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San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park

What’s the Difference Between the Zoo and Safari Park?

San Diego is a vacationer’s paradise with a variety of options for attractions that never disappoint. Unfortunately, with so many activities to choose from, visitors only in town for a few days must plan their travel itineraries carefully. One of the most common problems visitors come across is deciding between the San Diego Zoo vs Safari Park. While both are great attractions and your final choice will ultimately be based on personal preference, use the following information to help you make your decision.


Both parks feature amazing exhibits of rare and extinct animals. The Zoo is famous for their many exhibits that highlight different regions around the world. These exhibits are more enclosed, whereas the Safari Park exhibits are more open with the goal of mimicking the animals’ natural habitat.

Navigating the Park

The San Diego Zoo is known for its hilly terrain while the Wild Animal Park features expansive exhibits that require a lot of hiking to get from one to the other. Both will require a lot of walking, but each park has a tram that can take you around if you have difficulty walking or young kids that may struggle with the distance.

Additional Costs

The Zoo tends to be more interactive for younger children while the Safari Park appeals to older kids and teenagers. There are also a variety of additional tours and activities such as safari tours and zip-lining at the Safari Park. However, these activities are not included with the price of a general admission ticket and are charged at a per person rate.


The Zoo is conveniently located downtown and the Safari Park is about 40 minutes north of the downtown area. Traveling to the Safari Park is slightly inconvenient for families staying at the Pacific Inn by the San Diego Zoo if they do not have a personal car or a rental car.


If you are traveling with kids, be sure to talk to them and see which park they would be more interested in visiting. Some may gravitate to the African animals and the more open environment of the Safari park while others would prefer to see many different types of animals. If you have plenty of time in San Diego but are worried about cost, consider purchasing the multiple park pass. This allows you to visit both parks within a 7 day period at a discounted rate.

Pacific Inn – Helping You Make the Most of Your Vacation

To help you save for your admission tickets, stay at the Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego. We are a family friendly hotel that offers spacious and clean rooms at affordable rates. Wanting to help families make the most of their vacation, we offer a variety of hotel deals and discounts including discounted Zoo tickets.  Contact our Reservation Manager at 1-800-571-2933 and provide information about your dates of travel, room preference and budget and we will provide you with the lowest rate available.

Rates & Availability
Arrival Date
Departure Date
Advance Booking

14 Days - 12% Off

7 Days - 10% Off

3 Days - 8% Off

Zoo & Seaworld Discount

15% OFF

With any purchase of
Zoo or Seaworld tickets

Weekday Discount

10% OFF

Stay any day
Sunday - Thursday

Other Discounts

10% OFF

AAA, Military, AARP
Other Package

Pacific Inn San Diego is a Pet Friendly Hotel Pacific Inn San Diego Hotel Accepts AAA Members

Call: 619.232.6391
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