Oakland Zoo was first established in 1922, but it didn?t find its permanent home until 1939, when it was thoughtfully constructed amid the rolling hills of Knowland Park. Today, Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 animals, who thrive in biomes designed to mimic their natural environments.
The sprawling African savannah is one of the zoo?s largest habitats, housing hyenas, zebras, elephants, and giraffes. The centerpiece is a 1.5-acre lion exhibit called Simba Pori, which translates to lion county in Swahili. Inside, a pride of lions freely roam an enclosure outfitted with kopje rock structures, a pond, and a booth where the king can sign autographs.
Over in the rainforest habitat, chimpanzees and white-handed gibbons swing through the treetops. Emus and wallaroos?a cousin of the wallaby and the kangaroo?roam freely in the Wild Australia exhibit, accessible via one of the zoo?s rides, Outback Express Adventure Train. Other rides include the Endangered Species Carousel and Sky Ride, a chairlift that soars above the habitats and offers Bay Area skyline views.
This zoo received its first animal in 1889—a grizzly bear believed to be the last in captivity. More than a century later, it shelters 1,000+ exotic and endangered animals. It’s also home to the a six-acre petting zoo, plus the largest outdoor lemur exhibit in the country and the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in the world.
Founded to provide financial support for the Micke Grove Zoo, Society provides educational opportunities and community involvement in the zoo's growth for its members. Members and their families get free access to the zoo itself, where they can visit tamarins, Madagascar tortoises, and a golden eagle. It also hosts hands-on animal encounters for families and school groups where students get a chance to learn about the behaviors and habitats of some of the zoo's denizens. Members also gain discounts in the gift shop and at other zoos and aquariums across the country.
Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, experience an introduction to coastal cousins?northern elephant seals, california sea lions, and harbor seals, at the Marine Mammal Center. Open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, the center's docents and experts teach visitors about these aquatic creatures, and the pollution that endangers them and their ocean ecosystems. Visitors can see the marine mammal patients from the observation deck and watch volunteers and veterinarians in action. Through donations and programs like Adopt-A-Seal, any animal-lover can buy fresh fish and medicine for a rescued seal or sea lion.
Five Things to Know About Coit Tower
Tall, slender, and made of white concrete, Coit Tower has stood as a symbol of San Francisco for nearly a century. This iconic column is perched atop Telegraph Hill, where droves of people still explore it daily. Here are a few things to keep in mind the next time you visit:
It’s named for Lillie Hitchcock Coit. Lillie was a wealthy, offbeat patroness of the city’s volunteer firefighters. She died in 1929, leaving her riches behind to help beautify the city she adored.
Many people think it resembles a fire-hose nozzle.
The views from the top are spectacular. Adults and children who haven’t figured out how to defy gravity yet pay a small fee to ride up the tower’s elevator, where panoramic views of the city and bay await them.
Murals are scrawled across the walls. Completed in 1934, these paintings depict life in California during the Depression. Some of the original depictions were so controversial that they had to be painted over.
Parking is very limited. Instead of driving, take a scenic hike to the tower along Telegraph Hill’s eastern slope off of Filbert Street. This route even passes the Grace Marchant Garden.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Free street parking
Most popular offering: Free and paid experiences
Pro Tip: Admission is immediate credit toward most purchases
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Q&A with Robert Coral, President / Ceo
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We are the largest reptile attraction in Northern California.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We offer birthday parties, guided tours and field trips as well.
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
Many people leave saying that their visit was better than going to the zoo.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Working with the animals and being able to improve the lives of our customers' animals through proper education.