logo ×

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

740 acres, 4 miles of walkways and 3,000 animals – Zoo Miami is not only one of the oldest zoos in Florida, but also the largest.

Here, you will find American species like bears and alligators, as well as the iconic animals of Africa, Asia, Australia and South America – from tiny frogs to giant elephants and rhinos. But it is not just the variety of species that makes Zoo Miami so special: Fun rides, interactive animal encounters and events for the whole family also add to the park’s popularity.

In this article, we will tell you what to expect at Zoo Miami, which activities are particularly worthwhile and how you can visit the zoo at a discount.

Zoo Miami in a Nutshell


Zoo Miami, also known as Miami-Dade Zoological Park and Gardens, was established in 1948 – and can look back on a long, eventful history. Much has changed since the founding years, when the zoo housed only six animals. At that time, it was located on the island of Key Biscayne. The threat of hurricanes, however, prompted its managers to find a new location, and in 1980, the zoo reopened in southwestern Miami.

Zoo Miami is a proud member and accreditee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) – an organization with strict standards for animal welfare and professional conduct. In addition, the zoo is involved in numerous conservation projects all around the world.

Location and Directions

The zoo is located in southwest Miami, between Three Lakes and South Miami Heights. The distance to Downtown Miami is about 23 miles.

Motorists will find free parking directly at the zoo. Theoretically, it is also possible to travel by public transport. However, this can take 1–2 hours from Downtown Miami, as no bus or train goes directly to the zoo and you have to change lines more than once.

Opening Hours

Zoo Miami is open every day from 10 am to 5 pm. The last tickets are sold at 4 pm.

On public holidays, the following opening hours apply:

  • Thanksgiving Day: 10 am–3 pm
  • Christmas Day: 12–5 pm
  • January 1: 10 am–5 pm.

Tickets and Prices

Tickets for the Zoo Miami can be purchased on-site and online at the following prices:

  • Visitors aged 13 and over: 22.95 USD
  • Children between 3 and 12 years old: 18.95 USD
  • Children under 3 years: free of charge.

In addition, there is a group discount of 10–25% – depending on the number of people you bring to the zoo.

Want to save a few dollars? Then, you should look for coupons that you can download from websites like groupon, couponbirds or travelincoupons.

Zoo Miami – Attractions

From the savannahs of Africa to tropical jungles, aviaries and aquariums to relaxed rides – there is a great variety of attractions at Zoo Miami.


Zoo Miami is divided into very distinct zones that are home to iconic animals from five continents:

North America

Familiar habitats of the USA await visitors right next to the entrance. Here, North American species like brown bears, otters and flamingos are at home – accompanied by alligators, the iconic reptiles of the Sunshine State. They live right next to their relatives, the crocodiles. Another highlight of this area are bald eagles – America’s national symbol.


Located in the center of Zoo Miami is Asia – a large area that showcases the diversity of this continent. Here, gibbons and orangutans live next to Malay bears, tapirs, tigers, rhinos and Asian elephants. Numerous bird species populate the Wing of Asia Aviary, and further north, the tropical landscape of Southeast Asia gives way to grasslands that are home to Bactrian camels, dromedaries, and antelopes. Families with children are well-advised to visit the petting zoo in the south.


If you want to see the “Big Five” of the Black Continent – lions, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and giraffes – you have plenty of opportunity to do so at the African zone. In addition to zebras and rare antelope species, hyenas and painted dogs roam the enclosures. Our closest relatives are also at home here, as Zoo Miami features both chimpanzees and gorillas.

Amazon and Beyond

The natural diversity of South America is celebrated in the northwestern parts of Zoo Miami: Here, spider monkeys swing from branch to branch, while howler monkeys sound their calls and giant otters and Orinoco crocodiles swim in the water. Other species include bats, sloths, anteaters and the king of the jungle: jaguars. Snakes and colorful dart frogs populate the “Cloud Forest”, and the “Flooded Forest” aquarium harbors numerous fish species from the Amazon.


Last but not least, Zoo Miami also features iconic animals from “Down Under”. In Australia, you can see parrots, kangaroos and cute koalas – accompanied by giant tortoises from the Galapagos Islands. Right next to warthogs and red river hogs, the zoo´s playground is located.

Animal Encounters

Seeing the animals of Zoo Miami from a distance is not enough for you? Then, you should check out the following animal encounters:

  • For an extra charge, you cannot only feed the parrots, but also giraffes, camels and even rhinos.
  • At the “Tortoise Encounter”, visitors can get close to Galapagos tortoises – and take selfies with these gentle giants.
  • If you want to learn how animals like chimpanzees, giraffes and tigers are cared for, the “Meet the Zookeeper” programs are perfect for you.


