9 Finest Zoos To Go to In The U.S. (2022)

If you’d like a household journey, a enjoyable date, or simply wish to see some cool animals, going to the zoo is an effective way to spend the day. Zoos now provide artistic trails that make you are feeling like you might be touring the globe, wandering by means of lush gardens and exploring pure displays. 

Our readers selected their favorites and they’re all price setting apart a day of your trip to take pleasure in them. Yow will discover all your favourite animals and plenty of new and distinctive ones that will simply develop into your favourite. Take part on an animal feeding or courageous a ropes course so as to add to the joy. Run as fast as a cheetah and monkey round in these fabulous zoos.

Skyfari aerial tram over the San Diego Zoo.
The Skyfari aerial tram over the San Diego Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: littlenySTOCK / Shutterstock.com)

1. San Diego Zoo

San Diego, California

When you have heard of 1 zoo in the USA, it’s most likely the San Diego Zoo. This yr’s Better of Journey Award winner is a lush botanical backyard housing over 4,000 fascinating animals and 700,000 vegetation. You may often depend on nice climate as you stroll across the 100-acre park positioned in Balboa Park in the midst of San Diego.

View the spacious, naturalistic habitats as you stroll alongside Treetops Means or by means of the Misplaced Forest. The entire favorites are represented, corresponding to elephants, gorillas, koalas, and polar bears. The zoo additionally options many distinctive animals, like clouded leopards, bonobos, crimson pandas, and California condors. You may study conservation and see wildlife ambassadors shut up within the encounters on the amphitheater. Eating choices are numerous and sprinkled all through the zoo.

Professional Tip: When you have restricted time and nonetheless wish to see your entire park, hop on the bus tour or courageous the aerial tram.

Silverback gorilla, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
A silverback gorilla at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
(Photograph Credit score: Facets and Angles / Shutterstock.com)

2. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo And Aquarium

Omaha, Nebraska

Within the middle of the nation sits a surprisingly fascinating zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium spreads over 160 acres with 12 wonderful displays. It boasts the world’s largest indoor desert, largest nocturnal exhibit, largest indoor rattlesnake exhibit, largest indoor swamp, and largest indoor rainforest.  Efforts to stimulate regular animal conduct embrace habitats with pure panorama parts to climb and discover, and behavioral coaching by zookeepers. Foggy Forest and different areas of the zoo present play alternatives for human animals additionally.

Desert Dome highlights vegetation and animals from the Sonoran Desert of the American Southwest, the Namib Desert of southern Africa, and the Purple Middle of Australia. Asian Highlands brings guests by means of a forest and previous waterfalls. Distinctive species abound all through the zoo together with David’s deer, bongos, Amur tigers, and bush infants. Omaha ranges from snowy winter to humid summer season and the zoo allows guests to take pleasure in it in any climate.

Hippos at the Saint Louis Zoo's Hippo Landing.
Hippos on the Saint Louis Zoo’s Hippo Touchdown
(Photograph Credit score: Allison Weston)

3. Saint Louis Zoo

St. Louis, Missouri

The 14,000 animals representing virtually 500 species on the St. Louis Zoo can all be seen at no cost. At one of many few free zoos in the USA, guests can discover 90 acres at their leisure. Stroll by means of Rivers Edge to comply with the riverbank of South America and see Andean Bears, cross the bridge onto the African savanna to observe rhinos, then proceed on to observe the Asian elephants play in a waterfall.

The 1904 Flight Cage was created for the World’s Truthful. It remained in St. Louis and have become a part of a brand new zoo. One other historic constructing, the Reptile Home, dates again to 1927. It was renovated in 1977 and now homes 700 reptiles and amphibians in desert, temperate, and tropical sections. You may even go method again in historical past with the Emerson Dinoroarus animatronic creatures. Some extra trendy adventures embrace the Zooline Railroad, Conservation Carousel, and 4D theater.

Orangutans at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.
Orangutans on the Smithsonian Nationwide Zoological Park
(Photograph Credit score: Manokhina Natalia / Shutterstock.com)

4. Smithsonian Nationwide Zoological Park

Washington, D.C.

The Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo has been caring for animals since 1889. It sits within the coronary heart of Washington, D.C., and is straightforward to entry by the metro subway. Their signature exhibit options the Big Panda on the Asia Path. The pandas might be seen munching on bamboo or taking part in within the snow in a big enclosure. The path additionally consists of two different lovely species, the crimson panda and clouded leopard.

Within the Small Mammal Home, you’ll be able to view 35 species of lovely animals like fennec foxes, bare mole rats, and sand cats. Among the animals occupy mixed-species displays so you’ll be able to see how they work together. After all, our nationwide zoo additionally has an American Path, the place you’ll be able to observe and study animals such because the bald eagle, California sea lion, and the beaver. Then head to Amazonia to stroll by means of a rainforest the place the animals roam free.

Siberian or Amur tiger at the Bronx Zoo.
An Amur tiger, also called a Siberian tiger, on the Bronx Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: Vladimir Korostyshevskiy / Shutterstock.com)

5. Bronx Zoo

New York Metropolis

The Bronx Zoo is the Wildlife Conservation Society’s flagship park and it sits in the midst of New York Metropolis. Their conservation work advantages animals around the globe. The zoo spreads over 265 acres and homes over 10,000 animals of greater than 700 species.

