Oakland Zoo Parking Options & Tips

Founded in 1922, the Oakland Zoo houses more than 850 native and exotic species of animals. It’s situated in Oakland’s Grass Valley neighborhood, approximately 11 miles away from the city center. If going to the Zoo, you should also check out the California Trail to learn more about the state’s native wildlife, but don’t forget to come up with a good parking plan first! Parking Access will do that instead of you. Go through our guide and discover all Oakland Zoo parking options, alternatives, public transit, general admission, and more! There’s also an Oakland Zoo parking map that will help you explore the area hassle-free.

Oakland Zoo Admission

Since attendance is limited, it might be hard to find an open slot during the time that fits your schedule. You can reserve timed tickets up to 28 days in advance, so we strongly encourage you to do it as early as possible. Every visitor must have a ticket scanned at the entrance, even those with free admission—add free tickets to your shopping cart upon booking. The list below will provide you with your Oakland Zoo admission cost:

Adults (15-64) $24
Children (2-14) $20
Seniors (65 – 75) $20
Seniors (older than 75) Free
Children (younger than 2) Free

You can purchase a general admission ticket and then head to the Main Entrance Membership at the Oakland Zoo and upgrade it to membership. Zoo members receive free admission but must book an online ticket in advance to access the Zoo before 3 PM. After 3 PM, all members can enter without a reservation. 

The Oakland Zoo is open between 10 AM and 6 PM, but note that the last tickets can be purchased at 4 PM. For more information, email [email protected] or call 510-632-9525 before 4 PM.

Oakland Zoo Parking

Just like with general admission tickets, the Zoo requires pre-purchasing or pre-reserving parking as well. If you wish to reserve a general admission ticket, purchase an Oakland Zoo parking spot while booking the ticket. Zoo members are entitled to free parking but must make a reservation in advance. When you get to the main entrance, an attendant will ask for your pre-booked parking ticket. If you don’t have one, they will direct you to the lower entrance to purchase it. You can check the Zoo map below to locate both entrances.

How Much Is Parking at the Oakland Zoo?

While parking is free for guests with memberships, other visitors have to pay the Oakland Zoo parking fee. A standard parking rate is $10 per vehicle. Don’t forget to purchase your Oakland Zoo parking pass along with the general admission ticket! To lower your expenses, you may look for an Oakland Zoo parking coupon or promo code or become a member. In addition to free parking, members also get discounts at the gift shop, on ZooCamp, and more!

Accessibility & ADA Parking

The Oakland Zoo is wheelchair-accessible, and guests with disabilities can access most parts of the Zoo. Check out or download the ADA Accessibility Map to get around the Zoo easily. Private cart-driven tours are available for $35, but you should reserve one at least two weeks before your visit. A disabled parking rate is $10.

Oakland Zoo Parking Alternatives

If you wish to lower your costs, there are a few alternatives. We looked into off-site parking services, street parking, and public transportation to help you save some money. Go through the options listed below to discover what works for you!

Parking Near the Oakland Zoo

You don’t have many options when it comes to parking near the Zoo. The Parking Access team searched through the area and discovered one public parking service nearby that is cheaper than the official Oakland Zoo parking lot. Premier Inn & Suites at 10000 MacArthur Blvd offers self-parking for as low as $9 per vehicle. However, it’s an 18-minute walk away, and it might not be worth it since the price difference is only $1. On-street parking is a better idea—see more about it below.

Street Parking

Oakland street parking near the Oakland Zoo is probably the only reasonable alternative for drivers. The street parking price is $2 per hour in most parts of the city. So, if you spend a couple of hours at the Zoo, your parking cost will be 60% lower than the on-site rate. Golf Links Road is the best and closest option. If you go for it, be sure to read the signs and parking meters properly to avoid getting an Oakland parking ticket!

Public Transportation

If you choose not to drive, you will reduce both your expenses and stress levels! Catching a public bus to the Oakland Zoo is the most affordable way to get to Grass Valley. The AC Transit Bus line 46 (Coliseum – 82nd Ave. – Zoo) runs daily and stops at the Oakland Zoo every hour. A single-ride bus fare is only $2.25 if you use Clipper Card or AC Transit Mobile, while the cash fare is $2.50. You may also purchase a Day Pass for as low as $5!


  • Where is free parking at the Oakland Zoo?

Free parking at the Zoo is available for members only. Reserve your parking space online, and an attendant at the main entrance will direct you to your spot.

  • How much does it cost to go to the Oakland Zoo?

A general admission ticket for an adult is $24, while general parking is $10. If you choose to take a bus to the Oakland Zoo, a single bus fare will be as low as $2.25.

  • Can you bring food to the Oakland Zoo?

Yes! You can also use the picnic tables and benches. Alcohol is not permitted.

In addition to Oakland Zoo parking, we can take you through any long-term or short-term parking process and help you save time and money! Our comprehensive guides cover major venues, cruise ports, and airports, so you can check us out when looking for cheap Oakland Airport parking or Oakland monthly parking. We cover other major U.S. zoos, too—learn more about:

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