If you want to travel the area in style or simply rest your feet, you should try the following rides at Zoo Miami:

  • Lostman’s River Ride simulates a relaxing boat trip in the Everglades – alongside the brown bear enclosure, birds of prey and quaint wooden huts.
  • With its four stops, the Monorail not only provides a comfortable way to explore the zoo, but also a great view of the animal enclosures.
  • Do you want to sit back and learn more about the animals of Africa and Asia? Then, you should take a ride with the Safari Tram Tours.
  • Pedal boats are available for relaxing trips on the lake of Zoo Miami.
  • A highlight for young visitors is the Wildlife Carousel with its carnival flair and lovingly designed animals.

Zoo Miami – Events

There are many reasons to visit Zoo Miami multiple times – one of them is the exciting event calendar:

  • Running for a good cause – this is the name of the game at the annual “ZooRun 5K” in autumn. The revenue of this 3-mile-race goes to charities, while participants are rewarded with free admission to the zoo and a cool T-shirt.
  • Spook-tastic fun awaits you at the “Zoo Boo” in October. Then, Zoo Miami hosts a big Halloween party with craft workshops, costume contests and – of course – Trick or Treating.
  • Do you want to spend a night at the zoo? At the “Roars, S’mores, and Snores Campout” in November, this wish comes true. Then, children can learn more about the nocturnal residents of Zoo Miami, play fun games and listen to stories at the campfire.
  • Every year from November 11 to 14, Zoo Miami thanks America’s veterans with free admission. In addition, their families receive a 50 % discount during the Veteran’s Day Savings.

Zoo Miami – Restaurants and Shops

Hungry visitors can choose from three restaurants at Zoo Miami:

Located right next to the petting zoo is the Carousel Café, which serves American classics – just like the Oasis Grill where you can enjoy burgers, sandwiches, pizza and French fries. In addition, vending machines are positioned across the zoo.

Do you want to dine with a top view of the Everglades? Then, we recommend the Nourish305 right at the entrance. Its stylish, modern ambience is complemented by excellent pizza, a large selection of salads and craft beer from the region.

If you want to buy souvenirs, you should visit the gift shop at the entrance. There, you will find everything from clothes, bags and hats to toys, stuffed animals and jewelry. Or how about giving your loved ones a visit to the Miami Zoo or even a unique tour? Then, the Gift Cards are your best choice.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to walk the Miami Zoo?

Zoo Miami is the largest animal park in Florida. Therefore, you should account for 2–3 hours if you want to visit all attractions on foot. Alternatively, you can take the monorail, which runs back and forth between four stations in the zoo.

How much does Zoo Miami cost?

Adults (13 years and older) pay 22.95 USD for admission; Children between the age of 3 and 12 pay 18.95 USD, and children under the age of 3 visit the zoo for free.

How do I get to the Miami Zoo?

The fastest and easiest way is by car. You can also take public transport. However, there are no direct connections from Downtown Miami, so the trip can easily take up to 2 hours.

How far is Miami Zoo from South Beach?

Zoo Miami is located about 27 miles away from South Beach. Depending on the time of day, motorists should account for a 40 to 90-minute drive.

Orlando is truly blessed with amusement parks that offer exciting rides and animal encounters. But while most visitors flock to Disney World and SeaWorld, a lesser-known tip lies north of the city: the Central Florida Zoo.

Here, 100 animal species live in wide enclosures, botanical gardens showcase the flora of our continents, and the zipline, playgrounds and carousel are perfect for little guests. As if this was not enough, the zoo also offers interactive animal encounters and tours, as well as exciting events all year round.

In this article, you will learn what makes visits to the Central Florida Zoo so worth-while, which animals are on display here and how you can purchase tickets at a discount.

Central Florida Zoo in a Nutshell

History, directions, opening hours and prices – here are the most important facts about Central Florida Zoo:


The history of Central Florida Zoo dates to the 1920s – and begins with a small Rhesus monkey. A traveling circus gave the animal to the Sanford Elks Club. More and more animals were added, and 20 years later, a zoo was opened on the shores of Lake Monroe. What followed were numerous expansions, such as botanical gardens, an animal hospital, elevated boardwalks, playgrounds and event locations.

Since the 1980s, the zoo has been part of the “Association of Zoos and Aquariums” (AZA) – demonstrating its high standards for animal welfare. In addition, conservation projects also play an important role, with the Central Florida Zoo working towards the protection of rare indigo snakes and striped newts.

Location and Directions

The Central Florida Zoo is located in Sanford, a small town between Orlando and Daytona Beach on Florida´s east coast.

From Orlando, drivers need about 30 minutes. Parking is free and there are even charging stations for EVs.

Unfortunately, arriving by public transport is more complicated. Although the SunRail runs between Orlando and Sanford, the zoo itself has no station, so you have to travel the remaining 3 miles by taxi.

Opening Hours

Central Florida Zoo is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, including Sundays and holidays.

Tickets and Entrance Fees

Depending on your age, the following entrance fees apply:

  • Adults: 21.50 USD
  • Children (3–12 years): 15.75 USD
  • Children under 2 years: free of charge
  • Senior citizens (55+): 17.95 USD.

