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California's Most Famous Zoos

Going to one of California's many zoos is a fun, educational, and enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family. You get the opportunity to visit wildlife from around the world. You have the usual big cats such as lions and tigers, and you also have tall giraffes eating away the acacia leaves. California Access Doors presents the Top 5 California Zoos you don't want to miss!

#1 San Diego Zoo and Safari Park

Apart from the zoo's immense size, it houses one of the largest groups of endangered and rare animals. You can find this fantastic zoo in the historic Balboa Park. The zoo expands to a hundred acres and provides the best depictions of wildlife habitats. When you walk around the zoo, you'll see many unique and exotic animals such as the lovable pandas, jaguars, polar bears, gorillas, and reptiles. There are lots of things to see and do at the San Diego Zoo!

Not only does the San Diego Zoo house fantastic wildlife, but they also take wildlife conservation seriously. They have released at least 40+ species into their natural habitats, and they have several projects underway focused on saving endangered species like the northern white rhino.

Once you feel you've had enough of the enclosures, you can move on to the next part of the zoo - the Skyfari Aerial Tram. You also have other places to visit, including the botanical garden, animal shows, or hop on the bus to experience an educational tour around the zoo.

#2 Oakland Zoo

The Oakland Zoo is home to different kinds of birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and arthropods. If you want to look at birds, the zoo can provide you a nice view of the yellow and blue macaws. Maybe you don't like birds? You have the choice to visit the alligators. You can also see cute, wide-eyed lemurs and even the poisonous dart frogs. Make sure you don't miss any of the exhibits!

The Oakland Zoo recently announced the California Trail opening, which gives you a tour around unique spots of the park. You can also ride the gondola and take a trip around the 56-acre stretch devoted to illustrating how the Golden State slowly changed throughout the years and how the people contributed to its changes. You also need to check out the American black bears, American bison, bald eagles, and jaguars.

#3 Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The next zoo you should add to your list is the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, home to 58 endangered animals and a thousand fauna and flora variations. The zoo sits in a 133-acre area within Griffith Park, and you can find several exhibits, including Elephants of Asia, Rainforests of America, and the Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains. Even Jane Goodall, a world-renowned primatologist, said that this zoo was one of her personal favorites.

What makes this zoo exceptional is how high they set their standards in terms of maintaining animal welfare. One of their plans is to reintroduce California condors back into their real natural habitat while instilling the goal of reinstating a self-sustaining population of the zoo's exterior confines to put a stop to their extinction.

#4 Safari West

When you visit Safari West, you'll see that it's completely different than the other three zoos mentioned above. Everything about this zoo is open and will transport you to a different part of the world. Situated in Napa Valley, Safari West can guarantee you a fun-filled trip around the zoo!

However, this zoo was initially a breeding facility for many endangered species during the 1980s. It eventually turned into a zoo and drive-through park during its opening in 1993. You have different animals in Safari West, including cheetahs, wildebeests, cape buffalos, antelopes, and other animals you don't find living in California. These exotic animals include kudu, nyala, bongo, addax, and caracals, to name a few.

And if you feel the need to spend the night near the zoo, you have the chance to visit their opulent tents. You should try taking advantage of staying the night there to get the best safari experience you've ever had!

#5 San Francisco Zoo

If you take a trip down to San Francisco State University, you can find the San Francisco Zoo. A fun fact about the zoo was that it started as a menagerie with only one grizzly bear in 1866. Fast forward to 1929, and it suddenly grew into a large zoo that most Californian residents know today. You have the chance to visit several animals such as kangaroos, lions, tigers, koalas, snow leopards, zebras, and 2,000 other species.

You can also find that the San Francisco Zoo has one of the lowest admission rates, ensuring that anyone can afford to visit the zoo.


After the zoos close, staff and maintenance personnel clean up to prepare for visitors the next day. They do different maintenance work like checking electrical wires in the enclosures to ensure the lighting doesn't go out during opening hours. Access is more convenient because contractors installed valve boxes and exterior access doors to protect plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. California Access Doors has a vast selection of access doors and panels for a variety of commercial settings. Visit our website to find the right access door for your next project!

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