Do you love animals? Do you want to visit a zoo? Well, we have the perfect blog post for you. We’ll give you tips on how to find the best zoos in your area so that your family can enjoy a fun day at the zoo. This blog will also be helpful when traveling and looking for something new to do with your kids!
With over 200 million people visiting US zoological institutions every year, there is something for everyone! So put on your walking shoes and get ready to go on a tour of some fantastic places where Mother Nature’s most majestic creations reside like never before.
Here is how we laid out this blog article. We hope that our tips will help guide you as we explore some of America’s most famous zoos!
- What is a Zoo?
- Benefits of Visiting a zoo
- Different Types of Zoos and their purpose
- The Best Zoos in America by State
- How to find a zoo near me
What is a Zoo?
A zoo is a place where different animals are kept, studied, and displayed to the public. It can also be called an animal park or a wildlife sanctuary. The word ‘zoological garden’ is used to describe zoos established in cities or suburban areas. Some of them are also considered natural parks because they have more than just animals. They display plants and trees, too.
Zoos are a mix of entertainment and learning. They can be great for getting to know animals better and for researching them. They can also help to save endangered animals from extinction.
Benefits of Visiting a zoo
Zoos offer countless benefits and an excellent day trip outing for families at home and while on vacation. They serve as an educational attraction, as well as a popular tourist destination. Zoos also provide enhanced habitats to mimic the natural environment of the animal or animal group they represent, providing visitors an immersive experience.
They also provide a safe haven for endangered animals. Zoos are also an excellent educational resource for people who want to learn more about different species and endangered animals. The most common types of zoos are wildlife parks, safari parks, aquariums, and petting zoos.
For example, did you know that six species of sloths are found in the wild, and two of them rate high on the Red List of endangered animals? The Maned 3-Toed Sloth is listed as “vulnerable,” and the Pygmy 3-Toed Sloth is “critically endangered.”
Different Types of Zoos and their purpose
A safari park is a place that offers tours of preserved natural habitats of animals. The safari park provides an environment for animals that may not survive in their natural habitat while allowing visitors to see these creatures up-close and personal.
They are becoming more and more popular because visitors can see wild animals from all over the world in real life, rather than learning about them on the Internet or on a TV show.
A petting zoo is a small, enclosed area where visitors can feed and interact with animals.
Many zoos have petting zoos to allow guests to touch and feed domesticated animals. Petting zoos are top-rated for small children. They are a place where children can have fun and learn about animals. Some petting zoos offer rides, animal shows, and other attractions.
A wildlife park is a large area of land set aside to conserve wildlife and their habitats. It is meant to replicate, as much as possible, the natural habitat for specific animal species. The goal is to provide a safe haven where animals can live without fear of predation or human interference.
Aquariums are often used to teach people about the different kinds of aquatic life. They are one of the best ways to explore the world’s marine life. They are usually located near coastal areas, but it’s not uncommon for aquariums to be found inland.
Aquariums often have a variety of activities scheduled throughout the day. Some even offer outdoor events such as dolphin shows or seal feedings. They also provide educational programs for children and adults alike to learn about marine life and conservation efforts.
A safari zoo is a park where visitors can enjoy the wilderness and observe wildlife in a more natural setting. At these zoos, visitors can travel along paved roads through different habitats, such as grasslands, forests, and deserts. Signs along the way describe the animals that visitors may spot.
Essentially, zoological parks are intended for people to be able to see animals in a controlled environment. The animals are kept in enclosures designed as close as possible to their natural habitats. They are also allowed to behave as naturally as possible.
Today, zoological parks are an essential part of society and provide crucial conservation benefits for threatened species.
Animal Theme Park
Animal theme parks are common in many countries. They allow people to see wild animals in a safe setting.
Also known as a zoological theme park, they combine an amusement park and a zoo. They include entertainment elements, such as amusement rides, to create a park-like environment and live animals. These zoos provide a captivating experience for both adults and kids alike.
Animal sanctuaries are organizations that care for animals, usually endangered, abandoned, abused, or injured. An animal sanctuary can also be a place where animals are rehabilitated to return to the wild.
Animal Sanctuaries assist in releasing animals back into their natural habitats when they can live independently again. Some animal sanctuaries specialize in caring for specific types of animals like horses or reptiles. In contrast, others will take any kind of animal.
Zoos Near Me – The Best Zoos in your City by State
Zoos are a great place to visit with children, but we often don’t know where the nearest zoo is.
To help you, we’ve made this list of some of the top zoos in the United States!
Alabama: Birmingham Zoo, 2630 Cahaba Rd, Birmingham, AL 35223. With over 700 animals and 200 species, Birmingham Zoo is perfect for visiting any time of the year.
Alaska: Alaska Zoo, 4731 O’Malley Rd, Anchorage, AK 99507. As the only zoo in Alaska, they provide homes for orphaned and injured arctic and sub-arctic animals and cold-climate animals. Get prepared to see brown bears, eagles, Amur tigers, a polar bear, wolves, moose, and harbor seals.