You can buy tickets to the Central Florida Zoo on-site and on the homepage – with online tickets coming at a 2 USD discount.

Regular visitors can save money with an annual pass, and additional discounts are available if you visit the zoo with 15 or more people. It also pays to bring coupons for the Central Florida Zoo, which can be downloaded from websites like groupon, hotdeals or valuecom.

Central Florida Zoo – Attractions

Not surprisingly, animals and plants are the main attraction at Central Florida Zoo – but by no means the only one:


The Central Florida Zoo houses more than 350 animals from different regions of our planet:


From small monkeys to imposing giraffes – Central Florida Zoo is home to a wide variety of mammals: While sloths relax in the foliage, lemurs and tamarin monkeys swing from branch to branch. Warthogs, otters and fossas, a cat-like species from Madagascar, are accompanied by large predators such as mountain lions, cheetahs, leopards and black bears. A true darling of visitors is “PJ”: The zoo’s rhino loves to splash around in the water on hot days.


In addition to bald eagles, the national symbol of the USA, Central Florida Zoo houses 18 species of birds: including colorful parrots, vultures, owls and hornbills, endangered birds from Southeast Asia. The “laughing” of Kookaburras fills the air, and every day at 11.30 am, you can witness the acrobatic skills of falcons and owls at the bird show “Flying High!”.

Reptiles, Amphibians and Insects

If you want to see the Sunshine State´s iconic reptiles, Central Florida Zoo is the right place for you: Here, alligators live right next to their relatives, crocodiles. In addition, the zoo is home to monitor lizards, geckos, iguanas, turtles and 19 species of snakes that you can see at the Herpatarium – if you can spot these well-camouflaged creatures. A particularly colorful sight are the zoo´s frogs and salamanders.

Insects and other crawlers are on display at the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center: including tarantulas, scorpions and Madagascan cockroaches that use their horns as weapons against rivals.

Do you want to marvel at colorful pollinators? Then, the Butterfly Garden is an ideal place. What is more, a huge collection of ferns, bromeliads and medicinal herbs demonstrates that Central Florida Zoo truly deserves the suffix “Botanical Gardens”.

Animal Encounters and Tours

Visitor interaction is key at Central Florida Zoo. This can be seen in the parks´ animal encounters and tours:

Feed a Giraffe

If you want to check how long a giraffe’s tongue really is, you should book this activity. Rafiki and Gage, the long-necked animals of the zoo, will gladly eat snacks out of your hand.

Meet a Rhino

PJ, the zoo’s rhinoceros, may look menacing. In reality, though, he is very playful and loves visitors. If you want to get up close and personal with the rhino, you can do so at 11:30 am, 11:50 am and 12:10 pm.

Barnyard Buddies

Located at the heart of Central Florida Zoo is the petting zoo “Barnyard Buddies”. Here, little visitors cannot only pet goats, donkeys, llamas and alpacas, but also feed them.

Keeper Chats

How heavy is a snake? What do rhinos eat, and why do parrots have such a curved beak? The zookeepers will gladly answer these and other questions during the daily Keeper Chats.


Central Florida Zoo offers guided tours where groups can learn more about different animals and the zoo’s conservation efforts.

More Things to do

Are you looking for more action or a chance to cool off? Then, the following activities at Central Florida Zoo are perfect for you:

Seminole Aerial Adventures

Exploring the treetops like a monkey – this wish comes true at the Seminole Aerial Adventures. Here, participants test their dexterity on an obstacle course with rope ladders and platforms, before taking the zip line for a rapid descent.

Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground

The water playground in the southern part of the zoo is a real blessing on hot days. Here, little guests can splash around amidst fountains and colorful animals.


On the zoo´s carousel, children can ride cute horses, zebras and even alligators – and enjoy nostalgic carnival flair reminiscent of Florida´s old days.

Central Florida Zoo – Events

No matter the season – thanks to a variety of events, Central Florida Zoo is always worth a visit:

  • At the “Kids Night Out”, children can visit the zoo after dark – and find out more about its nocturnal animals.
  • “Sunset at the Zoo” is perfect for guests who want to explore the zoo after the official opening hours. Then, at 5 pm, reduced entrance fees apply.
  • In best Oktoberfest fashion, “Brews around the Zoo” in September features live music and a craft beer tasting with 30 regional sorts.
  • On Halloween, Central Florida Zoo is adorned with spooky (but kid-friendly) decorations and invites little guests to play Trick or Treat.
  • Santa Claus visits the zoo in December to take photos with his fans and host a fun candy cane hunt.

Central Florida Zoo – Restaurants and Shops

Central Florida Zoo not only takes care of its animals. Hungry visitors can get their fill at Graze – a family-friendly restaurant that serves American classics like burgers, hot dogs and French fries, accompanied by healthy salads and vegetarian options.

For a little snack, you should visit Swirl right next to the rhino enclosure: Here, you can enjoy nachos and pretzels as well as cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream. If you prefer an adult beverage over soft drinks, you will love the zoo´s selection of craft beers.

