20 Best Zoos in the US to Visit All Sorts of Animals 2022
In the United States, you can choose from various animal-oriented attractions such as zoos and aquariums. Plus, a zoo can be found in almost every major city in the United States, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
We’ve compiled a list of the best zoos to visit in the United States. Who has amassed incredible collections of animals from around the world to commemorate and conserve the world’s wildlife?
You will also learn about the best aquariums to visit in the United States. As well as the worst zoos in the country. Read on to find out more.
1. Alaska Zoo
Since Alaska is known for its nature and wildlife, it makes sense that it has a great institution like the Alaska Zoo to show off its native wildlife. The Alaska Zoo, which opened in 1969 and has been the state’s only zoo ever since is located in Anchorage.
Interestingly, the zoo started with a baby, although it is now home to many native Alaskan creatures such as the Canadian lynx and polar bear.
The local grocer won the elephant in the game. Many non-native animals, such as snow leopards and Tibetan yaks, can be found among the nearly 100 animals at the Alaska Zoo.
2. Bear Country United States
Bear Country USA Wildlife Park offers a unique experience. The remarkable thing about this place in Rapid City, South Dakota, is that it is a safari park accessible from the car, where you have the opportunity to see creatures in your vehicle.
On the way to Mount Rushmore, this is a popular pit stop. You will get up close and personal with wolves, bears and other native wildlife of North America.
As you weave your way through 200 acres of woodland and meadows. The 4,444 visitors made a three-mile trip around the park. Cross various barriers and get closer to the residents of the park.
3. Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha
Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha can easily claim the title of America’s Largest Zoo. This is if its total area and the number of species are considered.
The Riverview Park Zoo, which opened in 1894, is now the Nebraska Zoo. It spans 130 acres and is home to over 900 distinct species. The Henry Dolly Zoo has established itself as a leader in the conservation and study of wildlife over the years.
You can see rhinos, tigers, lions and elephants at this famous zoo. And you’ll get up and personal with the sharks and turtles at the onsite aquarium.
4. Denver Zoo
What started as a gift has now become a necessity. The Denver Zoo, a pioneering Colorado institution, was founded in 1896. After donating an American black bear to the mayor of Denver.
Additionally, the Denver Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to incorporate natural habitats into its exhibits. To promote animal welfare.
Since then, the zoo has worked hard to expand its conservation activities beyond animal populations. Launch of a global conservation plan on four continents.
The 4,444 3,500 visitors to the Denver Zoo have contributed to these efforts. And they can see over 400 animals representing over 100 species.
In addition, the zoo’s bear population is still well known. But it’s also known for its Siberian tigers, Asian elephants, and unique exhibits at Stingray Bay.
5. Houston Zoo
In a big city like Houston, it’s no wonder the Houston Zoo is worth discussing. They positioned the Houston Zoo in central Texas, which covers 55 acres. And it is the most accessible place to access to visit the city.
It is home to around 6,000,900 animals representing XNUMX different species worldwide. The Houston Zoo can meet your needs to see African gorillas and zebras, South American anteaters, or Texas wildlife.
It also offers excellent opportunities for contact with animals, including close encounters with elephants, okapi and Galapagos tortoises.
6. Fort Worth Zoo
You will find many great zoos in Texas, but the Fort Worth Zoo is arguably the state’s contribution to the best zoo in the United States.
When the Fort Worth Zoo first opened in 1909, its selection of animals was minimal, but it has increased since then and now numbers 7,000,540 animals of over 120 species.
The two most popular exhibits are the 2.5 acre World of Primate exhibit, where you can see the four species of monkeys, and the Museum of Living Art (MOLA), where many endangered reptiles and amphibians shelter the animals.
7. Oakland Zoo
To see California’s diverse native animals at one of the best zoos in the United States, visit the Oakland Zoo. Recently, the Oakland Zoo launched a new exhibit on the trails in California. Showcase native species such as grizzly bears, grey wolves and bison.
But there are other exhibits and installations on the 100 acres of Auckland Zoo. Including a world-class veterinary hospital and a large butterfly garden.
Auckland Zoo is now home to over 700 local and exotic animals. Such as sun bears, reticulated giraffes, and baboons. Although now at Knowland Park in Oakland Hills. The zoo was initially in downtown Oakland when it was established in 1922.
