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California

Zoos & Aquariums

Our most recommended California Zoos & Aquariums

San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

1. San Francisco Zoo Admission Ticket

Visit the San Francisco Zoo, home to over 2,000 animals and 250 species of plants. Your full-day admission ticket includes access to the Leanne Roberts African Region and the Valentine Family Savanna. Both zones offer multi-species landscapes with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, storks, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly bear sisters Kachina and Kiona. See how lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Marvel at Penguin Island, home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. Admire the Zoo's gorillas in the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Feed and pet the farm animals in the Fisher Family Children's Zoo. Find the historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and 1904 miniature Little Puffer Steam Train. Learn about the fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children.

San Francisco: Go City Explorer Pass with 2-5 Attractions

2. San Francisco: Go City Explorer Pass with 2-5 Attractions

Explore San Francisco at your own pace and according to your interests with an easy-to-use sightseeing pass. Select 2, 3, 4, or 5 must-see, must-do attractions and tours from a comprehensive choice of over 25 things to do in San Francisco. Save time and money as you don't have to buy separate attraction tickets. Ride the hop-on-hop-off Big Bus tour and get to know the city, enjoy a San Francisco bay cruise, visit informative museums, rent a Go Car for an hour, experience the thrills of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and much more. Tours and cruises: • Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off San Francisco: 1-day Classic Tour • San Francisco Bay Cruise • Escape from the Rock - Cruise around Alcatraz • All-Day Comfort Bike Rental by Blazing Saddles • Go Car Tours San Francisco 1-Hour • Scenic Golden Gate Bridge Bike Tour • 1 Day MUNI Pass • Fisherman's Wharf Walking Tour • Tiled Steps Urban Hiking Tour • San Francisco All-Day Bike Rentals at Golden Gate Park Museums and places of interest: • California Academy of Sciences • Aquarium of the Bay • Exploratorium • Madame Tussauds • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom • San Francisco Zoo & Gardens • The Flyer - San Francisco's Flying Theater • The Walt Disney Family Museum • California's Great America • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) • de Young Museum and Legion of Honor • Legoland Discovery Center • USS Pampanito • Asian Art Museum • USS Hornet Museum • The Contemporary Jewish Museum Please note attractions and tours are subject to change. Check your included digital guide for an up-to-date attraction line-up including opening times and instructions on how to access each attraction with your pass before you go.

California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

3. California Academy of Sciences Thursday NightLife Admission

Visit the world’s only aquarium-planetarium-rainforest-natural history museum at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Enjoy all 4 attractions under one living roof, with exhibits and shows that explain the universe. Explore these exhibits and more during Thursday’s festive 21+ only NightLife event, and sip on a beer, wine, or unique specialty cocktail available for purchase at the bars throughout the museum. Once in the museum, catch the latest spectacular digital planetarium show and rocket through the galaxy at the speed of light to the far reaches of the universe. Journey deep into the oceans of the world in the aquarium. Come face-to-face with snakes and piranhas, meet Claude the albino alligator, and hang out with a South African penguin colony. Stroll through the rainforest dome with its free-flying birds and butterflies. Each week features a unique theme, blending fun with science in an informal social environment. Past highlights have included pop-up art galleries; science-themed comedy; sustainable seafood cooking demonstrations; and talks by notable figures like Buzz Aldrin. Academy scientists are also on-hand to discuss the “science love stories” behind their infatuations with spiders, sea slugs, parasites, and other fascinating topics. During summer months, the Academy presents NightLife LIVE, a music series featuring emerging bands and musicians live on an outdoor garden stage, cutting-edge art installations, and hands-on science demonstrations.

San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 45% at 4 Top Attractions

4. San Francisco CityPASS®: Save 45% 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. Avoid the hassle with the San Francisco CityPASS, featuring top attractions priced at 44% less than the same tickets purchased separately. San Francisco CityPASS provides admission into: 1. California Academy of SciencesClimb into the canopy of a butterfly-filled four-story rainforest. Come face-to-face with a colony of penguins, then 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 CruiseComplete your visit to San Francisco with Blue & Gold Fleet’s 1-hour bay cruise adventure. Sail underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz, and past Angel Island on this fully-narrated tour offering breathtaking views. Plus, get admission to your choice of 2 more of the following attractions: Aquarium of the BayMeet 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 sharks, bat rays, Spiny Lumpsuckers, and Garibaldis. The Walt Disney Family MuseumVisit 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. 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 & GardensSan 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, carousel, and uniquely themed play zone area that will ignite the imagination of children of all ages.

