Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens near The Crest in downtown Long Beach

Where The Wild Things Are: Local Zoos & Wildlife Parks Are Back

Get ready for a whale of a good time. Did you know that you can see blue whales off the coast of Long Beach? Take a local whale watching cruise and catch a glimpse of the largest animal on earth. More exciting news – the Aquarium of the Pacific is open for outdoor exhibits. And thanks to endangered species breeding programs, the babies are booming at local zoos and wildlife parks – many just an hour or two away from The Crest. So dare to go where the wild things are. Local zoos and wildlife parks are back.

Harbor Breeze Cruises  100 Aquarium Way Dock #2 Long Beach, CA 90802 

Harbor Breeze Cruises gives you the amazing opportunity to see a blue whale off the coast of Long Beach. For almost two decades, Harbor Breeze Cruises has provided exhilarating whale watching excursions for people from across the globe. At any time, sea creatures are never far from view, from orcas to fin whales, dolphins, and more. Each whale watching cruise is conducted by a knowledgeable captain expertly trained in manning your vessel, while also providing comprehensive narration about the marine life you’ll be viewing.

The Aquarium of the Pacific is open for outdoor exhibits only, but there’s still plenty to see, including the Harbor Terrace (featuring the Moon Jelly Touch Lab and archerfish and mudskipper exhibits), Shark Lagoon (including touch pools), Lorikeet Forest, the Our Water Future exhibit, Southern California Steelhead Story, Molina Animal Care Center, June Keyes Penguin Habitat, the Ray Touch Pool (open for touch), and the Seals and Sea Lions Habitat.  Advanced reservations are required and important safety protocols are in place.

Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens  5333 Zoo Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90027

Cuteness alert. The Los Angeles Zoo is officially open and the babies are booming. Meet the meerkat pups, coo at the condor chick, greet the baby gorilla, and a host of other adorable newborns. For the safety of guests, staff, and animals, the Zoo experience has been modified, and advance timed-entry reservations are required for all.

Natural History Museum Butterfly Pavilion  900 W Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90007

The Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum showcases hundreds of butterflies and the plants that surround them. This seasonal exhibit features expansive flight space and lots of natural light – there will be hundreds of free-flying butterflies inside. Members and other guests are required to reserve all tickets in advance. A limited number of guests will be allowed inside the Pavilion during each reservation time slot to allow for physical distancing.

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens  47900 Portola Ave. Palm Desert, CA 92260

The Living Desert is a 1200-acre facility that specializes in the plants and animals found throughout the deserts of the world. Many exotic and endangered species can be seen in natural surroundings such as bighorn sheep, oryx, cheetahs, wolves, striped hyenas, thick-billed parrots, leopards and golden eagles. The botanical gardens represent over 1500 species, indigenous to the arid areas of North America and Africa. 

San Diego Zoo Safari Park  5500 San Pasqual Valley Rd. Escondido, CA 92027

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is now open so guests can once again experience wildlife, stroll among diverse habitats, and take part in fun, educational activities that bring us closer to the natural world. The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is an expansive non-profit wildlife sanctuary that is home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 400 species. Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. Over half of the Park’s 1,800 acres have been set aside as a protected native species habitat.

San Diego Zoo  2920 Zoo Dr. San Diego, CA 92101

Located just north of downtown San Diego in Balboa Park, the 100-acre San Diego Zoo is a non-profit wildlife sanctuary, home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals from over 650 species and subspecies, and over 700,000 exotic plants. The San Diego Zoo is now open to guests, ending the first major closure in its 103-year history. Guests can once again experience wildlife with their families, stroll among diverse habitats, and take part in fun, educational activities that bring us closer to the natural world.

SeaWorld  500 Sea World Dr, San Diego, CA 92109

Get up close and personal with dolphins, penguins, sharks and more! Founded in 1964, SeaWorld San Diego is one of the most popular marine parks in the world and is a global leader in marine animal care and welfare, education, conservation, and research. SeaWorld’s legacy of animal rescue spans more than 50 years. In that time, SeaWorld’s Rescue Teams have come to the aid of more than 37,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals in need, giving them a second chance at life.

Photo credits:

Photo #1: Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Photo #2  Harbor Breeze Cruises

Photo #3: Aquarium of The Pacific

Photo #4: Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Photo #5: Natural History Museum Butterfly Pavilion

Photo #6: The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

Photo #7: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Photo #8: San Diego Zoo

Photo #9: SeaWorld