Of course, no trip to Central Florida Zoo would be complete without taking home a souvenir – no problem, thanks to the Zoofari Shop selling stuffed animals, T-shirts, games and books.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

How far is Central Florida Zoo from Orlando?

The distance from Orlando to Central Florida Zoo is 23 miles. Motorists should account for a 30-minute drive.

What are the opening hours of Central Florida Zoo?

The zoo opens every day at 9 am and closes at 4 pm. Sometimes, Central Florida Zoo stays open longer, so visitors can explore the area after dark.

How much is admission to the Central Florida Zoo?

Adults who buy their ticket online pay 19.50 USD. In addition, there are discounts for children and seniors, as well as group discounts.

Does the Central Florida Zoo have elephants?

Currently, the Central Florida Zoo has no elephants – but other iconic species like giraffes, porcupines and cheetahs, as well African birds.

Can I feed the giraffes at Central Florida Zoo?

Yes, feeding the long-necked animals is offered for an extra charge of 5 USD per person.

Do you want to watch alligators, turtles and flamingos, feed colorful parrots or simply take a stroll amidst Florida’s lush, tropical surroundings? Then, Everglades Wonder Gardens is THE place to go. For almost a century, this small zoo has been showcasing the biodiversity of the Sunshine State – while also providing a new home for endangered species.

What makes Everglades Wonder Gardens so special despite its modest size? Which animals can you encounter here, and how do you get the most out of your visit? We will show you in this article.

Everglades Wonder Gardens in a Nutshell

From the history of the zoo to directions, opening hours and entrance fees – in the following section, you will find the most important information about Everglades Wonder Gardens:


The story of Everglades Wonder Gardens started more than 80 years ago with very modest beginnings: In 1936, the pioneers Bill and Lester Pipe opened a small roadside attraction where visitors could see rescued animals up-close. Originally known as “Bonita Springs Reptile Gardens,” the zoo was renamed in 1950, but closed in 2013 due to low popularity.

Luckily, this hiatus did not last long: Just one year later, Everglades Wonder Gardens reopened with the support of the city. This helped to preserve not only a refuge for endangered species, but also a valuable remnant of “Old Florida” architecture.

Location and Directions

Everglades Wonder Gardens is located in the heart of Bonita Springs, just off the banks of the Imperial River. Free parking is available.

Getting here with public transport is slightly more complicated. Guests departing from Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Naples will need to take the LeeTran and change buses several times. The nearest stop to the zoo is Old 41 Road, just a 5-minute walk away.

Opening Hours

Everglades Wonder Gardens is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm. Exceptions are Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve and the first day of Christmas.

Tickets and Prices

At Everglades Wonder Gardens, the following prices apply:

  • Adults: 12 USD
  • Children (3–12 years): 7 USD
  • Children under 3 years: free of charge
  • Seniors (65+): 10 USD.

You can buy your tickets on-site and online.

By the way: If you want to save a few dollars, you should look for coupons on websites like groupon or 8coupons.com.

Everglades Wonder Gardens – Attractions – Attractions

300 animals, numerous exotic plants, interesting exhibits and activities for the whole family – Everglades Wonder Gardens boasts a wide variety of attractions:


Let’s start with the kings of Everglades Wonder Gardens: alligators. Florida’s iconic reptiles populate the “́Gator Hole”, where they can swim to their heart’s content and sunbathe on the shore. A real highlight: Visitors are allowed to feed the alligators – from a safe distance, of course. Far less threatening than their parents are baby alligators that you can see up-close at the breeding center.

Turtles and Tortoises

Everglades Wonder Gardens is home to multiple turtle and tortoise species. In addition to aquatic specimen such as the snapping turtle, it also houses spurred tortoises: These land-dwelling herbivores rank among the largest turtle species and can weigh up to 225 lbs.


White, red, green or rainbow-colored – Everglades Wonder Gardens has them all. Five parrot species are at home in the zoo: including cockatoos, eclectus parrots and large hybrid macaws. The most talkative of them all is Kiwi, the yellow-naped amazon. Just say “Hi” to him, and chances are he will greet you back.

Little visitors who have always wanted to feed and pet cute parrots can do so in the “Lorikeet Pavilion” – home to colorful rainbow lorikeets that love to climb on the shoulders of guests.


What is pink and stands on one leg? Flamingos, of course. However, Florida´s national birds are not the only inhabitants of the Flamingo Lagoon. This elaborately designed waterscape in the heart of the zoo also features peacocks, ibises and ducks that you can feed.

River Otters

In 2021, the otter enclosure at Everglades Wonder Gardens underwent an extensive redesign – good news for visitors who can now observe the playful animals better than ever before. The habitat consists of rocks, slides and a waterfall. In addition, it offers enough space to accommodate more rescued otters in the future.

