Most of the zoos in Hawaii aren't exactly akin to your typical zoos, which is why you're encouraged to visit one or more of them during your Hawaii vacation. In addition to the Hawaii zoos, those who are interested in seeing some interesting animals on their vacation can also consider the state's aquariums. Between the aquariums and the zoos in Hawaii, there is a tantalizing array of creatures that you can both admire and learn about.
If you're trying to figure out where to find a zoo in Hawaii, the island of Oahu is a good place to start. It is on the island of Oahu that you will find the capital city of Honolulu, which is home to the Honolulu Zoo. This zoo is easily one of the more popular Hawaii zoos, and it definitely begs a visit when hanging out in Honolulu. You can find the Honolulu Zoo in the lively Waikiki neighborhood. It covers a little more than 40 acres and features quite a lot of African animals, which you might not have expected. You can also see a Hawaiian pig here, not to mention a rare native goose. In addition to visiting the Honolulu Zoo in the daytime, you might also consider stopping by at night. Come nightfall, the zoo's nocturnal animals are wide awake, and you can see and learn about them on the Zoo by Twilight Tour.
Before or after you visit the Honolulu Zoo, a trip up to Sea Life Park should be in order. Also a top attraction on the island, Sea Life Park is a wonderful place to learn about and admire various marine creatures, such as bottlenosed dolphins and penguins. When you're not admiring animals that make their home in the water at Sea Life Park, you can check out the bird sanctuary, where frigates, red-footed boobies, and other avian creatures can be seen. In addition to the Oahu Hawaii zoos, animal enthusiasts are bound to find favor with the Waikiki Aquarium, which also deserves mention among the top family attractions in Hawaii. When you're not relaxing on beautiful Waikiki Beach, the Waikiki Aquarium is a great place to learn more about the underwater world.
Over on the island of Maui, the Pacific Primate Sanctuary is one of the zoos in Hawaii that you will do well to make some time for. This zoo specializes in providing a haven for injured, endangered, and otherwise distressed monkeys. Among the creatures that you can see here include capuchin Monkeys, which originate from Honduras down to Ecuador, golden-handed Tamarins, which can be found mostly in northeastern South America, and white tufted-eared marmosets, which hail from Brazil. Maui doesn't boast a lot of Hawaiian zoos, but it does boast a nice aquarium in addition to the Pacific Primate Sanctuary. The Maui Ocean Center, which is one of the top family attractions in Hawaii, is where you will find the Hawaiian Aquarium, which is a wonderful place to spend a few hours and learn about marine creatures.
Big Island Zoos
Your remaining choices for Hawaiian zoos can be found on the Big Island, which often gets a lot of attention for its Kona Coffee. When you're not touring coffee plantations or enjoying tours of some of the island's other great attractions, stopping at one of the two Hawaiian zoos that can be found here is always an option. The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo, which can be found on the outskirts of the city of Hilo, dubs itself as "the only natural tropical rainforest zoo in the United States," which helps to make it rather unique. The zoo sits on twelve acres of land in the center of the Panaewa Forest Reserve, and it offers approximately 50 different species of rainforest animals for visitors to enjoy, including some endangered species. The endangered pygmy hippopotamus, which hails from western Africa, is one of the more curious endangered animals that you can witness here.
Rounding out the choices for Hawaiian zoos on the Big Island is Dolphin Quest Oahu, which can be found at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. You can learn all about dolphins during your visit to Dolphin Quest, and you'll also get the chance to also feed, touch, and even swim with them if you are interested. Special programs for just about anyone are available at Dolphin Quest, and like the other zoos in Hawaii, this one is definitely family friendly.