San Diego Zoo vs. the San Diego Safari Park

Old Jan 20th, 2019, 07:46 PM
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San Diego Zoo vs. the San Diego Safari Park

We have just one day to do an excursion. I've always heard that the zoo was fantastic, but just noticed information about the Safari Park. Just my husband and I. We are happy doing lots of walking. Any advice on what excursion we should do? And any tips on the best way to enjoy either park? Any other "must do" activities in the San Diego area? Thanks Fodorites!
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Old Jan 20th, 2019, 10:07 PM
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I would pick the zoo, but both are great. The USS Midway is fascinating.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 02:34 AM
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If you pick the zoo, pay extra to take a specialty tour. A zoo guide takes you behind the scenes and you get to do some interesting things like feed giraffes. We went all around in a small motorized vehicle like a golf cart with extra seats and it was just a small group of us.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 03:42 AM
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They’re both wonderful, though I preferred the Safari Park. Definitely worth paying extra for add-on tours, too.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 03:46 AM
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Reasonably recent trip reports for San Diego attractions and food:

Trip report--San Diego

Trip report--San Diego food experiences
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 08:04 AM
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When are you visiting? One summer we took our granddaughter to the San Diego zoo which was wonderful and another day to the Safari Park which was so hot that the animals were hidden and we were overwhelmed with the heat ourselves.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 08:57 AM
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I would pick the zoo - you can visit Balboa Park and get your fill of walking in a very full day.
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Old Jan 21st, 2019, 01:59 PM
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I've been to both many times and prefer the Safari Park, however it is in Escondido, not San Diego so about a 40 minute drive. Public transport would take 2 buses and 2 hours 50 minutes.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2019, 02:43 AM
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Hmmmm. My post did not save... If you do choose the zoo go early. Get there 15-20 minutes before they open. They let people in for a opening ceremony that is fun. It is also good to go early because the animals are more active and the visitors are less. I usually go once a month with my grandson and the mornings are a great way to start your day. I think the same can be said for Safari Park. The earlier the better. Escondido can be a lot hotter than San Diego during the day. Have fun.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2019, 06:01 AM
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Pagngo's advice to get there early is excellent. By mid morning parking is difficult and there can be a long line to get in.
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Old Feb 7th, 2019, 04:42 PM
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Thanks! Great advice everyone. I appreciate it!
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