Botanical Gardens

In additional to animals, plant species are another highlight of Everglades Wonder Gardens: The selection ranges from ferns, gnarled banyan and canistel trees to Japanese bonsais. Bromeliads and orchids make the landscape bloom, water lilies adorn the ponds, and colorful butterflies feed on passion flowers in the northwest of the park. With all this natural splendor, it should come as no surprise that Everglades Wonder Gardens is a popular place for weddings.

Natural History Museum

At the Museum of Everglades Wonder Gardens, visitors can learn more about Florida´s natural diversity. And not only that: In addition to beautiful landscape shots, bones and shells, you will also see the largest inhabitant of the zoo: “Big Joe”, a 15 ft crocodile that still commands respect, although the giant is now taxidermied.

Wonder Shoppe

Before it is time to head home, you should visit the Wonder Shoppe – especially if you are traveling with children: Here, you can buy stuffed animals, teddy bears, T-shirts, bags, postcards and candy. A true highlight in springtime are the richly decorated Easter and Valentine’s trees in front of the shop.

Yoga and Relaxation

With its idyllic surroundings, Everglades Wonder Gardens is a perfect place to relax and meditate – so what could be better than a yoga session at the zoo? All you need to bring is your yoga mat. Then, you are ready work on your inner balance with expert yoga teachers – under the curious eyes of peacocks and ibises. The yoga classes are suitable for guests aged 6 or older.

Everglades Wonder Gardens – Map

Do you want to get a quick overview of the zoo´s attractions? Then, the Everglades Wonder Gardens Map will help you.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the opening hours of Everglades Wonder Gardens?

The zoo opens every day at 10 am and closes at 4 pm. On Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Everglades Wonder Gardens is closed.

How much is admission to Everglades Wonder Gardens?

Tickets cost 12 USD for adults, 7 USD for children from 3–12 years and 10 USD for seniors (65+).

What animals can I see at Everglades Wonder Gardens?

The zoo mainly features native species such as alligators, turtles, flamingos, ibises and turkeys, but also otters and parrots from the Old and New World, as well as snakes and lizards.

Can I book Everglades Wonder Gardens for private events?

Yes, Everglades Wonder Gardens is available for private celebrations such as birthdays and weddings. Its lawns and the Victorian-themed “Tea Room” can accommodate up to 200 guests.

The zoos in Florida are perfect if you want to see many exotic animals in one place. Exciting shows and animal encounters make the Sunshine State´s zoos an ideal place for families with children.

Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami is not just the oldest, but also one of the biggest animal parks in the state. Here, more than 3.000 specimens live in an area of 740 acres. The enclosures are modelled after habitats from all continents – from the Everglades and Africa´s savannahs to the Australian desert.

Zoo Miami - Florida


Address: 12400 SW 152nd St, Miami
Phone: +1 305-251-0400
Opening hours: 10 am–5 pm

Zoo Tampa

More than one million visitors come to Tampa each year to see the 1.300 animals at ZooTampa. And exotic species like elephants, zebras, hippos, komodo dragons, primates and penguins are not the only attraction. The zoo also features exciting rides for children.

Zoo Tampa - Florida


Address: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa
Phone: +1 813-935-8552
Opening hours: 9.30 am–5 pm

Naples Zoo

Naples Zoo is the closest animal park to Cape Coral and Fort Myers. 70 species from different habitats live here, among them South American ant eaters, African antilopes and primates, Malaysian tigers and American alligators.

Naples Zoo - Florida


Address: 1590 Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples
Phone: +1 239-262-5409
Opening hours: 8.30 am–4 pm

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

The Central Florida Zoo is located north of Orlando and features over 100 species: Here, American animals like alligators, bald eagles and pumas live next to leopards, giraffes and giant turtles. In addition, thrill seekers can glide through the forest with a zipline.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Florida


Address: 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford
Phone: +1 407-323-4450
Opening hours: 9 am–3 pm

Fort Myers Butterfly Estates

A place of peace and relaxation awaits you at the Fort Myers Butterfly Estates. In this beautifully designed greenhouse, you can get close to Florida´s colorful pollinators. A visit is especially worthwhile at 10 am, when the freshly hatched butterflies are released.

Fort Myers Butterfly Estates - Florida


Address: 1815 Fowler St, Fort Myers
Phone: +1 239-690-2359
Opening hours: 10 am–3 pm

Everglades Wonder Gardens

Everglades Wonder Gardens is a zoo in Bonita Springs that particularly attracts bird watchers. Here, you can see colorful parrots, cockatoos and lories, and even feed pink flamingoes by hand. Another highlight is the suspension bridge over a lake where 40 alligators live.

Everglades Wonder Gardens - Florida


Address: 27180 Old 41 Rd, Bonita Springs
Phone: +1 239-992-2591
Opening hours: 9 am–5 pm

Busch Gardens

Guests in Tampa who want to see African animals should visit Busch Gardens. This zoo is home to giraffes, zebras and hippos, as well as lions, gorillas and chimpanzees. You can also find Asian orangutans and kangaroos from Australia. In addition, Busch Gardens features a theme-park with thrilling roller coasters.

