Discovering Wildlife Wonders at Orange County Zoo in Orange, California


Nestled within the picturesque setting of Irvine Regional Park, the Orange County Zoo stands as a captivating destination where visitors can connect with nature and explore the diverse wildlife of Southern California. Located at 1 Irvine Park Rd, Orange, CA 92869, this intimate zoo offers a unique blend of educational experiences, conservation efforts, and opportunities to observe native wildlife up close.

Address and Accessibility:

The Orange County Zoo is conveniently located at 1 Irvine Park Rd, within Irvine Regional Park in Orange, California. Positioned amidst the natural beauty of the park, the zoo is easily accessible for visitors from various parts of Orange County and the surrounding areas. Another spot

Surrounding Freeways and Highways: Go here

For those traveling by car, Irvine Regional Park can be reached via the Riverside Freeway (CA-91) and the Eastern Transportation Corridor (CA-241). Irvine Park Rd provides direct access to the park, making it a convenient route for visitors approaching from the north or south.

Major Cross Streets:

The zoo is situated within Irvine Regional Park near the intersection of Irvine Park Rd and Santiago Canyon Rd, making it a recognizable landmark for those navigating the area. Santiago Canyon Rd serves as a major road connecting the park to nearby communities.

Nearby Attractions Within 3 Miles:

Irvine Regional Park and the Orange County Zoo are surrounded by various attractions and points of interest within a 3-mile radius, offering visitors additional opportunities for recreation and exploration:

Irvine Regional Park:

Spanning over 475 acres, Irvine Regional Park itself offers a range of activities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, paddle boating on the lake, and a scenic railroad for leisurely rides through the park.

Santiago Oaks Regional Park:

Approximately 3 miles to the southwest, Santiago Oaks Regional Park provides additional hiking trails, nature exploration, and beautiful landscapes. It’s an ideal destination for those seeking more outdoor adventures.

Peters Canyon Regional Park:

Just over 2 miles to the southeast, Peters Canyon Regional Park offers hiking and biking trails around a reservoir, providing a peaceful escape within the natural surroundings of Orange County.

Historic Old Towne Orange:

About 3 miles to the west, Historic Old Towne Orange welcomes visitors with its charming streets lined with vintage shops, cafes, and historic architecture. It’s a delightful area for strolling and exploring local boutiques.

Opening and Closing Hours:

The Orange County Zoo typically operates during standard zoo hours, providing ample time for visitors to explore and enjoy the exhibits. While specific hours may vary seasonally and on holidays, the zoo generally opens in the morning and closes in the late afternoon. To ensure the most accurate information, visitors are advised to check the official website or contact the zoo directly for up-to-date operating hours.

Zoo Features and Highlights:

Native California Wildlife Exhibits:

Orange County Zoo focuses on showcasing the native wildlife of California, providing visitors with the opportunity to observe animals such as mountain lions, black bears, bobcats, and more in environments designed to mimic their natural habitats.

Children’s Zoo and Petting Area:

The zoo includes a Children’s Zoo where young visitors can interact with domesticated animals, including goats and sheep, in a safe and supervised environment. The petting area allows children to connect with animals in a hands-on and educational manner.

Aviaries and Bird Exhibits:

Bird enthusiasts can appreciate a variety of avian species in specialized exhibits and aviaries throughout the zoo. From majestic eagles to colorful parrots, the bird exhibits showcase the diversity of bird life native to California.

Educational Programs and Keeper Talks:

Orange County Zoo offers educational programs and keeper talks, providing insights into the lives and behaviors of the animals. These engaging presentations enhance the visitor experience and promote awareness of wildlife conservation efforts.

Picnic Areas and Nature Trails:

The zoo is situated within Irvine Regional Park, which features picnic areas and nature trails. Visitors can extend their day by exploring the scenic surroundings, enjoying a picnic, or taking a leisurely stroll through the park.

Special Events and Animal Encounters:

Throughout the year, the zoo hosts special events, including themed celebrations, animal encounters, and educational programs. These events provide unique opportunities for visitors to deepen their understanding of wildlife and conservation.

Zoo Gift Shop:

The zoo’s gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs, educational materials, and animal-themed merchandise. It’s a convenient stop for visitors looking to take home a memento from their zoo experience.

Visitor Tips:

Arrive Early for Popular Exhibits:

To ensure the best experience and avoid crowds, visitors may consider arriving early, especially if there are specific exhibits or animals they are particularly interested in observing.

Check the Daily Schedule:

Consult the zoo’s daily schedule upon arrival to plan around special events, keeper talks, and feeding times. This ensures visitors don’t miss out on educational opportunities and engaging presentations.

Bring Comfortable Footwear:

Exploring the zoo and the adjacent Irvine Regional Park may involve walking and some light hiking. Visitors are encouraged to wear comfortable footwear suitable for varied terrains.

Pack Sun Protection:

Given the outdoor nature of the zoo, it’s advisable to bring sun protection such as hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses, especially during sunny days.


The Orange County Zoo, nestled within the natural splendor of Irvine Regional Park, stands as a testament to California’s diverse wildlife and the importance of wildlife conservation. Its strategic location, educational initiatives, and commitment to showcasing native species make it a beloved destination for families, wildlife enthusiasts, and those seeking a connection with the natural world. Whether observing black bears, engaging with domesticated animals in the Children’s Zoo, or exploring the picturesque surroundings of Irvine Regional Park, the Orange County Zoo offers a captivating and enriching experience for visitors of all ages.