Florida, USA is without a doubt one of the best vacation destinations, perfectly situated near the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. Florida has hundreds of miles of beaches and a beautiful coastline where you’ll find luxury resorts and hotels with childcare. Travel with family and explore Florida’s various attractions such as zoos, national parks, amusement parks, water parks, and aquamarine habitats, just to mention a few. Get to learn about Florida’s history, culture, and cuisine as well. Florida has several zoos that protect a rare combination of indigenous birds and endangered wild animal species. This article shares some of the best zoos in Florida, USA, for you to explore. Keep reading to find out more.
What is one of the things Florida is known for? That’s right - alligators. One of the places to visit when if you want to see these reptiles up close is Gatorland in Orlando. The theme park and wildlife preserve is home to thousands and thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and other animals. Some of the attractions inside the park are the zip line ride, which goes across various alligator pools, a petting zoo, a mini-railroad, and many more. Gatorland also rescues alligators from trappers.
Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837, United States
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
2. Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Can’t get enough of animals? Disney has its own zoological park in Bay Lake, Florida. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is unique in that while it is a traditional amusement park, there are also different species of live animals housed here. The park is engineered in a way that prioritizes the welfare of these animals. Kids (and kids-at-heart!) will enjoy a trip to this amazing attraction, especially when they see the themed areas like Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, and Asia.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy, Bay Lake, FL 34747, United States
Website: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Opening hours: Mon: 8am - 6pm; Tue: 8am - 5pm; Wed - Sun: 8am - 7pm
3. Lion Country Safari, Loxahatchee
Lion Country Safari is an animal lover’s paradise located in Palm Beach County. Experience the drive-through safari park where you will encounter a wide variety of wild animals like lions, different types of antelopes, gorillas, giraffes, and others in a safe natural environment. Take the walk-through too, and experience the thousands of exotic birds, a variety of reptilian species like the iguana and alligator among the varied species in the park. Lion Country Safari is the ultimate cageless zoo experience. Enjoy various attractions with private exclusive animal encounters like the “Giraffe Painting ’‘experience, ’'Flamingo mingle” experience,“ and "Birds and brushes” experience, among others. Embarking on an adventure with Lion Country Safari is just as thrilling as swimming with sharks, and it promises an unforgettable day where you get to learn and enjoy the company of various animal species as you reconnect with nature.
Lion Country Safari
Address:2003 Lion Country Safari Rd, Loxahatchee, FL 33470, United States
Website: Lion Country Safari
Opening hours: 9:30am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: 28 USD + taxes (child); 33 USD + taxes (adults); prices include admission to both drive-through safari and adventure park
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The state’s eccentric weather allows Zoo Miami, the continental United States’ sole sub-tropical zoo and one of the biggest zoos in Florida, to keep a wide range of endangered animal species from Africa, Australia, and Asia. A visit here is one of the best things to do in Florida. Zoo Miami’s open-air shows recreate the animal’s natural domain, allowing you to enjoy various, beautiful, animal species, and wildlife at a safe yet close distance. Zoo Miami is the largest zoological park in Florida and is also known as Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens. Experience a two hours’ guided tour and also get hands-on interaction with various animals like lions, tigers, jaguars, primates, sloths, and much more.
Zoo Miami Admission Ticket with Monorail Option
Duration: 4 to 6 hours
5. Brevard Zoo, Melbourne
Brevard Zoo located in Melbourne, Florida, is home to varied species of animals from Florida, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Brevard Zoo practices a strong animal and environmental conservation policy. This is an adventure-filled, unique, and well-planned zoo with modern standards in a tropical natural setting. Take your zoo visit to the next level with daily adventures like giraffe feedings, lorikeet and cockatiel feedings, kayaking tours, train rides, aerial adventures, among other incredible experiences. Don’t forget the educational program that will help you learn more about nature’s fascinating creatures and develop a better understanding of them.
Address: 8225 N Wickham Rd, Melbourne, FL 32940, United States
Website: Brevard Zoo
Opening hours: 9:30am - 5pm
Price: Adults: 24.95 USD; Seniors: 22.95 USD; Children (ages 3 - 11): 15.95 USD; Children under 3: Free
6. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida, offers a jaw-dropping experience of wildlife from all around the world. There are plenty of animals for the wildlife enthusiast to take in. For lovers of plant life, enjoy leisurely strolls in the six themed gardens–among them are the Asian Bamboo Garden, or the Savanna Blooms Garden boasting many African plants. All the gardens feature a wide range of exotic plant species. Animal attractions at the zoo are no less fascinating. Sample the Australian Adventure exhibit, featuring many South Pacific wildlife species such as the emu and the wallaby. Or try The African loop and the African Forest that sports the African elephant, lions, zebra, storks, white rhino, free-roaming giraffes, antelopes, and great apes. The Asia Loop offers Tigers and other Asian animals. Get to visit Stingray Bay where you can feed stingrays, or Wild Florida that’s full of the local animal species. Visit the popular play park and splash grounds where you can cool off after a day in the Florida heat.
