass and save up to 55% compared to the cost of full retail admissions. Enjoy the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND, The U.S.S. Midway, Harbor Excursions, the New Children’s Museum and more. A total of over 50 attractions and tours are included with your pass.  The San Diego All-Inclusive Pass comes with a digital guide including helpful attraction information including how to get there and opening times.

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Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

7. Los Angeles: Go City All-Inclusive Pass with 40+ Attractions

The Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass is the only multi-attraction pass that gets you into over 40 top attractions in the city for one low price. Save up to 45% off retail prices on admission and pay nothing at the gate. In addition, when you buy a 3-, 5- or 7-day pass, you also get a ticket to Universal Studios Hollywood. Visit The Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, Aquarium of the Pacific, Dolby Theatre, Madame Tussauds Hollywood, and many more of the best things to do in L.A., Hollywood, and beyond. There’s no need to decide in advance what you want to see, and you can take up to 2 weeks from when you first use the pass to use the remaining days on your pass. The free digital guide helps you decide what to do, where to go, how to get there, and even includes the best times to visit. The 3-, 5-, and 7-day All-Inclusive passes also include free admission to Universal Studios Hollywood as an added bonus. Activities, attractions, and tours included with the Los Angeles All-Inclusive Pass: Theme Parks: • Universal Studios Hollywood Ticket (3+ day passes only) • Knott's Berry Farm • Six Flags Magic Mountain • LEGOLAND California (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) Outdoors: • Pacific Park - Santa Monica Pier • Whale Watching in San Pedro or Long Beach • Catalina Flyer (Ferry to Catalina Island) • Harbor Breeze Whale Watching Tour - Long Beach • Perry's Beach Cafe and Rentals - Mountain Bike or Roller-Skates (All Day) • Hollywood Hike by Bikes & Hikes (10:30 AM only) • Celebrity Bike Tour by Bikes & Hikes LA (choice between self-guided or guided tour) • Whale Watching & Dolphin Cruises - Newport Landing• Harbor Cruise in Long Beach or San Pedro Guided Tours: • Big Bus Los Angeles 1-Day Hop-on Hop-off Tour • Big Bus Celebrity Lifestyle and Homes Tour • Dolby Theater Guided Tour • Sony Pictures Studio Tour • Starline Tours: Malibu Celebrity Homes Tour • Food, Arts, Culture DTLA Walking Tour • Hollywood Behind-the-Scenes Tour by Red Line Tours Family-Friendly: • Madame Tussauds Hollywood • Aquarium of the Pacific • TCL Chinese Theater - Tour or Movie and a drink (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • Santa Monica Pier Aquarium • LA Zoo and Botanical Gardens • California Science Center IMAX Movie • San Diego Zoo (choice between San Diego Zoo or LEGOLAND) • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles • K1 Speed Indoor Karting Museums and Entertainment: • Hollywood Museum (choice between TCL Chinese Theater or Hollywood Museum) • GRAMMY Museum • Battleship IOWA Museum • La Brea Tar Pits and Museum • Autry Museum of the American West • Museum of Latin American Art • Cabrillo Maritime Museum • Huntington Library and Gardens • Los Angeles, A Journey Through Time in Film • South Coast Shop & Dine Package • Shanti Hot Yoga • LA Galaxy Soccer Game Ticket

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San Diego Zoo and Safari Park: 2-Day Entry Ticket

8. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park: 2-Day Entry Ticket

Experience the best of two worlds with a two-day admission ticket to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Widely regarded as the best in the world, the San Diego Zoo has open-air enclosures and puts an emphasis on animal welfare and conservation. Its sister Safari Park boasts wide open spaces for its many animals to roam freely, mimicking their natural habitat as closely as possible.   Explore the San Diego Zoo, home to over 4,500 rare and endangered animals. Experience their worlds at the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, and other areas. Winding paths through the tropical oasis of a botanical garden bring you to the zoo’s rare and fascinating animals, including koalas, Galápagos tortoises, tigers, eagles, flamingos, great apes, and more. The festive, lively atmosphere makes this zoo a great place for family fun and gathering friends. Discover the wonders of wildlife with animal encounters, interactive experiences, and exciting animal presentations and shows.   The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an adventurer’s safari paradise in Southern California. The 1,800-acre park is home to more than 3,000 animals representing more than 375 species, many living in wide open field enclosures. Join one of many tours and create memories for you and your family. Visit Sumatra and see tigers, orangutans, rhinos, and elephants. Tiger Trail provides a journey to discover tigers and learn about their current struggles. In Lion Camp, come nose to nose with an African lion pride. And best of all, your participation contributes to the conservation of species here and in more than 35 countries across the globe.

