A List of 5 Best Zoos in North Carolina (2024)
There is nothing more therapeutic than taking a trip to the Zoo with family. No matter what age you are or what interest you possess, there’s something about exploring the wild side of North Carolina. Zoo trips in this eastern United States region mean exposure to outdoor scenery, exercise, family fun, fresh air, beautiful natural visions, and of course, the thunderous animal encounter. Even though when the Zoo tours and trips within North Carolina are marked as safe, there’s something unique that triggers your adventurous sight every time you encounter an animal (even if it is a harmless one).
Choosing which Zoo to explore in North Carolina isn’t hard work. Why? Because despite how vast its outdoor forested landscape is, North Carolina is home to only 11 Zoos across the state. They may include some of the world’s largest zoos, ones with wholesome and enlightening experiences, and more. Though luckily, North Carolina has many animal conservation areas and preservation centers that offer an up-close and personal encounter with the Fauna of the state. So, are you ready to find them? Before you venture out, here are some of our top recommendations to check out.
A List of 5 Best Zoos in North Carolina
We hope these Popular Zoo Facilities in North Carolina will make up your day. Have a look:
1. North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro
The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro is a destination where nature and its entities are celebrated. Home to 1800 animals and 250 animal species, North Carolina Zoo is spread across 500 acres of developed land, being the largest habitat zoo in the world. The Zoo primarily represents the Fauna of North America and Africa, including a range of animals, including African elephants, Gorillas, Lions, Rhinos, Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, Sea lions, and many others. In addition, the North Carolina zoo presents several one-of-a-kind attractions and exhibits throughout its stretch. It operates throughout the year (Except on Thanksgiving and Christmas) and hosts about a million visitors every single year.
Not only a destination for observing animals but North Carolina Zoo also host adventure opportunities, including the Air Hike Ropes Course for obstacle courses and Acacia Station Giraffe Deck for engaging eye-to-eye with giraffes.
2. Duke Lemur Center in Durham
The Duke Lemur Center is a facility that study, care and protects the most endangered mammal on earth, “Lemur.” It is basically 85 acres of sanctuary inside the Duke University campus in Durham, operating since 1966. It is the largest sanctuary for strepsirrhine primates in the world and is home to more than 200 animals across 14 species. A visit here will introduce you to the most diverse population of lemurs outside their native Madagascar. The lemurs you will spot here include crown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, aye-aye, black and white ruffed lemur, collared lemur, blue-eyed black lemur, etc. For an up close and personal experience, make sure to book an onsite tour online. Walk-in visitors aren’t welcome, considering the health and safety of these endangered primates.
Visitors can even be a part of the center’s Adopt a Lemur program and support the care and conservation of these animals financially.
3. Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro
A Science Museum, an Aquarium, and a Zoological Park, the Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro is a popular place to visit when in North Carolina. This multi-faceted organization is home to a range of animal species and a range of exciting adventure opportunities. For instance, the Zoo Trek allows visitors to get up close and personal with the tortoise, okapi, flamingos, cassowaries, meerkats, prehensile-tailed porcupines, and other animals. Simultaneously, the Aquarium Adventure allows participants to go behind the scenes and discover a world-class underwater adventure. From feeding seahorses and a cownose stingray to observing sharks from close, it is something you wouldn’t want to miss. The Omnisphere Show and Penguin Encounters, too, are worth experiencing.
When in Greensboro Science Center, do visit their Museum facility as well. This excursion will include going through Prehistoric Passages and visiting touch labs. The facility operates throughout the year from 9 am to 5 pm.
4. Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron
One of the must-visit Zoos in North Carolina, the Aloha Safari Zoo, is located in Cameron. The Zoo behaves as a sanctuary for 400 mistreated, injured, rescued, and unwanted animals and focuses on providing them with a safe and loving environment. The animals who are living here include Tigers, White Peacocks, Ostriches, Zebras, giraffes, Camels, and more. In addition, Aloha Safari Zoo operates Safari tours where individuals can explore the southern section of the Zoo. The tour will include a knowledgeable guide who will help participants learn about animals, their life, their behavior, how and from where they were rescued, and much more.
For adding more excitement to the day, consider checking out their Reptile Room and viewing some exotic reptiles. Giraffe House and Goat and Pig Field are other exciting attractions to check out within the Zoo. The animals at Aloha Safari Zoo have been rescued from bad environments; therefore, ensure you behave cautiously and lovingly while interacting with them.
5. Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck
Located at 500 Sylvan Heights Park Way in Scotland Neck, the Sylvan Heights Bird Park is another must-visit animal center in North Carolina. But, especially if you are someone who is an enthusiast about avians, you can miss this park. Sylvan Heights Bird Park, unlike other zoos, isn’t home to a range of animals but a broad spectrum of birds from all over the world. Its 18 acres of range is home to more than 2,000 birds from 200 different species from South America, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. The park, with its tranquil gardens and lush natural areas, allows birds to live in their natural habitat-like setting and allow visitors to immerse themselves in the native North Carolina wildlife habitat. A visit here will allow you to meet avians, including flamingos, parrots, toucans, cranes, toucans, waterfowls, and more.
The park operates from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, during summer and spring. Whereas in the fall and winter seasons, it closes at 4:00 pm, one hour early. The facility also operates different educational programs that educate participants about waterfowl, wetlands, and environmental science.