Jacksonville Zoo

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is one of the top attractions in the Jacksonville area, and if you're traveling with kids, visiting is a must. Even if you aren't traveling with kids, the Jacksonville Zoo is worth adding to your itinerary, partly because of the fact that it displays many animal species that are native to Florida. In addition to admiring native Florida animals, you can also view many foreign animal species at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which is always a treat. It's not every day that you get to see a lion, a gorilla, or a tapir. The Jacksonville Zoo is quite large at 73 acres, and you'll want to spend at least three hours touring it if you want to get the full experience.

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens aims to add to its current exhibits, and according to many in the know, it is fast becoming one of the best zoos in the country. This has a lot to do with the fact that the Jacksonville Zoo goes to great lengths to promote environmental sensitivity. While the Jacksonville Zoo has been around for quite some time now, its premier attraction, which is the Range of the Jaguar, didn't open until 2004. One year later, it was already winning awards, though it's definitely not the only exhibit of quality that you will find here. Some of the other exhibits that you won't want to miss include the Great Apes of the World, which showcases all kinds of interesting primates, and Monsoon Asia, which features Asian animals of all kinds.

There are some 1,500 animals at Jacksonville Zoo, many of which are rare, and they come from the four corners of the globe. As for those that hail from Florida, they include panthers, alligators, and black bears, among others. When it comes to the foreign animals, cheetahs, elephants, and rhinos are just some of the creatures that you can expect to see. Getting back to the highly touted Range of the Jaguar exhibit, it not only features Jaguars. You'll also see poison dart frogs here, some fascinating snakes, howler monkeys, anteaters, and marmosets, not to mention a range of other animals.

When you're not checking out the animal exhibits at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, the gardens deserve some attention. The gardens include Savanna Blooms and the Gardens at Trout River Plaza. The former aims to recreate a slice of South Africa, while the latter is a garden plaza that is slated to serve as an event area. Should you be visiting the Jacksonville Zoo with kids, heading over to the Kids' Zone is also a good idea. This new feature boasts a shallow splashing pool, as well as a rock-climbing wall and a fun treehouse.

Save for Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day, the Jacksonville Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Should you be planning a visit, you can get your tickets to Jacksonville Zoo in advance or once you arrive. It's generally recommended that you purchase your tickets to Jacksonville Zoo in advance, as this will save you from having to wait in line for tickets at the gate. The admission prices at the zoo are more than reasonable, and children under the age of three get in for free. Special group rates are available, and you'll want to inquire about them if you need more than just a few tickets to Jacksonville Zoo.

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