While exploring the exhibits that house the zoo's 170 species, be sure to pet the wallabies, greet the orangutans and feed lettuce to the friendly giraffes. Weekends are especially crowded, so the best way to see this can't-miss attraction is to splurge on a premium zoo experience, such as an early morning breakfast with pandas followed by a property tour.
Save money by going on a Wednesday (when the entrance fee is any amount you wish to donate), bringing food and buying a Metro-North Railroad Getaway Package. Families can take advantage of free facilities like a lagoon and an aquarium or pay for special experiences like train rides, zip lining and giraffe feedings.
For a unique zoo adventure, join a guided kayak tour to see Expedition Africa's rhinos and lemurs from the water. The year-round facility features exhibits with red pandas, primates, hippos, penguins and more, plus a 4D movie theater, a carousel and a railroad, among other amenities.
The zoo's naturalistic habitats range from an African savanna to rainforests for South American creatures to a sand-floored barn where zookeepers bury food and toys for elephants. Board the monorail for a guided Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari past a waterfall and five exhibits that are not otherwise accessible.
Or, participate in an evening Family Safari Night Hike, which is available on select days and costs $20 per person for visitors ages 5 and older. For 60 years, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has grown from a brewery and bird park to a major fixture encompassing thrill rides, live shows, animal exhibits and expert veterinary care.
At this Tampa attraction, travelers have access to an array of animal encounters, including the 30-minute Serengeti Safari, which allows visitors 5 and older to hand-feed giraffes from open-air vehicles. Fans of “The Wildlife Docs” series on The CW won't want to miss the 45-minute Animal Care Center walking tour.
This $29 per person experience includes watching park animals receive wellness exams and interacting with the zoo's veterinarians. The Wilds were founded in 1984 when the Central Ohio Coal Company gifted nearly 10,000 acres of surface-mined land to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Zookeeper and TV host Jack Hanna helped develop the plot of land roughly 75 miles southeast of downtown Columbus into a large educational preserve that complements the main zoo. Adults can prolong their stays by reserving private yurts at the Nomad Ridge camp, where binoculars are available to watch passing animals like rhinos and red-tailed hawks.
In the Louisiana Swamp exhibit, visitors will learn how Cajuns used Native American conservation techniques to create a unique culture and cuisine in a swampy environment. The petting zoo gives little ones the chance to interact with zebus (miniature cows) and giant Algebra tortoises in an African farm setting, while the five-story treehouse at Monkey Hill (New Orleans tallest point) is a great place to burn off some energy.
While exploring this Rapid City attraction from late April through November, you may encounter black bears crossing the road and mountain lions, buffaloes, elk and reindeer roaming in fields. Before leaving, stretch your legs in the Wildlife Walk area, which features a gift shop and is lined with educational exhibits about foxes, skunks and other small mammals.
Native California desert plants line well-marked hiking trails that overlook Eisenhower Peak and the Coachella Valley, while African baobabs, triangle palms and elephant trees grow in the Madagascar Garden. The zoo also offers educational camel rides, reptile encounters and an endangered species-themed carousel, though some amenities and activities are only available during select months.
Big Cat Crossing, one of five Zoo360 trails, features an overhead mesh bridge for lions, pumas, jaguars and more. Standard admission costs $28 to $37 per person and includes entry to the walk-through Safari World amusement park, with animal presentations, bird and giraffe feedings, a petting zoo, a water playground and more.
And if you don't feel like trekking 21 miles east to a hotel in central West Palm Beach, you can pitch a tent at the on-site GOA campground. Designated areas include an Alaska-inspired region with everything from brown bears to porcupines, a water-filled habitat for Peruvian penguins and a tropical rainforest where jaguars live alongside frogs and birds.
At the city's Safari West nature preserve, which sits less than 28 miles northwest of Sonoma, visitors can get an up-close look at nearly 1,000 animals from 90-plus species. The nearly 100-acre Tucson facility uses invisible fencing in animal habitats, including those for endangered species like Mexican gray wolves and thick-billed parrots.
At this wildlife park in downtown Indianapolis, visitors can interact with approximately 1,400 animals while exploring the gardenlike setting and attending a number of special events. Can't-miss exhibits include Oceans (an aquatic area with an underwater dolphin-viewing dome) and the Simon Skoda International Orangutan Center.
