Best Zoos by State 2022

Nebraska

One of the largest and best zoos is found in Omaha, Nebraska. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a popular tourist destination, which is sought after by everyone in the nation, and attracts many international guests as well. This zoo is extremely popular as it is more of a conservation area, where much of the zoo's work is towards the care and careful attention to endangered animals and rare species. There are more than 17,000 animals held in this zoo, and visitors are able to see over 900 species when they are on exhibit. The Desert Dome is one of the most popular places to visit, as guests are treated to the world's largest indoor desert - making it easy and fun to learn about arid ecosystems for the entire family.

The Aquarium also holds the world's largest nocturnal exhibits, with various ecosystems found within, from swamps to lush forests. The Henry Doorly Zoo features the Children's Adventure trails exhibit where sleeping bag safaris are one of the main attractions, keeping you comfy and cozy while spending a night at the zoo.

California

A slightly smaller, but not any less impressive, zoo is the world-famous San Diego Zoo. This 100-acre paradise is well known for many endangered species, including the 3 giant pandas that are available in certain conditions for the exhibit. They are so popular that the zoo has created an entire program called the Panda Trek, which allows visitors to see them all up close and personal. After 20 years in the San Diego zoo, it was announced that the giant pandas had to return home, as they were on loan from China. Fortunately, the San Diego Zoo has many adorable red pandas which are located in the Asian habitat zone.

The San Diego zoo goes above and beyond being a tourist attraction. The zoo pioneered the incredible concept of cageless and open-air exhibits which recreate natural animal habitats. This is the very philosophy that awarded them the endangered giant panda exhibit in the first place, where they were able to successfully breed the pair. This was extremely necessary, as giant pandas are close to extinction and must be carefully protected.

Illinois

The Brookfield Zoo in Chicago is a large 216-acre zoo that makes up one of the largest of the 5 zoos in Chicago. It is well known for being home to the first multi-species exhibit called the Tropic World, which houses many animals from three different continents. The difference? It's all indoors! This makes it extremely simple to plan exhibits and activities, as it is not dependent on weather and climate conditions. It also lets the zookeepers keep a more consistent schedule, which proves useful for more endangered animals. In the Tropic World, the most famous species are the spider monkeys, gorillas, and the endangered snow leopards.

The zoo is also famous for its local experiences, such as the Animal Interactions area. This allows guests to have a more "petting-zoo" style experience, where you are able to feed goats, reindeer, and alpacas.

Best Zoos by State 2022