Animal lovers are thrilled to discover that we have a world-class zoo in the United States. Nowhere else can you see some of Earth’s most exotic living things all in one place.
You’ll be amazed at how many places there are to visit, from the USA to Europe and beyond. Plus, you’ll find a range of zoos that both house these creatures and protect them, making conservation efforts a top priority.
1. San Diego Zoo | San Diego, CA
Founded in 1916, San Diego’s zoo is recognized across the country. One of their main attractions is the red panda where you can have fun learning about this endangered creature in an interactive experience called an ‘Inside Look.’
You also get to explore 450 acres of natural habitats, from savannah to northeast Canada, from a sky-rail tram. What’s more, they are working to preserve wildlife diversity and improve population sustainability in the wild.
2. Henry Doorly Zoo | Omaha, NE
The highlight of this marvel of modern architecture is the fact that it houses one of the largest geodesic domes in the world. The size alone is incredible. Inside, find meticulous recreations of the Southwest US Sonoran Desert, Southern Africa’s Namib Desert, and Australia’s Red Center Desert.
It’s 84,000 square feet boast desert plants, dunes, reptile species, bobcats and rattlesnakes! It also features a nocturnal exhibit centered around conservation biology called ‘Kingdoms of The Night’. From molecular genetics to conservation medicine to reproductive physiology – this gem has an amazing variety of exhibits with all-things animals.
3. Denver Zoo | Denver, CO
The Mile High City’s zoo is a must-visit. With unique fun and interactive experiences like llama encounters and performances, this Denver attraction offers something for everyone.
For the kids, ‘Bunk with the Beasts’ includes up-close-and-personal overnight stays with animals including pizza dinner, snacks and breakfast. For people who really want to get in the field of wildlife conservation, behind the scenes Field Conservation and Emergency Wildlife Response teams are working away to protect species from habitat loss, human encroachment, and more.
4. Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium | Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh Zoo is a 77-acre zoo and aquarium. It features over 4,000 animals, including 20 in endangered categories of animals. There are three main themes to the zoo/aquarium combo: Kid’s Kingdom with interactive exhibits, Asian Forest featuring species like snow leopards, Amur tigers and red pandas, and the Aquarium with two floors of tanks.
5. Dallas Zoological Park | Marsalis Park, TX
As one of the largest and oldest zoos in Texas, Dallas Zoo has more than 2,000 animals from 406 species. Its habitat includes the Chimpanzee Forest, Gorilla Research Center, Koala Walkabout and Giants of the Savannah exhibit. Plus there’s the Endangered Tiger Habitat, a two-acre area where visitors can observe Sumatran tigers and Malayan tigers.
6. Bronx Zoo | New York City, NY
If you’re in New York City and coming for a visit, there’s no better place to go than the Bronx Zoo. It’s filled with natural habitats—both indoors and outdoors—for all types of animals from beautiful snow leopards to adorable meerkats. Plus, its gorgeous butterfly garden is both mesmerizing and low-key, giving you the best of both worlds.
7. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden | Cincinnati, OH
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is a popular destination for families that provides visitors with incredible experiences and fun opportunities. It was founded in 1875 and has expanded from 66 acres to 75 today. With 1,896 animals from 500 species, it’s been able to successfully breed animals such as California sea lions, Malayan tigers, western lowland gorillas and Sumatran rhinoceros.
8. Brookfield Zoo | Brookfield, IL
Brookfield Zoo has a diverse collection of animals that’s reflective of the country. From mammals to birds and reptiles, there’s so much to see in one place. Hailing from three continents, excitement awaits as you enter the gate–the primates are stars here! The Tropical World exhibit is another must-see spot. Plus, don’t miss the Penguin Encounter room for some penguin cuddles. Brookfield does good by doing well, and directly supports conservation through educational programs and contributions to research initiatives worldwide.
9. Oakland Zoo | Oakland, CA
Brookfield Zoo features a diverse collection of tropical wildlife from around the world. The zoo’s state-of-the-art Tropical World exhibit is a wonder, bringing you closer than ever before to fascinating species of which primates are the stars.
From three continents, the group includes spider monkeys, tamarins, and gibbons; orangutans and lowland gorillas; and Humboldt penguins. Don’t leave without visiting the Penguin Encounter room, where you can interact with some adorable penguins. Conservation efforts include educational programs as well as dedicated initiatives and partnerships to support conservation research and programs around the world.
10. Alaska Zoo | Anchorage, AK
Oakland Zoo is an historic and popular attraction in the Northern California area. It’s home to more than 850 animal residents and recognized for its leadership in animal welfare and its 17,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital—the largest wild animal veterinary facility in northern California. In addition, it has interactive exhibits that children can enjoy along with play areas for them to learn about different animals, including ring-tailed lemurs, pot-bellied pigs, as well as lots of critters housed in the Bug Room.
Located in the heart of Alaska, Anchorage’s Loring Park zoo is like no other. With animals who have evolved to thrive in cold conditions and environments, including snow leopards, Canadian lynx, reindeer, and muskoxen, it provides a fun and immersive way to experience nature. You can participate in experiences with the park’s wolves or big cats, which allow you to clean and train alongside the zookeeper and get up-close experience with rare animals!