Although most people want to check out the world-famous zoo in San Diego, I think the Wild Animal Park, now known as Safari Park, is more interesting. On 1,800 acres, there are 3,500 animals representing 260 species. This park is also a huge botanical garden.
What I enjoy are the massive open-range enclosures representing various habitats around the world, such as the Asian Plains, East Africa (the largest enclosure and larger than the San Diego Zoo), North Africa, Asian Waterhole, Southern Africa, and the Mountain Habitat.
The Safari Park began as a breeding program to supply the San Diego Zoo and has become an even larger breeding and conservatory project. There are a few 'interactive' exhibits. One is with lemurs, another is feeding lorikeets, and then there's an indoor fruit bat exhibit where you can get up close and personal with the bats.
Native birds and animals are also featured here. The condor breeding program here is what supported the introduction of this almost extinct bird back to the wilds of California.
Nearby is Orfila Winery - http://www.orfila.com/index.php - for winetasting or just lunching on the grounds. On your way to the park, keep an eye out for stands where you can purchase local fruit, vegetables, and ostrich jerky made at nearby farms.
Tip: Early morning is the best time to see animal activity. Avoid Aug, Sept & Oct, which are the hottest months here.