What is the difference between the Southern California zoos?

My family lives in LA. We’re in the Inglewood part of the city right now. We’re looking for something to do on a weekend with my little one and I thought going to the zoo might be a nice idea! I know there are a few different options in and around the LA area. There’s obviously the LA Zoo, then there is the Santa Barbara Zoo and I believe there is one in San Diego, too? What is the difference between all of them? Is there any reason to make the drive to Santa Barbara or San Diego to go to one of those zoos, or is the LA Zoo just as good?

2 Likes 4 Replies


Neta posted June 28, 2019

The LA Zoo is a pretty good starting place. It’s close and it has most all the animals you could want to see. I’d say the other zoos are fun if you want to turn it into a day or weekend trip. San Diego could be fun to do Legoland another day, too! 0 Likes

Morgan posted June 28, 2019

I’d say the biggest difference between the three zoos, other than location and distance, is the size. The Los Angeles Zoo is medium-sized. If you spend some time, you can probably see most everything. The Santa Barbara Zoo is small, which is nice if you have small kids who like to spend a long time looking at each animal and move very slowly through the zoo. The San Diego Zoo, however, is HUGE. You could spend probably two days there if you wanted to. 0 Likes

Lucy posted June 28, 2019

Another zoo you didn’t mention that’s also not too far is The Living Desert Zoo in Palm Desert. It’s much less crowded than the others. A nice place to know about if you’re ever spending time in the Palm Springs area! 1 Like

Antania posted July 2, 2019

I’m also in the Inglewood area. I’d say visit them all just to get the experience. I heard the Diego zoo is pretty nice and the Safari park. I’m planning on taken my children on a weekend trip to the zoo and to LEGOland. That’s the best part about the zoos that are further away you can turn it into a family trip. Of course locally is always good when it comes to funds. I say just have fun and memories. Peace and Blessings! 1 Like