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Best Zoos in Florida: The Best Zoos in Florida for Wildlife Fans

Best Zoos In Florida: The Best Zoos In Florida For Wildlife Fans

Looking for the best zoos in Florida? You’re in the right place! This guide is going to give you all the information you need. With a diverse range of animals and a number of zoos, Florida offers unique experiences for everyone. From the endangered species at Zoo Miami to the fun-filled adventures at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, there’s something for everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Discover Diverse Wildlife: Florida’s zoos, like Zoo Miami and ZooTampa, offer close-up experiences with a wide range of animals, from farm animals to exotic species, in interactive exhibits and feeding stations.
  • Family Fun and Education: These zoos provide educational programs about wildlife conservation and habitats, alongside fun activities like playgrounds and animal encounters, making them great for visitors of all ages.
  • Conservation Efforts: Learn about the conservation work being done at places like ZooTampa, which is dedicated to protecting wildlife both locally and globally. These efforts are part of a broader mission of global conservation, encouraging visitors to learn about and participate in protecting threatened and endangered animals around the world.

Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is a fantastic destination for families! With over 2,000 animals from over 400 species, there’s something to fascinate every member of the family. From the smallest insect to the largest mammal, Zoo Miami offers a window into the diverse world of wildlife.

For the little ones, the Children’s Zoo offers a chance to get up close and personal with farm animals and even feed them! There are also several playgrounds throughout the zoo where kids can burn off some energy.

For the older kids and adults, the zoo offers a range of interactive exhibits that not only entertain but also educate about wildlife conservation. You can learn about endangered species like Bai Yun, one of the few remaining Northern White Rhinoceros females on Earth, and Mei Lan, one of fewer than 30 captive pandas born in North America over the past 40 years. Zoo Miami also educates visitors about native species and their importance to the ecosystem.

The zoo is designed in a way that visitors can get close to the animals through one-of-a-kind exhibits. It also offers feeding stations, where you can have the unique experience of feeding some of the animals. Zoo Miami replicates natural habitats to provide a more authentic environment for the animals and to promote species conservation.

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ZooTampa at Lowry Park

Next on our list is ZooTampa at Lowry Park, a must-visit destination for families in Tampa. This zoo is a winner of the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award and has been voted one of USA Today’s 10Best Zoos in the country. It offers unforgettable adventures for all ages in an amazing, lush tropical setting.

ZooTampa is home to a variety of animals from around the world. The zoo provides naturalistic habitats that offer up-close connections with animals, making it a truly immersive experience. From Africa to Asia and beyond, there is so much to explore! ZooTampa also educates visitors about native species, offering interactive experiences with animals like manatees and alligators, and activities that allow guests to get close to native birds, plants, and fish.

For the kids, there are plenty of interactive exhibits and animal encounters to enjoy. They can wade in the water with stingrays or get up-close to an amazing clouded leopard. These experiences are sure to create lasting memories!

ZooTampa is also deeply committed to wildlife conservation. They champion conservation efforts both locally and globally, and through their efforts, they aim to motivate everyone to join in taking action to protect and preserve wildlife.

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is another fantastic destination for families. It’s the largest zoo in Florida, with over 1,000 animals from over 150 species. The zoo spans over 100 acres of land, offering plenty of space for exploration.

The zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world, including elephants, lions, and giraffes. There are also several interactive exhibits where kids can learn about different species and their habitats.

One of the highlights of the zoo is the Range of the Jaguar exhibit, which has won several awards for its depiction of the animals’ natural habitats. The zoo also features a popular train ride that offers stunning views of the Trout River.

The zoo is open 365 days a year, making it a great place to visit no matter when you’re planning your trip. It’s located just outside of Jacksonville, offering free admission for Jacksonville residents.

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Brevard Zoo

Brevard Zoo is a family-friendly destination that’s sure to delight both kids and adults alike. Located in Melbourne, Florida, this zoo is home to giraffes, rhinos, big cats, and hundreds of colourful parrots. The zoo is internationally accredited and offers a variety of interactive experiences that are sure to create lasting memories.

One of the highlights of the zoo is the opportunity to feed giraffes and birds. Imagine the thrill of your kids as they get to feed these majestic creatures! There’s also a children’s water play area for those hot Florida days, and you can even go kayaking around animal habitats. Additionally, Brevard Zoo educates visitors about native species through various exhibits and interactive experiences.

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Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is more than just a walk-through zoo. This nationally accredited zoo and historic botanical garden offers a full day of fun activities for families.