Travelers can watch native Alaskan creatures like rare snow leopards, moose and other Arctic species roam the wooded, hilly landscape of Anchorage. On a chilly Midwestern day, visitors can stay warm while observing otters, monkeys and more in the zoo's Tropical World area.
Travelers can also head to the Living Coast exhibit to check out aquatic animals like sharks and Humboldt penguins. As part of the nonprofit Chicago Zoological Society, the zoo uses a portion of entrance fees to support various global conservation projects, including youth leadership training in Botswana and dolphin tagging in Brazil.
The zoo's busy social calendar includes various conservation fundraisers, such as Pints for Pangolins, Wine for Rhinos and Beers for Bears. Another must-visit exhibit is The Edge, where you can see Amur tigers walking across overhead bridges and from a viewing area with a perforated wall.
Visitors can use an animal map to navigate the park's dirt roads on foot or ride the complimentary shuttle, which stops in four areas. Watch zookeepers prepare special diets, get an up-close look at various critters (during select months) or explore the Enrichment Playground, which is filled with toys similar to those used by the property's animals.
You'll find the action-packed Hermann Memorial Park, where the zoo resides, easy to reach by Eurorail's Red Line from downtown Houston. Watch the Sea Lions perform at Lord Marque, a 33-acre zoo with an extensive and diverse reserve of animal and plant species.
A zoological garden, Lisbon Zoo has around 2,000 and 300 species including 114 mammals, 157 birds, 56 reptiles, and five amphibians and arthropods. A visit to Henry Poorly Zoo provides you with the chance to see elephants, white rhinos, cheetahs, sable antelopes, bongos, ostriches, and impalas.
From Aardvarks to Eastern Bongos and King Cobras to lemurs, there’s a variety of animals to discover. It houses 673 species, with exhibits including Land of the Lions, Gorilla Kingdom, and Tiger Territory.
See a range of animals at Bronx Zoo, including the most extensive displayed collection of origami elephants in the world. The Bronx Zoo also exhibits a remnant of the ice age, a 30 dense ton rocking stone.
See a variety of animals, including the diving otters, pandas, and koalas. These include Indo-Malaya, Africa, the Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain.
As one of the most diverse zoos in the US, visitors can expect to find African lions, Asian elephants, and giant pandas at Smithsonian National Zoological Park. The Zoological Gardens of South Africa is the national zoo and covers 200 acres of land.
One of the world’s best bird zoos, Marque was Ave's has blue-and-yellow macaw, parrots, and too toucans amongst others. See the animals on land and water at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which was once named the best zoo in the US.
Make sure you check out the Polar Frontier, as well as the Asia Quest and North America region. The zoo also studies animal behavior, feeding, and reproduction, and breeds rare endangered species.
The most-visited wildlife attraction in Britain, Chester Zoo sees 1.9 million visitors each year. There are more than 500 animals and an array of exhibitions, including Grassland Cats and Monkey Island.
Zoo La Palmyra lies in the heart of a forest and features 145 species and 1,600 animals. You’ll find several threatened species at the zoo, including the Asian elephant and White rhinoceros.
Home to more than 500 animals and world-class habitats, Dublin Zoo is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. It’s known for its Elephant House, which was designed by famous British architect Norman Foster.
Exhibits include Alga Bay with its harbor seals and La Terry du Droid with its reindeer and American bison. Part of the original Villa Borges estate in Rome, Bismarck Zoo is among the largest and oldest Zoological Gardens in Italy.
There is a wealth of animals to see at Miami Zoo, including the African lion, giant otters, jaguars, and more. The only AZA-accredited zoo in Argentina, Remained specializes in Argentine wildlife and exotic and threatened species.
Home to 2,000 animals from 400 species, Dallas Zoo has exciting exhibitions like Zoo North where there are otters and Galápagos tortoises. Explore Woodland Park Zoo’s 92 acres and meet a bunch of furry new friends that include African Savanna lions, rhinos, and grizzly bears.
Eight hundred fifty species live at Zoo Leipzig, and you can see them at the six authentic themed worlds that include Founders Garden, Pong land, and Gondwanaland. Edinburgh has many popular tourist attractions, but the city’s zoo is right up there at the top of the list.