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Zooman March 2015 USA Southern States tour

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by zooman, 13 Feb 2015.

  1. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hello, it's time for a zoo tour :)

    Its time again for the USA. I will be arriving in Miami and collecting a hire a car and driving for 3 weeks.

    Most of the zoo's I have never visited and I am curious to know if I am missing any zoo's that have either interesting primate exhibits or are a zoo that is simply to good not to visit as it's within a couple of hours of my planed itinerary below.

    FYI I did visit the the USA in 2012 and see the great zoo's of Ohio, Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Illinois.

    All assistance appreciated and if any fellow zoochatters would like to catch up that would be great :)

    New zoo**

    Miami**

    30 min
    Miami Jungle Island**

    1hr 30
    Naples Zoo**

    2.5hr
    Buch Gardens Tampa(1990)
    Lowry Park Zoo

    6hr 30 min
    AtlantaGeorgia Aquarium**

    2hr 15 min
    Birmingham **

    3hr 45 min
    Memphis**

    3hr 10 min
    Nashville**

    Chattanooga Zoo, Aquarium ^^^ potential

    2hr 45 min
    Louisville**

    3hr 30 min
    Knoxville**

    4hr 30 min
    North Carolina**

    6hr
    Jacksonville**

    2hr 25min
    DAK**

    Brevard Zoo

    Miami
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2015
  2. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    The planned route of the tour.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

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    Is there any other reason for your trip or do you just need a zoo fix? Either way, it looks like a nice selection.

    Also, it goes to show how poor my knowledge of the United States is. Anything that's not on the coast just becomes a bit of a blur. Whenever I see flights on sale in catalogues or on tv I like to do a quick run through of the zoos I could visit from the destination but I would have been way off with these.
     
  4. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Pat,
    It is a round world trip, stoping in Europe for some family stuff on the way. Will also be going to Ramat Gan Safari park, can't wait to see the hippos :))
    USA part is a zoo fix :)
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2015
  5. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    Looks amazing, was it a straight choice between the Georgia aquarium and the Atlanta zoo?
     
  6. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kiang,
    I have visited Atlanta zoo a couple of times and unless there have been significant new enclosures in the past 5 years, I don't think it warrants another visit.
     
  7. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    Interesting road trip that include zoos
     
  8. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You have an excellent itinerary with 14 stops and I'm excited for you. Other than Monkey Jungle I've been to all of the zoos in the past few years and there isn't much else to recommend as I know that you toured a number of great American zoos in 2012. One suggestion would be to perhaps drive to Chattanooga, either early in the trip when you are in Birmingham or later in the trip when you are in Knoxville. My reasoning is that you will already be so close and Tennessee Aquarium is one of North America's 5 best aquariums and Chattanooga Zoo (while not hugely impressive) is just down the road. It depends on how long you want your days to be and whether or not you'd substitute Tennessee Aquarium/Chattanooga Zoo for either Birmingham Zoo or Knoxville Zoo.
     
  9. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    I was just at the Miami Zoo a couple weeks ago. Very good zoo, but be prepared for a lot of walking. Their monorail is out of commission, presumably while they finish their new entrance and Everglades exhibit.

    Give yourself a lot of time to go through the Amazon and Beyond exhibit - very dense with lots of exhibits and a rather confusing layout and the massive Wings of the World Aviary (Asian birds with a veritable natural history museum on bird natural history and evolution at its front entrance). You could probably spend most of a day at this zoo if you want to see everything.
     
    Last edited: 14 Feb 2015
  10. Meilimonkey

    Meilimonkey Well-Known Member

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    You should stop by the Brevard Zoo they have Red Wolves. Although you probably have experience with them. Nevertheless its a great small zoo located in Melbourne, Florida and is relatively cheap, and only take a few hours to see.
     
  11. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Not new enclosures (although when is the new Reptile House opening?) but I was suprised to find Geoffroy's Tamarins there in 2013 - I presume they're still there. Also saw my first Wolf's Guenons there so it has a primate-y place in my memories.
     
  12. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Zooman already has Red Wolf opportunities at Lowry Park and Jacksonville. ;)

    That said, Brevard is very good and right by the main road, so worth considering. I got two new mammals there as well - Common Grey Fox and Perdido Key Beach Mouse - and it's always nice to see species like Baird's Tapir, Nine-banded Armadillo, Grey Short-tailed Opossum and Klipspringer (and, indeed, Red Wolves :D ).
     
  13. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    *flashbacks*

    No, it's fine. You'll be fine.

    The queue won't take two hours, the car will be where you were told it was and will be the one you expected, there won't be roadworks on all the roads out of the airport rendering your satnav useless as you try to extricate yourself from a busy airport in an unfamiliar city without the aid of a gear stick and you won't get sworn at by some angry idiot who finds it odd that anyone wouldn't be going at 60mph on narrow, curving lanes through roadworks when driving a hire car.

    It'll all be fine.

    Luckily Zoo Miami is excellent. I went twice.




    (seriously, it'll be fine - once you're away from the airport!)
     
  14. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a very nice trip and I hope you will keep us informed about your findings !
     
  15. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a brilliant plan, have fun! :)
     
  16. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Excellent plan. Three of my favorite zoos in the entire country (probably in my top ten) are on your list: Memphis, Nashville, Miami.

    Miami airport (I was there last summer) has a dedicated car rental facility that is the best I have seen anywhere in the states. (BTW we call it car rental over here, not car hire). It is like a second airport terminal, very large and enclosed with all rental counters in one location and open 24 hours a day.

    However, Miami and other parts of Florida have something that as an Arizonan I find offensive: toll roads. (There is not one single toll road of any kind anywhere within the borders of Arizona or New Mexico). So I used a map with the toll roads highlighted to plan my route to avoid them. The alternative is to pay extra at the car rental counter for a toll tag which will allow you to travel on the toll freeways. Since you are traveling throughout Florida this is likely the better option.
     
  17. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi AZ,
    Thank you for your insights, do you think I will get a better car rental deal prior to arrival as I am thinking of playing them off a giants each other and trying for a great deal as it's a 21 day rental.

    We have Toll rds in Melbourne, my partner and I call it middle class travel because of it's high cost!
     
  18. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Hi SL, I was looking forward to your thoughts :)
    Definitely up for some long days = more zoos!
    Aquariums are not really my thing however I am looking to add more zoos, 14 seriously does not seem enough in 21 days. So I will see how my schedule is going and may well add the Aquarium/Chattanooga Zoo as I don't want to cut any zoos.

    Am I missing anything in Florida? I will now be adding Brevard/Melbourne Zoo.
     
  19. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Thank you David will definitely keep these points in mind, I am thinking I may stay in Miami a few days at the end of my trip if I have some days left over.

    I may also be coming to LA zoo on my way home, I will let you know when I have a more fixed plan for my final few days as it would be great to catch up as I always enjoy your reviews.
     
  20. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member

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    Thank you have added this zoo to my itinerary much appreciated.