San Diego Zoo or Sea World??

Old Jun 12th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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San Diego Zoo or Sea World??

We are going to San Diego next month. We are taking our 2 boys with us, ages 16 & 12. We went to Sea World 3 years ago, and our boys loved it. Was planning on doing the zoo, but wondering if it wouldn't be near the fun that Sea World was. We have been to other zoos, but not the San Diego Zoo before. Would do both, but are trying to keep the cost down and are planning to do more days at the beach this trip. Any suggestions? Or fodorites that have been to both recently?
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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trippinkpj
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Since you all haven't been before I would suggest going. I think Teens as well as adults will have fun at the zoo. Although, you could have your guys decide which they'd like to do (maybe have them look on line). Here's a good San Diego link in case you haven't seen this one before:
http://www.sandiego.org/nav/Visitors
I haven't been to both recently (3 - 4 years ago), but I still thought I could give my 2 cents, LOL.
 
Old Jun 12th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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TahitiTams
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The San Diego Zoo is probably the world's best zoo in the world!
I love the zoo and I do love Sea World and they added a new water ride..
What does your family say? I am sure the boys want to go to Sea World but they have already been to Sea World..
The SD Zoo is wonderful and Balboa Park is gorgeous with the museums and the kids would love the Rueben H. Space theater too..
2 restaurants are excellent in the area..
The Prado Restaurant cohnrestaurants.com
Alberts at the zoo.
www.sandiegozoo.org/zoo/dining.html
Have a blast!
 
Old Jun 12th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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While I LOVE Sea World, I honestly can say that the San Diego Zoo is just as great! We alternate every year, this year we did Sea World, next May it will be the zoo. I can say that I don't enjoy the Wild Animal Park that much, but I would say YES, do the zoo. The boys would love to sit up top the double decker bus to tour the park, ride the sky tram and see the animal show. We also have boys, they are a little younger than yours, but they really love both parks.
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 05:05 PM
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Oh I forgot, one thing to consider, have you seen the Cirque show at Sea World? Because if you have not seen it, then I would go to Sea World. We saw it a few years ago, and that alone was well worth the ticket cost just to see that. And the show typically only runs Memorial Day-Labor Day. We went early May this year and it wasn't started yet. So, if you have seen the show then I say do the zoo...if not then I would seriously consider Sea World again.
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 07:00 PM
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I'd go to the zoo--especially if you've already done Sea World. I'm not a huge zoo person but absolutely loved San Diego's zoo--we were there for a full day and didn't see it all.
 
Old Jun 13th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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i think the zoo is great but if the boys want more "excitment", i'd go back to sea world since you know they already like it. it is close to mission beach so i often recommend going to sea world as soon as it opens then head down to mission beach for some beach time and a early dinner. then return to sea world for the evening.
if they like zoos and are interested in both equally, then see something different and go to the zoo. but, it won't be as exciting as sea world would be.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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If you can't do both, the San Diego Zoo is unmatched. Sea World is Sea World.
 
Old Jun 13th, 2006, 07:28 AM
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I second the recommendation for the Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. We were there two years ago and ate lunch out on the patio. Really nice!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 07:34 AM
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If your actual intent is to keep the children happy then I would ask them what they want to do.

If your intent is to expose them to "something new" in hopes they will find it just as good then don't ask them and make the decision..I agree that the San Diego Zoo is one of, if not the best, anywhere.

But to people who aren't all that interested, a zoo is just a zoo. When they grow up they might have more appreciation for such.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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I'd would recommend the zoo.

Also, I would suggest to get to the zoo around the time when it opens, and go straight to the pandas, before it really gets crowded.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Thanks so much for all the advice! I do believe we will go to the zoo for the experience of one of the best in the world!! I'm sure our little zoo in Salt Lake City just does not compare. Then, if time & the budget allows, we may do Sea World also. Thanks Again!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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One more question; the Prado restaurant....Is it near the zoo, close enough to walk and come back to the zoo? Is it a restaurant we could wear zoo attire? Maybe each lunch, then go back to the zoo. Any input?
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Am I the only one who thinks the San Diego Zoo is overrated? I like the one in D.C. better. I just don't get what the big deal was. Yeah its a nice zoo but I had more fun at Sea World.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:39 PM
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Hi taratravels..
The Prado is a couple of blocks away and you can wear your zoo attire and it is a wonderful restaurant for lunch..Don't forget Albert's in the zoo that is excellent too and you can catch the Prado afterwards for app's and drinks too..
Walk through the Spanish Village and it is right across from the Botancial Gardens.. it is so gorgeous the old buildings that house the museums..
As far as good Mexican restaurant with mariachi's and fab food and marg's, I love Alphonso's in downtown La Jolla but Alphonso doesn't have mariachi's..
I miss the Old Town that I grew up with and even though I am a local it never felt touristy to me until the new operator took it over a couple of years ago..Old Town Mexican Cafe is good for Carnitas and I have not been but heard that El Agave is good too..
The Whaling House across the street from the Old Town Mex is considered one of the most haunted houses in the Country and is recognized as such and it is a neat tour to do..
Keep us posted for trip reports..
Oh and karebear4567...Yes, you might be the only person in the world that thinks its overrated!
 
Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:27 PM
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I'm from Seattle and spent this spring break (April '06) in San Diego with my husband - 4 year old boy and 6 year old girl. We did Sea World, the Zoo and the Wild Animal Park and loved them all (although we were freezing and left sunny Seattle for rainy San Diego ). As your children are older, I would recommend looking into the Photo Safari offered at the Wild Animal Park - you get to ride in an open air truck down into the animal habitats and spend time really learning about the animals and getting perhaps a bit of hands on experience. My children were too young for this, but I watched other families with older children participate and it looked really cool. You do need to make advance reservations through the San Diego Zoo / Wild Animal Park website - and it is a bit spendy - but looks like a unique experience. Have a ball!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for all your input! Hey Tahititams, it sounds like you might be a local in San Diego. You have answered numerous postings of questions I have regarding San Diego. Thanks for your advice!
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 07:11 PM
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What about taking the boys to the planetarium in Balboa Park? You could do the zoo the same day.
 
Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 09:30 PM
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The San Diego Zoo is the best! If you have been to Sea World already, do the zoo this time.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 10:52 PM
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It has been some time since I went to the SD zoo but I recall that there were animals you just don't see at most zoos... I remember koalas, flamingos and other surprises.
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