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What to Wear for a Day at the Zoo

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San Diego is a city famous for many things, one of the most popular being the San Diego Zoo. While there are many guides that outline single and multi-day zoo itineraries, the best animal exhibits and of course, the most affordable places to eat inside the theme park, we wanted to bring it back to the basics. Whether you are going solo, traveling with friends or checking out the zoo with your kids, here is a list of (often overlooked) things to wear when going to the San Diego Zoo. Click here if you still need affordable accommodations near the zoo – we won’t judge you for getting ahead of yourself and planning your zoo trip before ironing out all your vacation details!

  1. Layers – With sunshine year round, many people think a tank top and shorts are fitting for a trip to the zoo. While this is almost always true during the peak summer months, the weather in San Diego can be a bit unpredictable during the early morning and evenings. If you plan to be at the zoo when it opens, expect a bit of a chill and once the sun sets, temperatures will drop. We’re not saying you’re going to need a heavy jacket, but wearing layers will ensure you’re comfortable all day.
  2. Comfortable Shoes – The zoo is over 100 acres in size, meaning lots of walking. There are also many hilly sections of the zoo which can make getting from one point to another seem even longer than on the zoo’s map. Pick shoes that you’ll be comfortable in; for some it’s flip flops while for others, running shoes offer far more support. And if you get too tired, there is a bus as well as an aerial tram that can transport you from one side of the park to the other and both are included in the general price of admission.
  3. Watch – Time flies when you’re having fun! There are almost no places to check the time at the zoo unless you’re stopping to eat. If you don’t normally wear a watch, make it a point to wear one during your zoo trip so you can keep track of how much time you have left until the park closes. By being aware of how long it takes you to explore each animal attraction, you can better prioritize as the day comes to an end. Plus, you’ll know exactly when to show up to an exhibit for feeding time, and can be sure you’ll catch that live-show you were dying to see.
  4. Sunscreen – As a rule of thumb, always wear sunscreen, whether you’re at the zoo or just walking around San Diego. Protecting your face, shoulders and arms with sunscreen on the blazing days of summer is obvious, however the worst burns are the ones from overcast skies. If you didn’t pack sunscreen, forgot to put it on, or ran out before everyone in your family was fully protected, the gift shop at the zoo’s entrance sells travel size sunscreens and bottles can also be picked up from various kiosks throughout the zoo.
  5. Backpack – A backpack is essential to having a hassle-free day at the zoo, especially if you’re traveling with children. You can pack snacks and water bottles, and can have a place to put that souvenir that you’ll likely end up purchasing. It may seem like a hassle at first, but we can almost guarantee you’ll be glad you decided to wear one. And if you get to the park and regret it, the zoo also has quarter-operated lockers which can be found in the Discovery Outpost. A small locker is $.75 and a large locker is a $1.50.

You’re all set for your trip to the Zoo! For more San Diego travel tips, visit our website at www.marinainnsd.com and check out our blog. We’re also conveniently located in downtown San Diego, a few minutes from the San Diego Zoo, and offer great hotel deals and some of the lowest rates in town. If you would like to know more about our pricing and availability, contact a Reservation Manager directly at 1-800-571-2933.

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