Join our zoo community

Zoos I Should Go To

Discussion in 'United States' started by CarLover, 12 Jan 2019.

  1. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I need assistance. I want to go to many zoos. Which zoos on the eastern coast of the U.S. should I go to? I have been to the Philadelphia Zoo, Cape May Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, Cleveland Zoo, National Zoo, Adventure Aquarium, Elmwood Park Zoo, Brandywine Zoo, National Aquarium, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Six Flags Great Adventure, The Seas at Epcot, among others to give you an idea.
     
  2. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    611
    Location:
    Las Vegas United States
    Bronx zoo, DC zoo, North Carolina, Miami, Boston, Tampa, Busch Gardens,
    some of the major ones.
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  3. NVP

    NVP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    750
    Location:
    U.S.
    Have you visited the National Aviary in Pittsburgh?
     
  4. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Bronx Zoo is on my wishlist. I have already been to the National Zoo, and I plan on returning. North Carolina, ZooTampa, ZooMiamai, and Busch Gardens Tampa are also on my wishlist. There are two zoos in the Boston area, the Stone and Franklin Park Zoos, both of which I would like to go to.
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  5. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Not yet, but I hope to.
     
  6. NVP

    NVP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    750
    Location:
    U.S.
    Don't forget the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
     
    TinoPup likes this.
  7. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    That's another one.
     
  8. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Apr 2015
    Posts:
    420
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    If the government stops being shut down... :p
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  9. NVP

    NVP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    750
    Location:
    U.S.
    Don't remind me.
     
  10. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    True that
     
  11. Hipporex

    Hipporex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    19 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    1,099
    Location:
    Northern California
    I've never been but maybe the Southwick's Zoo? I've heard good things about it and plus it is apparently to only zoo on the continent with vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) so that's cool
     
  12. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Interesting
     
  13. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    Posts:
    2,528
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    I’ve lived in the east for a decent portion of my life, and have traveled extensively up and down the coast and other eastern states.

    New York: notable zoos are Bronx, Central Park, Queens, Prospect Park, the New York Aquarium, and the Staten Island Zoo. On a visit, I would prioritize Staten Island and Bronx (especially the latter) but all of the facilities are great and depending on what you want to see, each has something to offer.

    New Jersey: notable zoos are Turtle Back, Adventure Aquarium, and Cape May. The only one you’ve not visited is Turtle Back and it makes for a nice visit that should be easily combined with the Bergen County Zoo (which I’ve not been to).

    Pennsylvania: there are a lot of smaller zoos in this state: Philadelphia, Lehigh Valley, Elmwood Park, Pittsburgh, Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, and the National Aviary. You’ve been to Philly and Elmwood Park, which are two of the three that I’d recommend, the other being the National Aviary. I haven’t been to the other facilities I listed (though I plan to visit this year) except for the Pittsburgh Zoo, which I found to be a bit disappointing and a bit subpar.

    Delaware: pretty much the only zoo here is Brandywine, which is extraordinarily small yet nice nonetheless.

    Maryland: the National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo are the main facilities in this state and both are nice (and can be done in the same day). There are a few more notable roadside zoos such as the Plumpton Park Zoo and the Catoctin Zoo that have rarer species, but their exhibit quality is near rock-bottom.

    DC: there are two zoological facilities here, being the National Zoo and the Insect Zoo within the Museum of Natural History. The insect zoo itself is not notable, but I would recommend the museum anyways (though perhaps wait for the finished renovation of the dinosaur hall). The National Zoo is nice but is not a full day zoo, and is a bit far from the rest of the DC attractions but is easily reachable by Metro.

    Virginia: the nicest trio of facilities is located in/around Norfolk, and they are the Virginia Zoo, Virginia Aquarium, and the Virginia Living Museum. I can easily do all 3 in one day but for sake of time you may just want to do the zoo and aquarium. The Living Museum is nice but is a smaller facility and is also rather expensive. A non-accredited zoo that is nice is the Metro Richmond Zoo, with a large collection and a gradually-increasing exhibit quality.