8. Miami Zoo
Of the countless zoos across the country, the Miami Zoo is the only subtropical zoo. The continental United States. If that isn’t enough to make Miami Zoo special enough, it’s also Florida’s biggest and best zoo.
This is officially called the Miami-Dade Gardens and Zoo, which opened in 1948 and moved to its current location in 1980.
The Miami Zoo’s critical reason has a subtropical climate is that it provides a naturally warm environment.
In addition, the humid environment of zoo animals native to Asia, Australia and Africa. These animals include exotic species such as Malayan tapirs, Komodo dragons, and pine kangaroos. As well as old darlings such as gorillas and lions.
9. Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is nicknamed the “Nation’s First Zoo”. It is a highly regarded institution that is undoubtedly one of the best zoos in the United States. We owe this recognition in part to the fact that it is one of the oldest zoos in the country.
The Philadelphia Zoo first opened in 1874. However, they did not officially charter it until 1859. Before the Civil War, they were making it the first zoo in the United States.
The history of this zoo is not the only thing that makes it remarkable. Among its nearly 1,300, 42 animals are many endangered species. There are black and white ruffled lemurs, Amur tigers, and gigantic otters on the park’s XNUMX acres.
10. Saint Louis Zoo
It’s hard to imagine why you wouldn’t visit the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri, especially since admission is free. This zoo, located in Forest Park in the west of the city, is also one of the best in the country.
The Saint Louis Zoo, originally known as the Saint Louis Zoological Park, is accessible due to government funding. This means that anyone can come and see the 13,000,555 zoo animals representing XNUMX different species.
The zoo exhibits are red pandas, polar bears, two-toed sloths, puffins, and various reptiles and amphibians.
11. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs is another zoo in Colorado. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the largest in the United States. With a height of 6,800 feet above sea level. This zoo, which was founded in 1926 by philanthropist Spencer Penrose.
As a home for his collection of exotic animals, it grew to house 800 animals representing more than 200 species. More than 30 of these species, including black rhinos and large gibbons, are endangered.
Visitors can also take the Mountaineer Sky Ride lifts. They were passing over enclosures of grizzly bears and Amur tigers for a fresh perspective on the animals.
12. Bronx Zoo
There are many excellent zoos in New York City, but the Bronx Zoo is, without a doubt, one of the best. The zoo is located near the Bronx River in Bronx Park and encompasses 265 acres, making it one of the largest metropolitan zoos in the country.
When the Bronx Zoo opened in 1899, it started a long animal health and conservation tradition by opening the first modern zoo animal hospital in 1916.
In addition, during your visit today, you will be able to observe around 6,000,700 animals of XNUMX different species. From big cats like tigers, lions and gorillas to small animals like lemurs and reptiles.
13. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is located in Columbus, Ohio. So The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the best in Ohio. Its 580 acres of land make it one of the largest zoos in the country.
This nonprofit zoo, located north of Columbus in Liberty Township, first opened in 1927. But it has since grown to include its 18-hole golf course.
The expansive grounds of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are organized into eight exhibition groups. Each represents a different geographic region of the world.
This means that more than 7,000,800 creatures represent more than XNUMX species. You can see everything from leopards and bobcats to penguins and kangaroos.
14. San Diego Zoo and Safari Park
The legendary San Diego Zoo is the best zoo in California, if not the world. San Diego Zoo, which opened in 1916 at Balboa Park. It has become a significant tourist attraction in the city and is the most visited zoo in the United States.
One of the reasons for the zoo’s enormous popularity is its incredible diversity. That includes over 3,500,650 creatures from XNUMX different species.
They divide the zoo into eight exhibits to maintain its diverse wildlife population. Each has its geography or habitat.
In addition, the Outback exhibit, which features Australian animals such as koalas and Tasmanian devils. It has become one of the San Diego Zoo’s most popular exhibits in recent years.
15. Brevard Zoo
The Brevard Zoo in Florida is one of the best zoos on the east coast of the United States. Brevard Zoo, located in Melbourne, focuses on interaction and creative techniques for connecting with animals.
This 75-acre farm with Florida landscapes lives more than 900 animals representing more than 195 species. Animals from all over the world can be found here, but there are also native Florida animals like the Florida black bear and the American alligator.
