LA v. San Diego

Old Feb 1st, 2011, 03:49 PM
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LA v. San Diego

I'm visiting los angeles this summer in july. I would like to know which zoo is better. Los angeles zoo or san diego zoo?
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 04:10 PM
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I think San Diego zoo is better myself. It is also in the gorgeous Balboa park. But I am not sure I would make the trip to San Diego just for the zoo. That's just me. I do not like driving trips, although there are pretty sites along the way, too.

How many days vacation do you have?
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 04:18 PM
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The vacation is 7 days.
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 05:01 PM
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San Diego.. is world famous, hands down teh best. The new african safari..elephant encloure and as always the PAndas.. and ther was a new baby hippo born just last week...

Don't forget about Seaworld if you like sea critters too...they have a great penguin and Shamus show...
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 07:50 PM
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I've read your other posts, so I know you're considering this a Los Angeles trip. The LA zoo is actually a pretty good zoo. and it's in LA, not several hours away in San Diego. And it's better than any zoo in Dayton. Unless you count the Air Force museum in Dayton, which is the best airplane zoo anywhere.(I'm not knocking it, I love it.)

On the other hand, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is unique and really interesting. It's closer to LA, in Escondido, not San Diego. See:

http://www.sandiegozoo.org/park/index2010
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 08:56 PM
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IF you do the San Diego Zoo it would be a shame to miss the San Diego Zoo Safari Park as dbdurand suggests above. You can make it a loop...LA to SD to ERscondido, to Temecula wine country and then back to LA on any number of freeways across the Inland Empire.
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Old Feb 1st, 2011, 10:02 PM
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There is no comparison between the zoos. San Diego far outshines almost any zoo worldwide.
The Safari Park is a completely different fabulous experience.
Our executive zoo director has secured a long-term giant panda loan with China, launched a cross border release program with California condors in Mexico and overseeing a collaborative effort with the country of Abu Dhabi to support the Al Ain Zoo.
The 100-acre (40-hectare) Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing more than 800 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants.
If you like zoos this is the one or the Safari Park
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 02:06 AM
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San Diego. Please let me know if you find the camera I lost there at the Safari Park.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:06 AM
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With 7 days in LA, you could do a limited San Diego overnight to take in the two zoo - SD Zoo and the Wild Animal Park. They are not near each other but could easily be done though I would recommend on a weekday (leaving after 10:00 am) to avoid traffic and crowds. For example, drive to SD Zoo after 10a on a Tuesday, stay at Zoo until closes at 4 (or whatever), take in a nice SD dinner (maybe go to old town for Mexican), drive to a hotel closer to the Wild Animal Park (we usually stay in Carlsbad at West Inn and Suites but there may be even closer spots). Wake up Wed. morning, hit the Wild Animal Park at opening, take the tram ride, wander the park, have lunch and head back to LA before 3). If you are really ambitious you could go to Disneyland or Downtown Disney on your way back, taking in the evening Disney experience.

I also happen to like the LA zoo, it is just a different experience. The new gorilla and elephant exhibits are nice, my DD loves the bird show. The Gene Autry Western Museum is nearby too. What are your other interests -- I can try to provide a few LA suggestions. Pasadena also makes for a nice day while in LA (Norton Simon museum, Huntington Gardens, shopping in Old Town, dinner at Saladong, Akbar, Arroyo Chop House or any number of other terrific restaurants).
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 07:18 AM
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SD Zoo no doubt, and well worth the drive
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 08:59 AM
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There's no "tram" at the Safari Park. It closed down a year or so ago.

Carlsbad is no closer than downtown San Diego. The closest hotels would be in Rancho Bernardo, a northern suburb of San Diego.

I don't really see any reason to visit both the Zoo and the Safari Park in the limited time you have unless you're a real zoo fanatic.

San Diego has other interesting places to visit with extra time you may have.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:14 AM
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The closest hotels to the Safari Park are (not surprisingly) in Escondido. I've stayed there.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:20 AM
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"Everbody knows" the San Diego Zoo is better. If you are also going to visit Disneyland, you may want to do San Diego before or after. It's a bit closer.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:28 AM
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dbdurand, yes they are, but there aren't any very nice hotels in Escondido.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:29 AM
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Barbara,
Last year we rode the 'new' gas powered tram that replaced the electric one. Are you saying the gas powered one is now shut down?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:41 AM
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No, the original electric monorail. The gas-powered trucks are still running, but you don't see as much of the park from them unfortunately.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 03:01 PM
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Ok, I see that San Diego is the clear winner. I'm curious about what's the difference between the SD zoo & the safari park?
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 04:52 PM
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The zoo has pandas...
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 05:35 PM
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The San Diego Zoo hands down.

I like both the Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo. If you have time for both that'd be fine but it'd involve at least a day each.

If you have to chose I would pick the San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park. After you visit the zoo you can take a ride on the 100 year old restored Merry-Go-Round then stroll thru Balboa Park visiting the Natural History Museum, The Museum of Man, The Ruben Fleet Science Museum, the Museum of Art, The Timpken Art Museum and maybe see a Shakespearean play at the Old Globe Theatre.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 08:23 PM
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Love San Diego, hands down over LA...nice scenery, decen roads and wonderful zoo and park...Going in March, I think.
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