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San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 44% at 4 Top Attractions

9. San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 44% at 4 Top Attractions

With so much to see and do in San Francisco, it is often difficult to know where to begin with your sightseeing schedule. Do not worry, because San Francisco CityPASS has collected the top attractions and priced them at 44% less than the same tickets purchased separately. San Francisco CityPASS provides admission into: 1. California Academy of Sciences - Climb into the canopy of a butterfly-filled four-story rainforest. Come face-to-face with a colony of penguins. Explore the outer limits of the universe in a 75-foot planetarium. Decompress in front of the deepest indoor coral reef on Earth. At the Academy, you’ll get to experience nearly 40,000 of the world’s most beautiful, unusual creatures—from the heart of Golden Gate Park. 2. Blue & Gold Fleet San Francisco Bay Cruise - Complete your visit to San Francisco with Blue & Gold Fleet’s one-hour Bay Cruise Adventure. Sail underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, and past Angel Island on this fully-narrated tour offering breathtaking views. 3. The Aquarium of the Bay OR The Walt Disney Family Museum Aquarium of the Bay - Meet local inhabitants of the San Francisco Bay and surrounding watersheds at Aquarium of the Bay, located at PIER 39 next to Fisherman’s Wharf. Experience the closest thing to being underwater when you walk through glass tunnels, with close-up views of local sharks, bat rays, Spiny Lumpsuckers and Garibaldis. Don’t know what some of those are? Go find out!  The Walt Disney Family Museum - Visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in the scenic San Francisco Presidio. Find animation, innovation and inspiration through interactive galleries featuring films, music, artifacts, and a spectacular model of Disneyland. Explore Walt’s remarkable life story, told through his own voice, family photographs, and personal collections. 4. The Exploratorium OR San Francisco Zoo & Gardens Exploratorium - Embrace the wild wonder at the intersection of science and art at the Exploratorium, the most experimental museum in the world. Tinker and play with more than 650 interactive exhibits and immerse yourself in San Francisco’s independent, innovative culture. San Francisco Zoo & Gardens - San Francisco Zoo & Gardens is home to more than 2000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals on 100 acres of majestic and peaceful gardens nestled against the Pacific Ocean. In addition to many animals, the Zoo offers entertainment for the whole family to enjoy, including the historic steam train and carousel and uniquely themed play zone area that will ignite the imagination of children of all ages.

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San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

10. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - choose 2-7 attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. You have the flexibility to choose between 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 40 options.  Decide what you feel like doing on the day, so you don't even need to plan in advance. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of San Diego with a Hop-on, Hop-off trolley tour, or kayak and snorkel in beautiful La Jolla. The possibilities are endless. Your pass is fully digital and no physical card is required. Simply download your pass directly to your smartphone or print at home. Show your pass at each attraction for quick and easy entrance. Tours and Attractions Included with the Go San Diego Explorer Pass: Top Attractions and Museums: • San Diego Zoo OR San Diego Zoo Safari Park (choose 1) • USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum • Belmont Park Ride and Play Pass • Maritime Museum of San Diego • Air and Space Museum • Birch Aquarium at Scripps • The Fleet Science Center with IMAX • San Diego Natural History Museum • San Diego Museum of Us • Living Coast Discovery Center • The New Children's Museum • San Diego Museum of Art • San Diego Model Railroad Museum • Japanese Friendship Garden • PETCO Park Tour • San Diego Automotive Museum • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities: • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • Hornblower Best of the Bay Cruise • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • SEAL Tour San Diego • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Pure Brewing Tastings in 3 locations • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • San Diego Pier Fishing • San Diego Hiking Tour • San Diego Harbor: Kayak Rental or Stand Up Paddle Board Rental • La Jolla: Kayak Rental, Snorkel Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • Coronado: Kayak Rental, Stand Up Paddle Board Rental, or Bike Rental • UTC Ice Sports Center • Speed Circuit: All Access • San Diego City & Beach Tours • 1-Hour Scooter Rental • GoCar San Diego Tours • Patriot Jet Boat Tour

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Other Sightseeing Options in California

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What people are saying about California

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 797 reviews

My husband and I took my 10 year old daughter and we all really enjoyed our visit. Staff really friendly and informative. Covid checks in place and place clean. Planetarium amazing as was the rainforest. Food court had good coffee and snacks, usual pizza/fast food style but also soups and salads. Would definitely recommend and go again.

I went to the San Francisco zoo with my family and had a great experience. The park has a huge variety of animals and is keep very clean. There is are 2 large playgrounds and one for toddlers. Just be prepared for parking on the street when it's busy.

Great zoo. Anika’s have a lot of space, exhibits are beautiful and clean. A lot of well done educational descriptions.

The app made it very easy to get into the Zoo I’d use it again

Easy to use. A lot of options and no issues when using app.