Arizona: Reid Park Zoo Tucson, 3400 E Zoo Ct, Tucson, AZ 85716 The zoo has a carousel, a miniature train, a giraffe experience, and a camel ride in addition to its animal exhibits.
Arkansas: Little Rock Zoological Garden. 1 Zoo Dr, Little Rock, AR 72205 Among more than 500 mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, it also has a restored carousel, a Cheetah outpost, Laura P. Nicols Penguin Point, and a Sensory Garden.
California: San Diego Zoo. 920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 Its 100 acres holds more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals representing approximately 660 species and subspecies and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 plants.
Colorado: Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Park. 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80906. “America’s Mountain Zoo” is located on a mountainside overlooking Colorado Springs. It has an interactive beach where penguins waddle alongside guests and a rope bridge that brings you over a hippo yard.
Connecticut: Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Ave, Bridgeport, CT 06610 The zoo is focused mainly on animals from North & South America and tropical rainforest with a free-flight aviary.
Delaware: Brandywine Zoo, 1001 N Park Dr, Wilmington, DE 19802. A small zoo inside the beautiful Brandywine Park. Home of lemurs, Andean condors, capybara, red pandas, goats, and many other small animals, birds, and lizards.
Florida: Zoo Miami 12400 SW 152nd St, Miami, FL 33177 The biggest zoo in Florida with open-air exhibits and exotic creatures from around the world like clouded leopards, Komodo dragons, ring-tailed lemurs, and tree kangaroos.
Georgia: Zoo Atlanta 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 Is one of only three zoos in the US housing giant pandas and has one of North America’s largest populations of great apes.
Hawaii: Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, Hilo 800 Stainback Hwy, Hilo, HI 96720 The zoo is home to over eighty animals, including Spike, an anteater, alligators (Lilo and Stitch), and two Bengal tigers.
Idaho: Yellowstone Bear World, 6010 S 4300 W, Rexburg, ID 83440 A drive-through wildlife park with more than 60 grizzly and black bears and other wildlife like bison and elk.
Illinois: Brookfield Zoo, 8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513. A 216-acre zoo with over 400 species of animals and a dinosaur exhibit that kids will love!
Indiana: Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222 Enjoy this zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden all in one!
Iowa: Blank Park Zoo, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 A Zoo with over 2,100 animals in its collection, representing almost 200 different species.
Kansas: Tanganyika Wildlife Park 1000 S Hawkins Ln, Goddard, KS 67052 A boutique zoo in Wichita where you can swim with penguins and hand-feed rhinos, hippos, sloths, among other animals.
Kentucky: Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo Exit 58, 3700 L and North Turnpike Road, I-65, Horse Cave, KY 42749 Features Australian and North American animals and a “down under” adventure when visiting the Mammoth Onyx Cave
Louisiana: Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA 70118 Located in Uptown, New Orleans, this zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals. It’s open year-round.
Maine: York’s Wild Kingdom 1 Animal Park Rd, York, ME 03909 A zoo and amusement park with exotic animals from around the world.
Maryland: The Maryland Zoo, 1 Safari Pl, Baltimore, MD 21217 Located in the city’s heart, the zoo is home to more than 1,500 animals from 200 species. It’s also one of the country’s oldest, dating back to 1876.
Massachusetts: Franklin Park Zoo, 1 Franklin Park Rd, Boston, MA 02121 Stand face-to-face with gorillas at one of five glass viewing stations. You can also visit lions, tigers, giraffes, and zebras. Or go to the butterfly exhibit.
Michigan: Detroit Zoo, 8450 W 10 Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067 Featuring naturalistic habitats for more than 2,000 animals, including anteaters, zebras, amphibians, great apes, and penguins.
Minnesota: Como Park Zoo, 1225 Estabrook Dr, St Paul, MN 55103 Locate inside Como Park, with a lake, golf course, frog pond, ball fields, and picnic grounds, this zoo is known for its gorillas, sea lions, and big cat exhibit.
Mississippi: Hattiesburg Zoo 107 S 17th Ave, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 Visiting this zoo is more than just seeing tigers, tapirs, capybaras, zebras, primates, birds, and reptiles. It also includes enjoying other attractions like a train, carousel, high ropes, and a splash pad.
Missouri: St. Louis Zoo 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110. Some of the highlights of this zoo include the Penguin & Puffin Coast, Fragile Forest River’s Edge, and Big Cat Country.
Montana: ZooMontana, 2100 Shiloh Rd, Billings, MT 59106.This zoological and botanical garden is dedicated to the conservation and education of wildlife of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Displaying wolves, grizzly bears, otters, and eagles.
Nebraska: Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68107. A great zoo and aquarium famous for having animals on exhibits “original” to their natural habitat.
