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The Top 10 Best Zoos in the U.S.

May 24th, 2013 - 10:33 AM
Do you love the zoo, too?

When I was a kid, I used to love going to the zoo—to the point that I actually tried to talk my parents into moving close by. To this day, I still love going (my husband I just visited the Tulsa Zoo this month!) I have a feeling I’m not alone. If you’re moving this summer and plan to take a road trip along the way, maybe one of these awesome places will be en route to your new destination!  

America’s Best Zoos

San Diego Zoo. This zoo has more than 3,700 animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies! It’s BIG! Located in Balboa Park, you can view the zoo on foot, by a guided tour bus, or an overhead gondola lift. The San Diego Zoo promotes “cageless” exhibits, allowing you to see what the animals are like in an open-area. Cost: $44 Adult, $34 Child (age 3-11)

St. Louis Zoo.
You’ll enjoy watching more than 19,000 wild animals spread across 90 acres in Forest Park. More than 3 million people visit the park each year, and the best part is that you can visit for free! In fact, it’s one on the few free zoos in the U.S. today. The St. Louis Zoo is well known for its animal research and conservation efforts, and puts a big emphasis on protecting its more than 600 species of animals, many of them endangered. Cost: Free

Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.
Who would have thought that Omaha, NE would have one of the best zoos in the US? The Henry Doorly Zoo knows what the word “large” means. You’ll find the largest cat complex in North America, the largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp, as well as one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, and the world’s largest indoor desert. Cost: $15 Adult, $10 Child (age 3-11)

Memphis Zoo.
Home to more than 3,500 animals representing more than 500 different species, there’s plenty to see at the Memphis Zoo. Did you know that the zoo is only one of four zoos in the U.S. to exhibit giant pandas? The zoo was also home to the world’s long living hippopotamus, which died at the age of 54 in 1965. Today, the zoo claims to be the “hippo capital of the world.” Cost: $15 Adult, $10 Child (age 2-11)

Phoenix Zoo. As the largest non-profit zoo in the U.S., you’ll appreciate more than 1,300 animals and 2.5 miles of walking trails. In fact, the Phoenix Zoo is divided into four themed trails: The Arizona Trail, The Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail, and the Children’s Trail (which includes a petting zoo!). There is also a sanctuary at the zoo to care for animals that are unwanted or endangered. Cost:$20 Adult, $10 Child (age 3-12)

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Ranked number one best zoo in 2012 by Besties Readers Choice, you will enjoy more than 9,000 animals representing more than 700 species. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium gets more than 2.3 visitors each year! And with an outstanding conservation program, the zoo has donated $3.3 million to more than 70 projects in 30 countries over the last five years. Cost: $14.99, $9.99 Child (age 2-9)

Bronx Zoo. As one of the world’s largest metropolitan zoos, the Bronx Zoo doesn’t fall short of amazing. With more than 4,000 animals representing 650 species, you’ll enjoy escaping the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple to see these animals in naturalistic surroundings. In fact, the Bronx River flows right through the Bronx Park, where the zoo is located. Cost: $33.95 Adult, $23.95 Child (age 3-12) for May 25-November 3

Audubon Zoo. Located in New Orleans, LA, the Audubon Zoo covers 58 acres and includes more than 2,000 animals.  When you visit, be sure to see Jean and Panya, two female Asian elephants. They are the “stars” of the zoo. You’ll also want to see the Komodo dragon and King Zulu, a beautiful white tiger. Don’t miss the Louisiana swamp exhibit, either, to see alligators up close and personal. Cost: $44.50 Adult, $31.50 Child (age 2-12) for the Audubon Experience Package

Philadelphia Zoo. As the very first zoo in the United States, the Philadelphia Zoo is one you should definitely see in your lifetime. It opened with 813 animals, and today, it is home to more than 1,300 animals. The zoo is one of the leading zoos in the world for breeding animals that have difficulty breeding at a zoo. Kids and adults alike will enjoy the interactive and educational exhibits.  Cost: $20 Adult, $18 Child (age 2-11)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Divided into 7 themed areas, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is not your average zoo. In fact, it’s the largest animal-themed park in the world. There are more than 1,700 animals across 250 species that fill the 500 acre kingdom. You can even take a safari tour to see African wildlife like the zebra, giraffe, gazelle, and flamingo! Cost: a 4-Day pass is $64/day for an Adult and $59.75/day for a Child

What zoo do you consider the best?

We would love to hear your thoughts, and they might be helpful for other U-Pack customers! Leave a comment below.
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