Busch Gardens - Florida


Address: 10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa
Phone: +1 813-884-4386
Opening hours: 10 am–6 pm (closed on Mondays and Wednesdays)

Florida Aquarium

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa features more than 7,000 aquatic animals and plants: ranging from colorful jellyfish to sharks, stingrays and Madagascan tortoises. Children can splash around on the water playground, and a 4D cinema takes visitors on virtual diving trips.

Florida Aquarium – fascinating Underwater Worlds in Tampa


Address: 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: +1 813-273-4000
Opening hours: 9:30 am – 5 pm

Miami Seaquarium

As one of the oldest aquariums in the US, the Miami Seaquarium houses more than 10,000 animals. Dolphin and sea lion shows are a highlight for families, and the manatee exhibit presents Florida´s “sea cows”. In addition, guests can admire tropical fish in a 750,000-gallon water tank.

Miami Seaquarium – Dolphins, Sea Lions and More in Miami


Address: 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149
Phone: +1 305-361-5705
Opening hours: Opening Hours: 10 am – 5 pm

Located 2 hours north of Cape Coral, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is a top-address for fans of elephants, rhinos and co. A lot has happened since its humble beginnings when the zoo was managed by the University of Tampa. Today, Lowry Park Zoo houses many species from all over the world and features family-friendly rides, animal encounters and exciting events for the whole family. More than one million guests come here every year, making Zoo Tampa one of the Sunshine State’s most popular places for animal lovers.


Of course, the 1.300 animals are the zoo’s main attraction. These animals live in zones that represent different habitats and continents, so a walk through the zoo resembles a journey around the world. Starting point is in Asia, where Indian rhinos, Malayan tigers and moon bears are kept in large, authentic enclosures. This section of the park is also home to the primeval-looking Komodo Dragons.


In this area, visitors can tour the Dark Continent under magnificent thorn trees. Safari Africa houses iconic savannah-dwellers like giraffes, zebras and elephants, as well as antelopes and guenons. In addition to cute penguins from the Arctic, guests can also see a little star: Holly Berry, a baby hippo that was born in 2017, is the newest member of the zoo’s hippo family.


Gibbons, chimpanzees and orang-outangs are swinging from branch to branch at the Primate World, while the zoo’s feathered friends populate the free-flight aviary. Here, you can watch tropical species like hornbills, toucans and birds of paradise flying over your head. Visitors who look carefully will also notice sloths in the canopy. Two times a day, the Spirits of the Sky Raptor Show lets you witness the amazing feats of condors, owls, bald eagles and other birds of prey.


ZooTampa is a perfect spot if you want to discover Florida’s biodiversity. North American species include wolfs, bears, skunks and turtles, as well as Lucy, a female panther that was rescued as a cub and nursed back to life by the zoo.

In addition, ZooTampa offers the chance to watch iconic manatees – not only behind glass walls. Many injured manatees are brought to the zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center for treatment.

The Wallaroo Station showcases the animals of Australia and is particularly suited for children: Here, little guests can get close to cute koalas, wallabies, parrots and a slithering woma python. Afterwards, it is time to try out the exciting rides: The zoo features a merry-go-round, a kids´ train and a miniature roller coaster. If you do not mind getting wet, you should hop onboard the white-water ride Roaring Springs. With such exciting options, it is no surprise that ZooTampa was named America’s most family-friendly zoo in 2009.

In addition to the aforementioned areas, the zoo offers many other attractions, among them a Carousel Circle where young children can ride their favorite animals.

Florida, Asia, Manatee Circle, Wallaroo Station, Roaring Springs - Tampa Zoo


If your walk through the zoo has made you hungry, do not worry: Scattered around the park are food stalls selling nachos, pretzels, hot dogs, pizza and many other snacks. The Sweet Shoppe offers donuts and homemade ice-cream, and for a hearty meal, have a seat at the International Bistro with its Italian specialties and fresh seafood.

Zoo Tampa Dining Options - Tampa Zoo


The zoo is open everyday from 9.30 am to 5 pm.

Tickets cost 37 USD for adults and 27 USD for children aged 3–11. If you reserve your ticket in advance, you can save up to 5 USD. There are also “Pay for a Day” offers: Just pay the regular ticket price once, and you can visit the zoo as often as you want for the rest of the year.

If you want to get up-close to your darlings, you can book a number of animal encounters: Take your selfie with a cute koala, feed a giant turtle, rub a penguin’s back or play zookeeper at the giraffe enclosure for a day.

Tickets and Opening hours - Tampa Zoo


No matter the season – there is always something going on at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. Families will love the Toddler Tuesdays, where little guests are entertained with songs, stories and fun games. If you are interested in the protection of species, you should visit the monthly talks at the Zoo University. And thanks to “Yoga in the Wild” you can even join a fitness class under the watchful eyes of the zoo’s animals.