Nevada: Sierra Safari Zoo, 10200 N Virginia St, Reno, NV 89506. A small zoo with more than 200 animals representing over 40 different species.
New Hampshire: Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, 23 Science Center Rd, Holderness, NH 03245. The Center offers a variety of outdoor exhibits of many animals and nature and plants of the state of New Hampshire.
New Jersey: Cape May County Park & Zoo 707 U.S. 9 North, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 In its 85 acres, it offers 200 different species of mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles, and approximately 500 animals.
New Mexico: Albuquerque Bio Park 903 10th St SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 This complex offers an aquarium, botanic garden, and zoo. Try visiting in the morning as many of the animals are more active.
New York: Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460 Home to around 6,000 animals, it has 265 acres and different habitats like woodland and streams.
North Carolina: North Carolina Zoo, 4401 Zoo Pkwy, Asheboro, NC 27205 Situated in the Uwharrie Mountains, it’s home to 1,600 animals along a five-mile walking trail.
North Dakota: Red River Zoo 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo, ND 58104 In its 33 beautiful acres, it exhibits some of the world’s rarest cold climate species.
Ohio: Columbus Zoo 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065 One of the biggest zoos in the US, with more than 11,000 animals representing nearly 600 species from around the globe.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Zoo 2000 Remington Pl, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Enjoy learning about animals from all corners of the world, sprawled across 120 acres of land. It also has a tram, a choo choo train, and a carousel.
Oregon: Oregon Zoo, Portland 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221 is home to more than 2,600 animals, including elephants, polar bears, rhinos, and more than 15 endangered species.
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia Zoo 3400 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Here you can learn about animals through a different perspective due to a system of trails that pass through treetops and over pathways, allowing the animals to move and explore.
Rhode Island: Roger Williams Park Zoo 1000 Elmwood Ave, Providence, RI 02907 This Zoo provides visitors the opportunity to see animals from all over the globe amid natural surroundings. You can also take part in a zip ride and a train excursion.
South Carolina: Riverbanks Zoo & Garden 500 Wildlife Pkwy, Columbia, SC 29210 Home to nearly 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. Plus, 70-acres of one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the US.
South Dakota: Bear Country USA, 13820 US-16, Rapid City, SD 57702 offers visitors intimate views of most North American mammals, such as black bears, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, bighorn sheep, Dall sheep, pronghorn, and buffalo.
Tennessee: Memphis Zoo 2000 Prentiss Pl, Memphis, TN 38112 You can have a close-up look at polar bears, get splashed by sea lions, visit giant pandas or enjoy American wildlife like grizzly bears elk, timber wolves, and trumpeter swans.
Texas: San Antonio Zoo 3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212 This zoo boasts more than 8,500 animals on 56 acres. And one of the world’s largest bird collections.
Utah: Hogle Zoo 2600 Sunnyside Ave S, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 A small, fun zoo home to some 800 animals located on 42 acres.
Vermont: ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, 1 College St, Burlington, VT 05401 This innovative science and nature museum is located on the Burlington waterfront. Fun for all ages!
Virginia: Metro Richmond Zoo, 8300 Beaver Bridge Rd, Moseley, VA 23120 Home to over 2,000 animals, representing 180 different species from around the world.
Washington: Woodland Park Zoo 5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 Nationally awarded, this 92-acre zoological garden features more than 1,000 animals representing nearly 300 species from around the world.
West Virginia: West Virginia Zoo, 291 Wagner Ln, Kingwood, WV 26537 Home to over 30 different species of animals from all over the world (includes deer, black bear, cougars, tigers, chimpanzees, orange and white tigers, leopards)
Wyoming: Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary, 854 WY-270, Hartville, WY 82215 This sanctuary offers rehabilitation for animals who have been used in laboratory research. You can plan a more extended stay if you want to enjoy walking their dogs or visiting horses, cows, pigs, and sheep by staying in one of their Yurts.
Wisconsin: Henry Vilas Zoo 02 S Randall Ave, Madison, WI 53715 One of the few admission-free zoos, with over 100 species, including polar bears, Aldabra tortoises, and African lions.
Zoos Near Me – How to find a zoo or aquarium near me?
Zoos are a great way to get a taste of the animal kingdom without having to leave your home. There are many options for zoos near me. You can search for one online or on your phone.
You can also visit the website of ZAA, Zoological Association of American or the AZA, Association of Zoos and Aquariums to look for accredited zoos and aquariums.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity that will get your kids moving and having fun, then zoos are perfect. In “Zoo Near Me: A Quick Guide to the Best Zoos,” we’ve covered: different types of zoos, what they have to offer, the best ones in every state by city (including how to find them), and other ways to include animals in your child’s education.
As we come towards the end of this blog here at Tanganyika Wildlife Park, I hope you’ll visit us soon! Our interactive zoo is one of the only places in the US where you can swim with penguins and feed lions! Visit us today for unforgettable memories with wildlife up close.