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Top Zoos to Visit at the Bay Area

Have you ever tried considering zoos as part of your to-visit list whenever you go out of town with your family and friends? Or has it ever crossed your mind in the first place? Zoos are a great place for relaxation and be one with nature. They provide not only entertainment, but also education to people. The next time you plan your trip, think about including the following list of zoos at the bay area in your itinerary.


Established in 1922 by naturalist Henry Snow, Oakland Zoo has been providing fun and excitement for kids and families over the past 90 years. Strategically located in the East bay right off the freeway, this little gem in Oakland is a year-round family favorite. Oakland Zoo offers an extensive display of animals – exotic or not. Be amazed by the camels, warthogs, giraffes, lions, elephants, flamingos, tigers, hyenas and a whole lot more. The zoo has a wide walking path with trees providing shade to the goers, so people have nothing to worry about the scorching heat of the sun while strolling and animal-watching. Discover the beauty of the zoo with your friends while learning so many valuable things about animals and where they came from.

Visit Oakland Zoo at 777 Golf Links Rd, Oakland, CA. The zoo is open daily from 10am-4pm, or you can visit their website at for more info.


Grab a map at the entrance so you will know where to go around the zoo.

Take a gondola ride, but you have to pay for another 10bucks.

You can bring outside food with you inside and have picnic with your family.

There’s a café near the entrance where you can grab your snacks, so you don’t have to worry about your grumbling stomach.

A mini amusement park for the kids is also available, but you have to pay for each ride.

10 dollars parking fee for every car, members don’t have to pay.

Admission fee varies, kids under 2 and senior citizens can enter the zoo for free.


Established in 1929, San Francisco Zoo is home to over 1000 exotic and endangered animals and a haven of foreign and native plants. Standing only a few blocks from the ocean, San Francisco Zoo will give every visitors that jungle-like vibe because of its ambience and the various plants and trees surrounding the zoo. Zoo favorites like tigers, giraffes, penguins, hippopotamus, and koalas are only a few of the many sights to enjoy. One of the best highlights of the zoo is its South African and Asian animals. The zoo has a small playground where kids can play and some photo walls where adults can take pictures. This is also a great opportunity for goers to get a close encounter with animals at the same time learn many things about them. A walk at the zoo can take you for hours especially if you want to get up close and personal with animals, so it is best if you wear comfortable shoes. Visitors need not worry about the sun because the zoo provides plenty of shade.

Dreaming of having a close encounter with the animals? Visit San Francisco Zoo at Sloat Blvd & Great Hwy, San Francisco, California. Open daily from 11am-4pm. Check their website at for more details.

Here’s a list of the exhibits inside the zoo for everyone to enjoy:

Gorilla Preserve

African Aviary

Penguin Island

Lemur Forest

Pelican Beach

Insect Zoo

Cat Kingdom

Primate Discovery Forest

Eagle Island

Lion House

Bear Country


Dogs are not allowed inside the zoo.

It’s best if you bring your own food with you, it’s a lot cheaper.

Get there early, the line can get pretty long especially in the afternoon.

Local residents get discounts as long as they present their CA ID upon entry.

Park your car on the street for free or use the zoo’s private parking in exchange for a few bucks.


  Since it was established in 1961, Happy Hollow Park and Zoo has been attracting hundreds of visitors daily. It’s being a zoo and amusement park at the same time makes Happy Hollow the best place for kids and young at heart. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. The zoo is quite small but charming, it is a home to some zoo favorites like wallabies, turtles, deers, lemurs, sheeps and a whole lot more. Visitors can feed and pet the animals, something that is so unique with Happy Hollow. Puppet shows are also staged inside the zoo once or twice daily. Play areas are also available for the kids where they can slide and climb. It also offers amusement park rides like Granny Bugs, Danny the Dragon, Mini Putt car ride, and Pacific Fruit Express Roller Coaster. The zoo is exceptionally well maintained and safe. Happy Hollow may not have as many animals compared to others, but the fun and enjoyment everyone will experience are priceless.


Bring your own food during your visit.

Snack house is available inside the zoo where you can buy some healthy finds.

Go on weekdays, the place can get crowded especially during weekends.