At the Sacramento Zoo you can observe lions, zebras and other beasts of the African savannah lazing in the sun or peek into the Australian outback where kangaroos spring between groups of emus. An area dedicated to the weird and wonderful world of reptiles will fascinate adults and children alike. Don’t miss the star attraction, the teddy bear-like red pandas gazing back at you from the trees.
With an area of 14 acres (5.6 hectares), Sacramento Zoo is easy to navigate on foot, and you can take your time visiting over 500 animals in the different habitats. If you are traveling with children, however, it’s a good idea to start your visit to the zoo with a ride on the train. It will take you on a guided trip around the zoo’s main attractions. Also popular with children is the Conservation Carousel at the front of the park, which features 32 hand-carved and painted animals, including a jaguar, a flamingo and a ladybug.
Whatever your age, you’ll feel tiny as you hold an acacia branch up toward the towering giraffes at feeding time. Opportunities to feed the giraffes are daily; check with the admissions area when you enter for specific times. Other interactive events, such as the Wildlife Stage Show and chats with various animal keepers, are held daily in summer and on weekends during winter.
Enjoy the artwork as you make your way around the zoo. Pieces including Fish Fountain and Pig in a Blanket are positioned at various points throughout the zoo.
If you get hungry, Kampala Café and Savannah Snacks offer a range of burgers, sandwiches and drinks.
Sacramento Zoo is open daily year-round. It’s located in William Land Park, south of Sacramento city. Parking is free or you can take a bus from the city.
Schools often make trips here from Tuesday to Friday mornings, so come on a Monday morning or a weekday afternoon to have the zoo to yourself. Weekend mornings are also fairly quiet.