    North Carolina: the zoos in this state are spread out but outstanding in quality. The North Carolina Zoo is the premier facility of course, and is fantastic all around. Sylvan Heights Bird Park is small and remote but is certainly worth a visit if you’re at all interested in birds. Duke Lemur Center is another specialist facility worth visiting, but note that you need to make a reservation in advance. The Greensboro Scuence Center is a nice zoo but a bit small, and the Carolina Raptor Center is the same way. I haven’t been to any of the North Carolina Aquariums

    South Carolina: I only just visited this state for the first time but enjoyed my visit thoroughly. Riverbanks Zoo was the highlight, without a doubt, though I also enjoyed Reptile Lagoon at South of the Border. I also visited the South Carolina Aquarium which was nice but very small and imo overpriced.

    Georgia: I’ve been to the two main collections in Atlanta (Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium) and would recommend both. There are some other small facilities scattered around the state but nothing too notable as far as I’m aware.

    Florida: one of the states with the most zoos in the country. Here’s a list of the ones I’ve been to:

    SeaWorld Orlando
    Disney's Animal Kingdom
    Epcot: The Seas with Nemo and Friends
    Santa Fe Teaching Zoo
    St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
    Lubee Bat Conservancy
    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo
    Florida Aquarium
    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Visitor Center and Aquarium
    Butterfly Rainforest
    Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
    Busch Gardens Tampa
    Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
    St. Augustine Aquarium
    Lemur Conservation Foundation
    Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens
    Zoo Miami
    Frost Museum of Science
    Palm Beach Zoo
    Lion Country Safari
    Brevard Zoo

    Most on this list are very high quality, with the best being DAK, Miami, Jacksonville, and Busch Gardens. The only one I wouldn’t recommend is the St. Augustine Aquarium, which is a new facility that is extremely small.

    That’s all I’ve got for the east coast- sorry that I haven’t been to more of the northeast to help out. If you have questions about a specific zoo I mentioned or want me to cover more of the US, just let me know!
     
    BigNate and ThylacineAlive like this.
  14. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,413
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I'd recommend the Central Florida Zoo (FL), Roger Williams Park Zoo (RI), Beardsley Zoo (CT), Mystic Aquarium (CT), Maritime Aquarium (CT), Livingston Ripley Waterfowl Conservancy (CT), and maybe Trevor Zoo (NY) as all worth visiting. If I had to prioritize, though, I'd say combining RWPZ and Mystic in one day as being most "worth it". All the others are good in and of themselves, though, even if they're a bit on the smaller side.

    I personally would not recommend Southwick's very highly, but it's not terrible. The Vicuna are the only ones in the US atm, yes, though there are some in Canada. LA and Beardsley were due to get Vicuna but the government blocked that import for some reason.

    ~Thylo
     
    Neil chace likes this.
  15. NVP

    NVP Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Oct 2018
    Posts:
    750
    Location:
    U.S.
    To sum it up: pretty much any AZA accredited facility is probably worth visiting, be it on the east coast or anywhere else in the country.
     
  16. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,413
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Plenty of non-AZA, too, though. Several of the collections named on this thread are non-AZA ;)

    ~Thylo
     
    BigNate likes this.
  17. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2018
    Posts:
    328
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    The Southwicks Zoo is not worth it. The collection may be good, yet there are a lot of less than satisfactory exhibits and it feels like they treat it like a tourist attraction instead of the scientific organizations zoos should be.
     
    ThylacineAlive and Hipporex like this.
  18. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Aug 2018
    Posts:
    328
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Mystic aquarium and roger williams seem a little much for 1 day. It would probably be better to do the aquarium on 1 day, and roger williams with either capron or buttonwood park zoo, both excellent small zoos.
     
  19. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    7,413
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    The aquarium only takes 2-3 hours max, same with the zoo. I'd say that's pretty easy to do in a day.

    ~Thylo
     
  20. CarLover

    CarLover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    60
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    I will be going to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore this Sunday.