The San Diego Zoo is considered one of the best (if not THE best) Zoo's in the United States. They have an extension, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park (to the locals, like me, we grew up knowing it as the Wild Animal Park.)
The botanicals here are beautiful!
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park (still labeled on their glass map as the WILD ANIMAL PARK!) is located just east of Escondido, California.
It is a beautiful place to walk around - I went on December 28, 2013 and the weather was just amazing. Not too hot, not too cold. I swear, San Diego has no other weather except perfect all year round!
End of December - they can still have their versions of the Christmas Tree up.
Really, $18 is not a bad price for a hot air balloon ride to see the Safari Park from above!
They do have decks you can walk around to see the animals, too.
Look at these views! So much land for the animals!
The Lions even have their own Jeep! Pampered kitties!
You can take a tram ride and see a lot of animals. I loved it near the end of our day there - it was a nice way to sit down and unwind, but still see the animals.
The Rhinos eat super close to the Tram and they are HUGE!
The Flamingo's who used to be at the entrance of the San Diego Zoo!
The Cheetah waiting for 3:30 to do the Cheetah Run!
My Travel Tip to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Bring in your own snacks, lunch, and beverages in a backpack. You will save a lot of money not paying $4.00 for just water, you will not have to wait in lines for food, and you will be eating exactly what you wanted - you brought it!
Have fun in San Diego! What was your experience like at your local Zoo? Let me know below!