two lions sitting on rock at zoo near san diego luxury hotel in ca

Hotel near Wild Animal Park & San Diego Zoo

The appeal of seeing a wild animal in the flesh is of the all-ages variety, and one of the best places anywhere to see beasts from all over the globe in one place is San Diego. America’s Finest City and its surrounds, after all, are home to not only the world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, but also the Zoo’s groundbreaking Safari Park close to Escondido—just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

A Southern California Safari

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is probably best known from a visitor-experience perspective for its open-range exhibits. A cruise on the African Tram feels a little bit like a Serengeti tour, what with the various antelope, rhinos, giraffes, vultures, and other free-roaming critters on display. The Safari Park’s semiarid, rugged, palm-studded grounds only further the illusion you’re roaming some tropical, megafauna-rich preserve.

Other unforgettable possibilities include the Balloon Safari, which shows off the menagerie from the air, and the Cheetah Safari, which gives you a one-of-a-kind, up-close view of the world’s fastest land animal going full speed on the heels of a mechanical lure.

Then there’s the Lemur Walk among ridiculously endearing ring-tailed lemurs from Madagascar, and the Walkabout Australia exhibit with its varied Outback inhabitants: from the dinosaurian flightless birds known as cassowaries to kangaroos and wallabies.

A California Icon

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has played a critical role in the San Diego Zoo’s globally significant conservation efforts, not least that focused on the California condor, a Golden State native that ranks among the world’s largest flying birds. You can admire these huge scavengers—which once again fly free along parts of the California coast as well as the American Southwest—in the Condor Ridge exhibit.

The San Diego Zoo

The Safari Park may be closer, but as an Inn at Rancho Santa Fe guest you’re still just an easy trip away from the San Diego Zoo itself, a landmark of America’s Finest City and Balboa Park for more than a century. The variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians—not to mention plants—housed here in one of the world’s greatest zoos is simply astonishing.

Visit the San Diego Zoo & Safari Park From the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Both the San Diego Zoo and its Safari Park rank among San Diego’s best-known and best-loved attractions, and with accommodations at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe you’re close by both of them. Get in touch with your wild side via a visit to either—or, better yet, both!