San Francisco Zoo
The San Francisco Zoo features animals in a range of settings, from natural habitats to thematic exhibits. Larger animals reside in Cat Kingdom and Grizzly Gulch, while the Insect Zoo showcases crawling creatures like tarantulas and termites. And the zoo has more than animals and gardens—check out the mini steam train and antique carousel. The ecosystem-themed bio-regions of the Elinor Friend Playground are also ideal for kids, and the Conservation Corner showcases lessons about conservation at home.
Recent reviews from experiences in San Francisco
Things to Know Before You Go
The San Francisco Zoo is ideal for animal lovers and families with children.
Seniors and children ages 4 to 14 receive discounted admission, as do those who take MUNI to the zoo. Kids age 3 and under are free.
To maximize your zoo time, consider purchasing advance tickets online to avoid the lines.
Adventurous visitors can bring a bike and try the zoo’s seasonal, guided bike tours.
There are three zoo restaurants, including the Station Pizza Parlor, which overlooks the bear exhibits.
Bring a warm layer, as there’s often fog or a chilly breeze off the Pacific Ocean.
You'll be eligible for a discount if you take Muni to the zoo.
How to Get There
The San Francisco Zoo is located at Sloat Boulevard and 45th Avenue. Beat traffic and take MUNI’s L Taraval line outbound, or bus 23 or 18. If driving from the East or South Bay, take 280 North to John Daly Boulevard. From the North Bay, take 19th Avenue to Presidio Parkway. The zoo entrance is located on the Great Highway. There is a paid lot at the zoo and free street parking.
When to Get There
The zoo is open from 10am to 4pm every day of the year. Weekends are busiest, so consider visiting mid-week to avoid crowds. For the sunniest weather, plan to visit in September or October; because of its seaside location, the zoo may be chilly in the winter months.
The Sculpture Learning Plaza
Kids are right at home in the zoo’s Sculpture Learning Plaza, filled with nearly 100 animal sculptures carefully composed with materials that convey a lifelike texture. There’s a true-to-size alligator, enlarged amoeba, and breaching gray whale. This accessible space is designed for touch exploration, and includes species-specific walk-around cards so you can learn about ecology as you explore.
- Things to do in California
- Things to do in Sausalito
- Things to do in Napa & Sonoma
- Things to do in Yosemite National Park
- Things to do in Paso Robles
- Things to do in San Luis Obispo
- Things to do in Pismo Beach
- Things to do in Santa Barbara
- Things to do in Santa Monica
- Things to do in Los Angeles
- Things to do in Long Beach
- Things to do in Anaheim & Buena Park
- Things to do in La Jolla
- Things to do in Nevada
- Things to do in Oregon