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

5. 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.

San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

6. San Diego: Go City Explorer Pass - Choose 2-7 Attractions

Experience San Diego's top attractions and tours and get up to 55% off combined admission with Go City's Explorer Pass. Simply choose 2, 3, 4, 5, or 7 top attractions from over 45 options and go at your own pace - you have 60 days to use your pass from first activation. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo or the USS Midway Museum. Explore more of the city 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. Choose from the following things to do in San Diego with the San Diego Explorer Pass: Museums and Places of Interest • 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 • 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 - Home of the San Diego Padres • San Diego Automotive Museum • Museum of Contemporary Art (Downtown) • Mingei International Museum Tours and Activities • 2-Day Hop-On Hop-off Old Town San Diego Trolley • Living Coast Discovery Center • 1-hr San Diego Harbor Cruise by Hornblower • 90-min Best of the Bay Cruise by Hornblower • San Diego Speed Boat Adventures • Jet Ski Rental San Diego Harbor • Go Kart and Thrill Park • Whale Watching by Hornblower Cruises • Plunge San Diego • San Diego Fishing Tour • 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, Surf 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 1-Hour • San Diego City Tour • Patriot Jet Boat

San Fran: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Full-Day Private Tour

7. San Fran: Carmel, Monterey & Big Sur Full-Day Private Tour

Explore the Big Sur and Monterey areas of California at your own pace, and avoid the hassle of organized bus tours. Traveling by private car, enjoy the comfort of seeing the places you want to see without worrying about your departure or arrival time. Learn more about the famous landmarks with a reliable service, offering maximum security and, most of all, the best level of hospitality in the industry. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in San Francisco (pick-ups in other cities in the Bay Area are available on arrangement), get recommendations on the best places to stop to take pictures or explore further; you decide where you want to go. Take a scenic drive from San Francisco to Carmel and Big Sur via State Route 1, the north-south highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Travel the forested road of 17-Mile Drive. Discover the Mission District and Monterey Bay Aquarium. See all the sights of Fisherman's Wharf. Drive down to the Big Sur Bixby Creek Bridge, and marvel at the flora and fauna of Poit Lobos State Reserve south of Carmel before your return to San Francisco.

Fresno: Private Day Trip to Chaffee Zoo & Millerton Lake

8. Fresno: Private Day Trip to Chaffee Zoo & Millerton Lake

Join a private walk-and-tail tour where you'll drive behind your guide from one attraction to the next in the safety of your own vehicle. Upon arriving at the attraction, your guide will find parking for you before your walking tour begins. Meet your guide early in the morning and begin your day with a brief welcome and an explanation of the trailing protocol. Then, hop into your vehicle and follow them to the first stop of the day, Chaffee Zoo. Feed giraffes and touch stingrays as you take part in the zoo's safari experience. Next, cruise down Kearney Boulevard as you head to Kearny Park to take photos at the Olive Grove. Stop in Downtown Fresno's Fulton District and grab a take-out lunch at your own expense. Admire the many murals that adorn this district. Finally, follow your guide to Millerton Lake where Fresno County began. Enjoy striking views of the expansive lake and the Friant Dam. Conclude your day with a return to the Northside area of Fresno in the late afternoon. 

Frequently asked questions about California Zoos & Aquariums

What are other things to do than Zoos & Aquariums that are worth visiting in California?

The other unmissable things to do in California are:

Other Sightseeing Options in California

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What people are saying about California

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 797 reviews

Very good value for money. Muni card change not possible because the address beach street 721 is not an office. But it didn’t matter to us much because it costs only 13 $ when buy from Muni App directly. So we happily took other attractions

Super interesting financially! Very simple to use. We did the Big Bus tour, the cruise under the Golden Gate and the visit to the Academy of Sciences with our 3 children (6, 15 and 17)

It was a great experience as always, but we have only been here twice.

outstanding zoo and safari zoo,highly recommend you visit both.

Everything went smoothly. There were nice activities.