Best Zoos and Aquariums to Visit
Travel to One of the Top Zoos or AquariumsDuring the summer, we often use any excuse that we can to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. This month, you have the perfect excuse – it’s National Zoo and Aquarium Month! There are dozens of zoos and aquariums all over the U.S. that offer the chance to see some of the most unique animals from across the world. In fact, many of the most well-known zoos and aquariums across the country are located in perfect summer destination spots. Check out this list of the best zoos and aquariums and plan a fun summer trip with help from The Parking Spot: San Diego Zoo, California Maybe the most famous zoo in the country, the San Diego Zoo offers endless amounts of unique animals from across the world and is located in beautiful southern California. Home to more than 3,700 animals, including three giant pandas, warthogs, lions, elephants, giraffes and more, the San Diego Zoo’s 100 acres are packed with fun and adventure. The zoo also owns the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is a short drive away. Georgia Aquarium Bigger isn’t always better, but in Georgia Aquarium’s case, it is. Not only is the Georgia Aquarium one of the largest aquariums in the world with more than 500,000 square feet of exhibits, but the wildlife it’s home to sets it apart as well. Outside of warm, tropical ocean water, the only other place that you can find whale sharks is in the Georgia Aquarium. You’ll also be able to see beluga whales, African penguins, sea otters and many other species. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the new “Dolphin Tales” exhibit, which is a theatrical dolphin show. St. Louis Zoo, Missouri In addition to more than 20,000 animals, 650 species, a Ferris wheel and train, one of the best things about the St. Louis Zoo is that admission is free! Asian elephants, Chinese Alligators, snow leopards, lemurs, penguins, Amur tigers, polar bears, Red Kangaroos and more all call St. Louis Zoo home. There is even a 35-foot underwater tunnel that you can walk through under eleven actual sea lions in their ‘Sea Lion Sound’ home. Shedd Aquarium, Illinois Opened in 1930, the Shedd Aquarium was the first inland aquarium to serve as the permanent home to saltwater species. The aquarium features belugas, dolphins, anacondas, piranhas, sharks, California sea lions and more. Children even have the chance to dress as penguins and go in the Polar Play Zone in a small submarine. The Shedd Aquarium has more than 2 million visitors a year and is home to more than 8,000 marine animals. Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C. Located in our nation’s capital, this zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals from 400 species, and is only 20 minutes away from the National Mall. It is one of only four zoos in the country with giant pandas and also features elephants, red pandas, lemurs, gorillas and more. National Aquarium, Maryland As one of the most hands-on aquariums in the country, there are multiple opportunities to get up close to marine life at the National Aquarium in Maryland. Not only is the aquarium home to more than 16,000 marine animals, but it is also home to land animals such as two-toed sloths. You’ll also get to see dolphin shows, sharks, fish and many other species as well.