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Tiger at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero, CA


With acres of nature preserves, parks, beaches, and hills teeming with animal life, a vacation to San Luis Obispo is always an adventure. Within a short drive from San Luis Obispo, your family can visit the elephant seals at San Simeon, the zebras and other private zoo animals roaming freely at Hearst Castle, the butterflies at Monarch Grove in Pismo Beach, and the sea otters in Morro Bay.

If you want to visit with different species all at one time, be sure to head to the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero. Established in 1955, this animal preserve is now a fully accredited zoo, exhibiting hundreds of animal species both locally and from around the world on 5 wooded acres. Situated in beautiful Atascadero Lake Park, Charles Paddock Zoo remains true to its commitment for wild animal conservation, propagation, and management. Catch a glimpse of local and exotic animals like sloths, porcupines, pythons, tigers, monkeys, foxes, turtles, flamingoes and many other wildlife attractions at the zoo. Kids can learn about rare species and wildlife conservation while enjoying family fun at affordable prices.

From Ice Cream Zoofaris to the Animal Olympics, there is a fun event planned for everyone to enjoy. The zoo even offers “Party Animal” packages for kids to host their birthday parties on site. Unique gifts, as well as refreshments and strollers,  are available at the newly opened gift shop.

Spend a day with your loved ones up close with some of the rarest animals in the world at the Charles Paddock Zoo, it will be an experience enjoyed by all.


The Charles Paddock Zoo is located at 9100 Morro Road, Atascadero, just north of San Luis Obispo on the 101.


Free for Children 2 years and under

$7 for Adults 12 and over

$5 for Children 3 to 11

$6 for Seniors 65+


Open 7 days a week

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

Summer Hours (April 1 – October 31): 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Winter Hours (November 1 – March 31): 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Annual Events

Zoo Boo | October 26, 2019, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Put on your best costume and bring the whole family to a not-too-scary night at the zoo! Charles Paddock Zoo’s annual Halloween event, Zoo Boo, is a spooky fun night full of endless carnival games, Halloween activities, a Haunted House and tricks and treats for everyone.

$13 for Regular Admission
$12 for Zoo Members
Free for Children 2 years and under

Holiday Magic | December 21, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Tis’ the season to celebrate Holiday Magic with your friends and family at the zoo! Spend the day watching the animals open their specially-crafted presents from Santa Claus and enjoy some holiday shopping in the gift shop, too. Make a festive craft to take home and check-in to see if Santa was able to stop in for an early visit at the zoo!

$10 for Regular Admission
$8 for Children ages 5-12
$5 for Children ages 3-4
Free for Children 2 years and under

View more things to do in San Luis Obispo with family.

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