Zoos are a wonderful place to get close to nature. Let your children be enthralled by animals of all sizes at the best zoos in the USA!
I fondly remember visiting the zoo each summer as a child. It felt like I had traveled to a faraway place where exotic animals lived and suddenly I was a part of their world. As a Tampa Bay resident, I can still smell the Gorilla exhibit at Busch Gardens, and the Lowry Park Zoo was one of my favorite places.
As an adult, the magic is still there and it’s even more exciting to see my family’s excitement when visiting the zoo. Just last year, I was taken back to the excitement of childhood when we all had the opportunity to feed a giraffe.
If you are ready to take a walk on the wild side then grab your family and head to one of the 10 best zoos in the USA.
The Best Zoos in the Western USA:
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is home to more than 3,700 animals living on 100 acres. It is one of the few zoos to breed Giant Panda Bears. It has won numerous awards and was recently voted #1 Zoo in the world.
*Family Friendly Tip: Want to visit the zoo from home? Check out the Animal Cams –
Polar Bear – Panda Bear – Penguins
Woodland Park Zoo
The Woodland Park Zoo in Washington is the perfect place to teach your child not only about animals but animal conservation. During your visit, you’ll learn how the zoo is helping preserve endangered species for the future and how you can get involved as well.
The Best Zoos in the Midwestern USA:
St. Louis Zoo
One of the best things about the St. Louis Zoo is that it’s free. The zoo is broken down into 6 zones that make it easy to navigate and plan your visit.
The Cincinnati Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the US. Plan to visit in December during the Festival of Lights to see the animals shine with over 3 million Christmas lights.
The Detroit Zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals on 125 acres of beautiful and interactive exhibits. One of the zoos most exciting exhibits is the Polk Penguin Conservation Center where visitors can see more than 75 penguins in a beautiful habitat.
Henry Doorly Zoo
The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha Nebraska is home to North America’s largest Indoor Rainforest. While exploring Lied Jungle you’ll feel as if you are visiting the animals in their own home.
Children of all ages will love the Columbus Zoo for its rides, including a Dinosaur ride that brings more than 20 animatronic dinosaurs to life! The Columbus Zoo also hosts concerts throughout the year so check out their schedule before you go!
The Best Zoos in the Eastern USA:
If you love the city then the Bronx Zoo is for you! It’s the largest city zoo in the US. Children will love meeting the animals at the petting zoo and everyone will enjoy meeting our closest animal relatives in the Congo Gorilla Forest.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, SC is on this list because it is a true joy to visit. The zoo is designed to get your family close to the animals. You’ll enjoy feeding giraffes and birds, and you’ll love walking through the kangaroo enclosure. Riverbanks is also semi-unique in that you get admission to the gardens on site as well.
Philadelphia Zoo earns a place on this list because it is the oldest zoo in the US. During your visit, you’ll have multiple opportunities to not only see the animals but learn about them from a Zookeeper.
The magic of Disney combined with the majesty of the animal kingdom combine to bring a truly wonderful experience. The Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida is home to rides, shows, restaurants, and many unique animals.
From the East Coast to the West the US is full of zoos of all sizes just waiting to delight families with an incredible opportunity to visit wildlife in their own environment without traveling far from home. Which of one of the 11 best zoos in the USA for families will you visit next?