One of the best things to do while you’re exploring a new city, or maybe even your own city, is to visit a zoo or aquarium. Not only are they fun and fascinating, but zoos and aquariums play an important role in conservation education and animal care. By seeing this and learning about different species, you might even reconsider your role in environmental problems and conservation action. By supporting a zoo or aquarium, while you’re having fun, you’re still helping solve a problem and help conservation efforts. If not, then hey, you’ll still have a lot of fun and maybe even have a slightly stronger connection to nature!
According to the U.S. Travel Guide, the top ten zoos are:
#10 – Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana
#9 – Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
#8 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando Florida
#7 – Cincinnati Zoo in Cincinnati, Ohio
#6 – Houston Zoo in Houston, Texas
#5 – Fort Worth Zoo in Fort Worth, Texas
#4 – Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona
#3 – Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach, Florida
#2 – San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California
#1 – Columbus Zoo in Columbus, Ohio
For further information and photos of each, click here. If you are really looking for adorable baby animals in U.S. zoos, click here. The giraffes! The baby cheetahs! Ugh…I can’t even. So cute. I have been to the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans and can say that even though I went when I was younger, it definitely left an impact because it was amazing. Not only is Louisiana very wild, their zoo is within a great setting!
As for aquariums, the Travel Channel listed these as their top ten.
#10- Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, TX
#9- Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, TN
#8- North Carolina Aquarium in Fort Fisher, NC
#7- Baltimore National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD
#6- Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, OR
#5- Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA
#4- New England Aquarium in Boston, MA
#3-Florida Aquarium in Tampa, FL
#2-John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL
#1- Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA
For more photos and additional information on each, click here. I have been to the Georgia Aquarium before and it’s SO much fun. My hands down favorite exhibit would be seeing the penguins…they are adorable!
Anyways, as one of my main goals is to promote tourism and local things, I’ll add my hometown’s zoo, the Utica Zoo. It’s not as large or fabulous as these, but it’s small and still a lot of fun. Not only can you visit the wildlife, but there are nature trails to walk on, and many events during the spring, summer, and fall such as food and wine tastings, the Utica Brewfest, which is a local beer tasting event, or the Halloween Spooktacular, where you can dress up, trick or treat, and go through the haunted house within the zoo!
Have you ever been to any of these zoos or aquariums I have listed? What are your favorites or least favorites? Would you add one that is not on those lists? What’s your local zoo or aquarium like? I want to know!
Well, go ahead, travelers, release your inner wild being in one of these conservations!