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San Francisco Zoo/Ocean Beach

Pros: Recreation, Education and Animal Conservation
Cons: Admission Fees
Best For: Learning about the natural world

San Francisco Zoo

In 1856 during the Gold Rush period, James "Grizzly" Adams captured and brought a grizzly bear to a basement at Clay and Leidsdorff Streets in San Francisco. That was the first animal in captivity in the city. The zoo at its current location was founded in 1929 and in the 1930's and 40's was built up as a Depression-era Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The first animals came to this zoo from their habitats in Golden Gate Park

Today the San Francisco Zoo covers more than 100 acres caring for over 250 animal species, with focus upon conservation, education and interactivity. Talking storybooks activated with plastic animal keys and the opportunity to groom a goat or feed a donkey in the Childrens Zoo, keep the kids engaged. The Insect Zoo is very cool, where the tarantulas, velvet ants and bees live.

Watch the penguins get fed at 10:15am or 3:30pm, ride the Little Puffer (mini steam engine built in 1904) or hop aboard the 1921 Dentzel Carousel. There is so much to do and see and the food is not bad either. When you get tired, grab a bench in view of an exhibit, and just observe.

Noteworthy: San Francisco residents admitted free, first Wednesday of each month.

San Francisco Zoo
1 Zoo Road
San Francisco, 94132
Open Daily 10am-4pm
Check website for more info including Summer Zoo Camp: