SAN DIEGO ZOO | San Diego

With only a handful of hours left there was only enough time to see one local attraction, which in this case ended up being San Diego’s world famous zoo. Given how warm it was under the peak afternoon sun, it wouldn’t have been my first choice but the allure of seeing the best zoo in these parts was an attractive thought. I was curious to see how this one fared to the ones in the Netherlands, which are frankly quite good, and if the hype I’ve heard all these decades was real. At $56 a person – more than twice the cost of any zoo I’ve ever been to – it had better be.

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My one and only recollection of the zoo is in the opening scene of the 70s TV show Three’s Company, and finally seeing it in person wasn’t just a relief given the warm weather, it was also one of the better zoos I’ve seen thus far. The scope and scale was fittingly American – huge and with lots of bells and whistles – the cable car ride, double-Decker bus tours, and all. Sad to say that apart from the sky-high entry fee and lethargic tenants – granted it was mid-afternoon siesta time – same with other theme parks price-gouging was just as big. A large slurpee for over $8 and a souvenir mug for $16 were plainly ridiculous if not borderline insulting. Beautiful as it was, three may be company but once is more than enough for the San Diego Zoo.

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