As opposed to staying in large scale hotels many people prefer the intimacy and unique factor in staying in small bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) as well as small boutique hotels.  These facilities usually offer guests more personal service and different kinds of amenities than traditional hotels.  Many times B&Bs tend to cost a pinch more than normal hotels but this is usually made up for in service and amenities. 

San Diego, like all major cities and tourist destinations, has its fair share of quality B&Bs.  With the San Diego Zoo and the greater Balboa Park area being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city there are a handful of excellent bed and breakfast hot spots located within walking distance of the San Diego Zoo.

The San Diego Zoo is a world class zoo known the world over for it’s diverse population of animals from all across the animal kingdom.  They are a part of the San Diego Zoological Society and a sister park to the San Diego Wild Animal Park in northern San Diego County.  The entire zoo is one of the nicest zoos ever built and one of it’s most popular attractions is the Panda exhibit which is not found many other zoos. 

You can always find a cheap hotel near the zoo or down in Mission Valley but if you want a truly remarkable stay then check out some of these nearby Bed & Breakfasts which all have top reviews from past guests.

Visit The San Diego Zoo

Top B&B’s Near The SD Zoo

As in any big city there are many top notch B & Bs available for travelers to try out.  Near the SD Zoo there are a handful of good options but below I’ve only listed a few of the best Bed & Breakfasts hand selected due to their location and past customer reviews.

The Balboa Park Inn - San DiegoThe Balboa Park Inn – The Balboa Park Inn is located on the corner of Upas St. and Park Blvd.  It is a top quality bed and breakfast that is as close to the zoo as you can get.  The BP Inn is in a small city hotel style and has less than 30 rooms.  Typical rates for their rooms start in the $100-$150 range and in-room amenities range from the basic stuff you’d find in a hotel room to luxury amenities such as Jacuzzi tubs.

Located on the North side of Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo this boutique B&B is walking distance to tourist destinations such as the greater park, local museums, and plenty of urban shopping, dinning, and entertainment as it is located in the heart of Hillcrest.  There are plenty of places to stay nearby but very few guests have any complaints about this hotel.  They provide free continental breakfasts to all guests, have access to plenty of free street parking, and they even serve up complimentary wifi internet.

The Britt Scripps Inn - San DiegoBritt Scripps Inn – The Britt Scripps Inn is located a little further away from the SD Zoo.  It’s not really that far but you have to drive or walk around Balboa Park to get to the zoo entrance.  Of course the walk is very manageable and you get the pleasure of walking through historic Balboa Park to get there so it’s not a bad deal.

Because the location of this B&B is on the west end of Balboa Park you are actually much closer to downtown San Diego than you might think.  The bed and breakfast is located on the corner of 4th and Laurel meaning all you have to do is go south on 4th and you enter downtown San Diego or west on Laurel to get to the harbor and airport area.

The Inn itself is quite exquisite.  It is much smaller than the Balboa Park Inn and is in a historical building that looks like it’s out of a storybook.  The 4-star hotel has only 9 rooms and they go for a bit more than some other nearby options.  Despite this the Britt Scripps Bed & Breakfast is worth your money if you are looking for an over-the-top romantic spot near the hotspots in central San Diego, Balboa Park, and the San Diego Zoo… and if you look at the past customer reviews you will be blown away with the amount of people happy that they stayed here.

The Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast - San DiegoHillcrest House Bed and Breakfast – As opposed to the Britt Scripps B&B the Hillcrest House B&B is much more affordable.  It typically has rooms available in the $100 price range but even fewer to choose from.  Like the Britt House the Hillcrest House is located on the west side of the zoo but to the north on the corner of University Ave. and 3rd.  As the name implies the location is in the heart of Hillcrest which is walking distance to the zoo entrance if you care to go by foot.

One additional draw of the Hillcrest House Bed & Breakfast is that it has almost flawless reviews from many past customers.  Like any good bed and breakfast hotel this location provides breakfast for guests in the morning and all the typical amenities of a small boutique hotel.  The difference is that this B&B is located in a small house in the heart of a thriving community.  Internet service is provided as well as off the street parking.

Alternative Hotels Near The Zoo & Balboa Park

If you are simply browsing for good local B&B locations near the heart of San Diego you should know that there are plenty to choose from.  The above mentioned locations are very close to Balboa Park and the zoo and they also have some of the best customer reviews of any alternatives in the area.  If however you want to get a bit further away from the zoo you can always shop the many B&B’s located in the Hillcrest area or head south of the park into the downtown San Diego Gaslamp area where many hotels are located.

You can of course get a good sense of where hotels are located using the “maps feature” on Hotels.comand review past guest comments on any locations you are interested in.  Sites like don’t always list the smaller B&B locations so for those you’ll have to dig around a bit more.  Many people find that the many small boutique hotels in the area which are listed on the hotel aggregator sites satisfy the desire for a B&B just fine.