On Halloween the park is decorated with pumpkins, while the costumed staff and the haunted house create a spooky, yet child-friendly atmosphere. In November and December, the 50 feet Christmas tree gets visitors in the right mood for the festive season, and Santa Claus welcomes children at his Christmas Village.


Calculate your Route to Tampa´s Zoo at Lowry Park

Address for your navigation system: 1101 W Sligh Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, USA

Naples Zoo can look back on a long tradition. Already in 1919, exotic plants were on display here. Today, the zoo houses 70 animal species, many of which are endangered. With more than 300.000 visitors a year, the zoo is a hugely popular tourist attraction. It has also been accredited by the AZA, an organization that rates American zoos according to conservation efforts and the animals´ well-being. If you are looking for family-friendly fun and exciting animal encounters, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is the perfect place for you.


One glance at the map is enough to see: At Naples Zoo you can take a journey through different continents and habitats. Navigating the park is easy thanks to the loop trail that goes around multiple lakes.

Starting point is Alligator Bay, where you can watch Florida’s famous reptiles being fed. Countless water birds live here as well. Further to the south, two species from South America are found: ant eaters and agoutis: rodents that populate an area from Mexico to Argentina. Furthermore, you can see turtles and endangered tamarin monkeys.

The trail continues through an African savannah populated by lions, zebras and gazelles. Bongo antelopes live here, too. This species is extremely rare, with not even 100 animals left in the wild. A resident from South East Asia is the clouded leopard – a shy cat easily recognizable by its blotched fur pattern.

Lake Victoria, a miniature replica of Africa’s most famous lake, makes up the largest part of the zoo. Here, you can board a boat and watch primates like chimpanzees, lemurs and gibbons that live on a small island. There are no fences, so you will have prime photo opportunities while listening to the knowledgeable guides.

Back on land, it is time to visit the giraffes. You can even pay to feed the animals. Cheetahs, hyenas and Florida panthers live nearby, and black bears run around in their spacious enclosure. The animal shows featuring cute armadillos, genets and skunks are a fun and exciting highlight for children and adults alike.

More animals at Naples Zoo include:

  • parrots
  • honey badgers
  • pythons
  • coyotes
  • hornbills
  • black vultures.

Naples Zoo is the perfect place for families with children: not only because the paths are easy to walk and lie in the shade. There are also picnic areas and multiple playgrounds. Cafés and snack/drink stalls are available for hungry and thirsty visitors. Unlike in many other zoos, it is not allowed to pet the animals or take selfies with them. Instead, the animals are kept in an appropriate and natural way. Not surprisingly, Naples Zoo is involved in countless conservation programs. This way, you can be sure your entrance fee serves a good cause.


Naples Zoo is open every day from 9 am–5 pm. Free on-site parking is available.

Tickets cost 22.95 USD for adults and 14.95 USD for children aged 3–12. Naples Zoo can charge these very fair prices because it enjoys tax-exemption as a non-profit organization. What is more, with coupons from websites like dealscove, mustdo and groupons, you can save up to 50 %.


In addition to daily animal shows and feeding times, Naples Zoo also houses the following popular events:

  • Safari Squad: educational parent-child-programs for little guests aged 3–5
  • Conservation Lecture: expert lectures on conservation topics
  • Zoo Yoga: yoga courses amidst lush, natural surroundings
  • Spring Fest: Easter egg hunts and photos with the Easter Bunny for children
  • Boo at the Zoo: Halloween decorations, trick or treating and costume contests
  • Winter Fest: children’s games, cookie decorating and a meets and greets with Santa Claus.

In addition, you can host your own event at Naples Zoo – for example, birthdays, corporate events or weddings with up to 350 guests.


Zoo Naples is centrally located in Naples and can be reached on foot from many sights in the city.

The Miami Seaquarium is one of the oldest aquariums in the USA. A lot has happened since its humble beginnings in 1955. Today the Seaquarium is home to more than 10.000 species – from tropical fish and corals to penguins and Florida’s manatees. Dolphins, sea lions and an orca lady entertain guests every day, and if you want, you can even step into the pool with your favorite animals. More than 500.000 visitors a year do not lie: Miami Seaquarium is one of the best places for family-friendly animal encounters in Florida.

The aquarium is situated on Virgina Key in Miami-Dade County. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. You only have to drive 10 minutes from Downtown Miami to get there.


Near the entrance flamingos are strutting in manmade wetlands, while a first highlight awaits little guests nearby: The Touch Pool houses aquatic inhabitants like cleaner fish, stingrays and bamboo sharks for the children to touch. All of them are harmless, of course.

The Tropical Fish Aquarium takes you on a journey through the coastal waters of the southern hemisphere, and the adjacent Reef Aquarium amazes with its gigantic, 750.000 gallon water tank – enough to fill 20.000 bathtubs. Here you can watch divers feed a variety of colorful fish. At Rescue a Reef, a project realized together with the University of Miami, a new man-made coral reef is being built under the eyes of visitors.

