Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park is one of the world’s best zoos–and one of the few places in the U.S. to see giant pandas, rare sun bears, and Australia’s adorable koalas. If you are looking for a park, visit Panda Trek first or last in the day, when crowds are lightest, to see the zoo’s black and white superstars, as well as red pandas. Don’t miss: Elephant Odyssey, where the pachyderms often have pool parties; and Northern Frontier, to watch polar bears swimming underwater. Summer “Nighttime Zoo” hours mean you can stay till 9 pm for special shows and animal encounters. Want to camp out overnight? Check out the Family Sleepovers, available on select dates. You can bring your babies, toddlers and gradeschoolers here.

 

San Diego Zoo