The zoo is home to a variety of animals from around the world. You’ll find rarely-seen species like the giant anteater and Florida panther, as well as favourites such as lions, bears, cheetahs, and parrots. The zoo’s setting in a lush tropical garden allows visitors to enjoy beautiful scenery while observing a diverse range of wildlife.

For the kids, there are plenty of interactive exhibits and animal encounters to enjoy. They can get up close with some of their favourite animals and learn about different species and their habitats. The zoo also offers a train ride that takes you around the animal habitats, providing a unique perspective on the animals and their environments.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! The zoo also offers a variety of shows and presentations throughout the day. These informative and entertaining presentations provide an opportunity to learn more about the animals from the knowledgeable zoo staff. One of the highlights is the Safari Canyon, where guests can enjoy educational programs, reptile encounters, and informal Q&A sessions, making it an enriching experience for visitors.

In addition to its animal exhibits, the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is also known for its beautiful botanical gardens. The gardens feature a variety of tropical plants, providing a beautiful backdrop for your zoo trip.

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Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is a fantastic place for a family day out. Located in West Palm Beach, this 23-acre zoo is home to hundreds of animals, many of them endangered, within a lush tropical habitat.

The zoo offers a variety of interactive exhibits that kids will love. They can get up close with some of their favourite animals and learn about different species and their habitats. The zoo also hosts various events throughout the year, so be sure to check out their calendar for any special happenings during your visit.

One of the highlights for families is the chance to feed some of the animals. Imagine the excitement on your kids’ faces as they get to feed their favourite animals! This is just one of the many ways the zoo offers fun and educational experiences for families.

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Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

Address: 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771

Located in a protected natural wetland, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is a must-visit for wildlife fans. This 116-acre zoo and botanical garden, located north of Orlando in Sanford, is home to animals from around the world, including rhinos, giraffes, leopards, monkeys, and exotic birds.

The zoo also boasts the southeast’s largest collection of reptiles and an Insect Zoo. For a small fee, you can even feed the giraffes or go behind-the-scenes with the Indian rhinos.

One of the highlights of the Central Florida Zoo is its petting zoo, where visitors can interact with friendly animals in a safe and supervised environment.

The zoo also offers many educational opportunities and demonstrations, daily Keeper Chats and Shows, a Tropical Splash Playground, and the Little Florida Coastline Railroad and Animal Carousel.

With something for everyone, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens offers a unique wildlife experience when you’re in Florida.

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Final Word

Florida is a state that’s rich in wildlife and offers some of the best zoos in the country. Each zoo, from Zoo Miami to Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, offers unique experiences and a chance to learn about a variety of animals. Whether you’re a Florida resident or planning a visit, these zoos are worth checking out. They offer a great way to connect with wildlife and learn about conservation efforts.


What is the largest zoo in Florida?

The largest zoo in Florida is the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. It spans over 100 acres and is home to over 1,000 animals from over 150 species.

Which zoo is better, Zoo Miami or Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens?

Both Zoo Miami and Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens offer unique experiences and a wide variety of animals. Your choice would depend on your location and the specific animals or exhibits you’re interested in.

Are there any free zoos in Florida?

While most zoos in Florida charge an admission fee, some zoos offer free admission days throughout the year. It’s best to check the zoo’s official website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Which Florida zoo has the best animal encounters?

Many zoos in Florida offer amazing animal encounters. For instance, at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, you can feed giraffes, while at Brevard Zoo, you can feed birds and giraffes.

What kind of animals can I see at the zoos in Florida?

Florida zoos are home to a diverse range of animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, bears, giraffes, elephants, birds, reptiles, and more. Some zoos also house rare and endangered animals.

Are Florida zoos open all year round?

Yes, most zoos in Florida, including Zoo Miami, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, and ZooTampa at Lowry Park, are open 365 days a year.

Which zoo in Florida is best for kids?

All Florida zoos offer kid-friendly exhibits and activities, but Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens and ZooTampa at Lowry Park are particularly popular with families.

Do any zoos in Florida have aquariums?

Yes, some zoos in Florida also feature aquariums. For example, ZooTampa at Lowry Park has a large aquarium section.

What are the conservation efforts of zoos in Florida?

Florida zoos are involved in various conservation efforts. They participate in breeding programs for endangered species, educate the public about conservation, and support wildlife conservation projects around the world. These establishments also play a crucial role in global conservation by providing educational programs and effective measures to protect threatened and endangered animals. Visitors are encouraged to learn about global conservation and the wildlife wonders during their visit.

Holly Smith

I'm Holly a Mum of 4 with a love for everything Disney & Orlando!

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