At Tiger Mountain, you’ll be able to watch Amur and Malayan tigers wander by means of foliage and play within the pool. In Jungleworld, you’ll find Malayan tapirs, Indian gharials, ebony langurs, and Matschie’s tree kangaroos. (When you don’t know what these are, it is advisable go to the zoo to see these wonderful creatures.)

The children will love the Kids’s Zoo the place they’ll pet some farmyard animals and develop into a part of the prairie canine exhibit. Adults can be part of the enjoyable at Treetop Adventures. You may don a harness and sort out the ropes course excessive within the bushes and trip the zipline over the Bronx River.

A keeper hand-feeds a deer at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
A keeper hand-feeds a deer on the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: Package Leong / Shutterstock.com)

6. Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo

Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma

On the Oklahoma Metropolis Zoo and Botanical Backyard, you’ll be able to wander the park by means of fascinating displays and have interaction in lots of enjoyable actions. Within the Oklahoma Trails exhibit, you’ll find over 100 native species, together with grizzly bears, black bears, and mountain lions. The Herpetarium and Wetlands Walkway showcase greater than 60 reptile and amphibian habitats. Head to the Nice Escape rainforest to observe gorillas, orangutans, and chimpanzees climb rocks and play in waterfalls.

The OKC Zoo gives some ways to get a more in-depth view and work together with the animals. For an additional price, you’ll be able to take pleasure in giraffe or rhino feedings, or a camel trip. You can too attain into Stingray Bay and really feel the graceful pores and skin of the stingrays or watch the antics of the ocean lions on the Noble Aquatic Middle. Wild Encounters additionally gives a behind-the-scenes take a look at certainly one of six animal enclosures.

Ring-tailed lemurs at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Ring-tailed lemurs on the Cincinnati Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: JR / Shutterstock.com)

7. Cincinnati Zoo (Tie)

Cincinnati, Ohio

Personally, I imagine Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Backyard ought to be greater on the listing, however I could also be a bit biased. Throughout my senior yr of veterinary faculty, I spent 6 weeks on the zoo for an externship and labored alongside the best veterinarians and keepers the animals may discover. Now a Nationwide Historic Landmark, the second oldest zoo within the U.S. opened in 1875 with over 400 birds however solely 26 non-avian animals.

Whereas smaller in space than most metropolis zoos, the Cincinnati Zoo’s well-planned house comprises greater than 500 animal and three,000 plant species. It lately welcomed a charismatic, and now extremely popular, child hippo named Fiona. The Evening Hunters exhibit consists of some distinctive animals, such because the College of Cincinnati mascot, the bearcat. One other inhabitant, the black-footed cat, is certainly one of 5 small cat species that’s concerned in analysis with the Middle for Conservation and Analysis of Endangered Wildlife (CREW). I used to be fortunate sufficient to witness the good work of CREW as a volunteer.

A Humboldt penguin at the Brookfield Zoo.
A Humboldt penguin on the Brookfield Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: OGI75 / Shutterstock.com)

7. Brookfield Zoo (Tie)

Chicago, Illinois

The Brookfield Zoo covers over 200 acres with massive displays in a wooded setting. Thankfully, its location within the western suburbs of Chicago implies that it’s on flat land and really straightforward to stroll round. The Roosevelt Fountain facilities grassy lanes and makes an excellent assembly spot. The various indoor and outside displays guarantee a enjoyable go to regardless of the climate. As a licensed arboretum, the zoo looks like a hike by means of a midwestern forest with wildlife simply on view.

With over 2,000 animals, you might be positive to search out all your favorites. When you take pleasure in watching gorillas and plenty of several types of monkeys, head to Tropic World. At Seven Seas, certainly one of my favourite spots as a child, the dolphins exhibit how clever and proficient they’re. You may even feed the parakeets and contact animal ambassadors at Hamill Household Wild Encounters.

A leopard drinking at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.
A leopard sneaks a drink on the Woodland Park Zoo
(Photograph Credit score: Bretton M / Shutterstock.com)

9. Woodland Park Zoo

Seattle, Washington

Woodland Park Zoo cares for 250 species, together with 46 endangered and 15 threatened or weak species. The plush setting of over 90,000 vegetation and bushes offers an exquisite setting for animals and guests. The assorted displays transport you to the African savanna, temperate forest, tropical rainforest, and its native northwest forest.

The Dwelling Northwest Path options animals native to the world with a purpose to educate guests and promote conservation of the land and wildlife. You may marvel at grizzlies, grey wolves, elk, and river otters. Then you’ll be able to journey to the opposite aspect of the world and underwater to see Humboldt penguins swim.

The zoo additionally gives enjoyable occasions, corresponding to Brew on the Zoo and Whiskey and Wildbites. You can too wander amongst 200 types of roses within the Rose Backyard. The vegetation are cultivated with out pesticides in order that they’ll share some with the gorillas and different animals.

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