Kayak and zip line excursions are among the activities offered at Brevard Zoo. Just like the hand-feeding giraffes that roam with the kangaroos.
16. Woodland Park Zoo
The Zoo Woodland Park in Seattle is another wonderful American zoo worth mentioning, with a long history of conservation in wildlife.
Additionally, the Woodland Park Zoo, founded in 1899, is located in the Phinney Ridge neighbourhood of Seattle. The zoo exhibits are divided into bioclimatic zones. However, around 900 animals represent 250 or more species spread over 92 acres.
This means that you will have to visit various exhibits to see the zoo’s most amazing animals. Like the snow leopard, the flying fox and the hippo. The Woodland Park Zoo hosts an annual Brew at the Zoo event, including beer samples from various local breweries.
17. The zoo and the gardens of the living desert
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is one of the largest zoos in the United States. With a total area of 1,800 acres. Additionally, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens near Palm Springs, California, has exhibited desert flora and fauna since 1970.
Much of the zoo park has been left in its natural state. I am offering a home for around 450 animals. Zoo animals come from worldwide, including Australian wallabies, Mexican North American wolves, and African and Iranian cheetahs.
Visitors can interact with animals, feed giraffes, and enjoy nature and hiking trails, in addition to visiting animal exhibits.
18. Brookfield Zoo
When planning a trip to Chicago, visitors should remember to include Brookfield Zoo in their itinerary. As it is officially called, Chicago Zoological Park is a 216-acre zoo in Brookfield, Illinois. It is, however, conveniently accessible from the city centre.
Brookfield Zoo, built-in 1934, was the first to use moats and ditches as enclosures instead of cages. The Chicago Zoological Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to animal health and care, manages the zoo.
While you can see orangutans, pangolins, and pygmy hippos here, the Brookfield Zoo also has an animal ambassador program. This allows visitors to stand up and personalize themselves with certain species.
19. Lion Country Safari
The Lion Country Safari in Florida is proof that drive-thru wildlife parks are rare but not unique to the United States. This safari park, located inland from West Palm Beach, spans over 600 acres with natural habitats for its wildlife.
On a four-mile journey through seven different portions of specific bioclimatic regions. Guests can experience Lion Country Safari from the luxury of their car.
Plus, you’ll see creatures like giraffes, African lions, and kudu along the way. But there is also a safari walk with much smaller birds, reptiles and mammals.
There is also an amusement park with a petting zoo and a water park with slides and other family activities at the Lion Country Safari.
20. Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is a proud Tennessee landmark. It was established over a century. Memphis Zoo was located at Overton Park in Midtown Memphis.
Since 1906 and covers approximately 76 acres. The zoo is divided into three zones, each with 19 exhibits that require a 2 km walk. In addition, the Memphis Zoo is home to around 3,500,500 animals of over 30 different species from around the world.
While the zoo’s giant pandas exhibit is one of the most popular, don’t miss the hippos and Nile crocodiles at Zambezi River Hippo Camp or the jaguars and capybara at Cat Country.
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Zoos in the US
Why is San Diego Zoo so famous?
The zoo is renowned for its endangered species breeding programs and conservation efforts; the department of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species conducts research with such animals as pandas, tree kangaroos, clouded leopards, gavials, meerkats, and Tasmanian devils.
What state has the best zoo?
Easily the best zoo in California, if not the world, is the famous San Diego Zoo. Founded in 1916 over in Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo has become a headline attraction for the city and is actually the most visited zoo in the United States.
Which zoo is better Cleveland or Pittsburgh?
This match-up is very close, because each of these zoos have some unique features. In the end it’s a 4-4 tie. Due to the amount of walking needed at the Cleveland Zoo, the Pittsburgh Zoo wins this one via tiebreaker!
Is San Diego Zoo ethical?
But city zoos are held accountable by international, federal and state laws to ensure that animal treatment is ethical. Additionally, the San Diego Zoo is a nonprofit organization, as opposed to Sea World, which exists to profit off their animals.
What is the largest zoo in the US by number of animals?
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the largest zoo in the United States. This massive zoo is home to over 7,000 animals of 800 different species, making it the zoo experience of a lifetime! It also offers summer camps for children and programs for visitors of all ages to learn about the animals in the zoo.
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