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Address: 370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218, United States
Website: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: Adults: 24.95 USD; Child 3 -12: 19.95 USD; Infants 2 years and younger: Free
ZooTampa at Lowry Park is known to be the best family-friendly zoo in the US and is also recognized by the state of Florida as the center for Florida wildlife conservation and biodiversity. The zoo is a non-profit facility located in Tampa, Florida. The zoo boasts a remarkable variety of animal and birdlife. It hosts special events all year round such as the monthly Toddler’s Tuesday and Fitness in Park events. The animal population features several endangered species from around the world, among them, the pygmy hippo, the Florida panther, the southern white rhino, and the Bornean orangutan. There are a lot of fun attractions for kids like children’s rides, “Flying Bananas”, the kiddie train ride, and a mini roller coaster. Visit the ZooTampa aviary where there are many types of colorful birds in their element.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park Admission Ticket
Duration: 3 to 7 hours
8. Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens, Sanford
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens promises a fun-filled day up close with nature. Located in Sanford, north of Orlando, the zoo lets you explore various animal species and try exciting adventure courses. There are tropical splash pads, beautiful botanical gardens for close encounters with butterflies, and a diverse range of insect life. The zoo’s intimate setting allows close and personal interaction with a wide range of large and small wild animals including mammals, amphibians, birds and, reptiles from around the world. You will see the giraffes, cheetah, Florida panthers, Florida black bears, and bald eagles among many others. Plant lovers will enjoy the botanical gardens with a wide variety of trees, ferns, spines, thorns, and prickles. Join in animal feeding or try special educational and physical events like zip-lining among the trees.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Address: 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771, United States
Opening hours: 9am - 3pm (daily)
Price: Adults: 19.50 USD; Children (ages 3 - 12): 13.75 USD; Seniors (ages 55 and above): 15.95 USD; Children (under 2 years): Free
9. Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is located at Dreher Park in West Palm Beach. This popular zoo in Florida places the conservation of animals at the core of its philosophy. Visit the zoo’s tropical habitat that is home to a variety of various endangered species of wildlife. This non-profit organization provides protection and animal care for various endangered wildlife species. Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society showcases a wide selection of island animals from all around the world. Here you will find animals from Asia, the tropical Americas, and of course, from Florida’s wetlands. See animals like Malayan tigers, panthers, jaguars, monkeys, among others, all living in a uniquely tropical natural habitat. Explore the zoo’s water play fountains, shady paths, wildlife carousel, nature play pavilion, and other various attractions.
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
Address: 1301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33405, United States
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: From 18.95 USD
10. Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is located in Naples on the southwest coast of Florida. Savor the zoo’s centerpiece attraction, Lake Victoria, and its many islands teeming with mostly endangered primates and abundant aquatic species. The Primate Expedition Cruise will take you on a tour where you get to experience them up close. This Florida zoo and aquarium features expansive mature botanical gardens that host plentiful exotic birdlife, reptilians, and animals like reticulated giraffes, Madagascar fossas, Florida panthers, African lions, black bears, tigers, jaguars, and many others. Take the mile-long walk through the gardens as you experience the animals at close range. The zoo promises a fun-filled day out for the whole family.
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Address: 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples, FL 34102, United States
Website: Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
Opening hours: 9am - 4:30pm (daily)
Price: Adults (ages 13 and up): 22.95 USD; Children (ages 3 - 12): 14.95 USD; Children ages 2 and under: Free
11. Gulf Breeze Zoo
Gulf Breeze Zoo is home to hundreds of non-native animals like hippos, rhinos, western lowland gorillas, and orangutans that you can view during an African preserve train ride. Other activities include hand feeding of animals like giraffes and others. Make unforgettable memories at Gulf Breeze Zoo, which is also the area’s largest wildlife attraction. Visit and explore the zoo for daytime fun for the whole family.
Gulf Breeze Zoo
Address: 5701 Gulf Breeze Pkwy, Gulf Breeze, FL 32563, United States
Website: Gulf Breeze Zoo
Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)
Price: 18.95 USD
12. Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Jungle Gardens is a tourist attraction located in Sarasota, Florida. The zoo is home to various, endangered animal species, indigenous birds, and horticultural plants. Enjoy the zoo’s beautiful jungle gardens with free-roaming flamingos and an alligator pool, among other attractions. A thrilling and memorable adventure awaits your visit to Sarasota Jungle Gardens. It is one of the oldest operating attractions in Florida.
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Address: 3701 Bay Shore Rd, Sarasota, FL 34234, United States
Website: Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Opening hours: Wed - Sun: 10am - 3:30pm (closed on Mon & Tue)
Price: Adults :17.99 USD; Children: 12.99 USD; Seniors: 16.99 USD
Explore the best zoos in Florida
Florida is the best vacation destination marked by the seaside atmosphere and a beautiful coastline offering amazing surf spots. Besides being home to fun water parks and theme parks, this sunny state also has many animal attractions worth visiting. Use the list above to find and explore some of the best zoos in Florida.
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