Situated at the heart of the Aquarium is the Dolphinarium. At the Dolphin Show, you can watch the playful animals perform their tricks – either from the ranks or through a glass window. Next door, the sea lions make for equally skilled entertainers, balancing balls in the Sea Lion and Seel Feeder Pool.

At the Manatee Exhibit, guests learn more about Florida’s iconic ocean grazers that are being treated medically at the Miami Seaquarium. The Aquarium also contains a sanctuary for injured sea turtles. Colorful parrots and other birds populate the Tropical Wings exhibit, while cute penguins from the Antarctic have found a home on Penguin Isle.

The Miami Seaquarium houses a true legend that is already 50 years old and weighs a whopping 3.5 tons: The Orca lady Lolita has been living here since the 1970s and still entertains visitors with her tricks twice a day.


The Miami Seaquarium has many more attractions to offer, among them:

  • Golden Dome Sea Lion: a child-friendly sea lion show with comedy elements. Here even the smallest guests learn a lot about protecting the oceans.
  • Flipper Dolphin Show: dolphins performing tricks at the original location of the 60s TV show.
  • Sharky´s Sky Trail: a rope course 32 feet above ground, with 18 obstacles for participants to tackle
  • Salty´s Pirate Playground: child-friendly playground with a 30 feet long pirate ship, climbing nets and splash canons.
  • Conservation Outpost: Here you learn how injured sea creatures are being rescued and cared for by the Miami Seaquarium.
More Attractions at the Miami Seaquarium - Miami


Swimming with dolphins has a long tradition at the Miami Seaquarium – not only because the famous TV show Flipper was filmed here. For 219 USD you can climb into the pool with dolphins. The playful animals will let you pet them, give handshakes (or rather fin-shakes), smother you with kisses and always appreciate a treat in the form of delicious fish. Tailored to non-swimmers and small children is the Dolphin Encounter in shallow water for 159 USD. And if you want to dive deeper into the topic (quite literally), you should book the Trainer for a Day experience for 395 USD. Under watchful guidance you can train the dolphins for a whole day. Swimming with the animals is included, of course.

If cuddling with sea lions is on your bucket list, you should book the Seal Swim for 139 USD. Alternatively, greet your friends from the South Pole at the Penguin Encounter for 99 USD. Considerable money and effort went into the newest attraction Discovery Bay, a replica of Florida’s coast. For 70 USD you can wade through the shallow water and get close to stingrays and nurse sharks.

If you always wanted to go reef diving, why not fulfill this dream at the Star Trek Reef Encounter? Put on a diving bell and go for a walk among tropical corals and schools of colorful fish. This underwater activity will cost you 99 USD.


No visitor has to go hungry at the Miami Seaquarium. Culinary choices include a hotdog stand, a fast food restaurant serving French fries, wraps and chicken fingers, a snack bar with pretzels, a pizza place and a barbecue restaurant. If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth, there are shops selling ice cream, popcorn, cotton candy and slushies. For an ice cold cocktail you should visit the Parrot – Ice Cove.

Visitors who want to keep a memory of their perfect day at the Seaquarium can choose between 3 gift shops. The main one sells cute stuffed dolphins, t-shirts, mugs, sunglasses and home deco. More dolphin-themed souvenirs are available at the Dolphin Lobby Shop, and at the aptly named Penguin Shops everything revolves around penguin-themed gifts.


The Miami Seaquarium is open 365 days a year from 10 am to 6 pm. Last entry is at 4.30 pm.

The ticket costs 40 USD for adults, and 30 USD for children between 3 and 9 years. You can save money with the Smart Day Ticket for 30 USD (27 USD for children) between Monday and Wednesday. Even bigger bargains can be struck with coupons. On websites like couponokay.net, dontpayfull.com or retailmenot.com you will find discounts of up to 50%.


On the spookiest day of the year, the Miami Seaquarium attracts visitors with the Splash Halloween Bash. The event includes special shows, trick or treating for children and ticket discounts. During the regular Mommy and Me program parents and their children interact with the animals of the Seaquarium, enjoy child-friendly infotainment and participate in arts and crafts workshops. If you want to learn more about Florida’s iconic “sea cows” and how they live, you should visit during Manatee Awareness Month in November.

Thanks to Sunset Cove, a large event space with spectacular views of Miami’s Skyline, the Seaquarium is a popular place for private parties, weddings and corporate events.

Since 1995, the Florida Aquarium in Tampa has been showcasing the beauty of our planet’s oceans, rivers and lakes. Here, diverse marine ecosystems are displayed behind glass walls. In addition, guests can dive with sharks, play zookeeper in the penguin habitat, enjoy family-friendly infotainment at the 4D cinema, and splash around on the water playground.

The Florida Aquarium is located in Downtown Tampa’s Channel District, right next to the Hillsborough River.


The 7.000 plants and animals are the aquarium’s main attraction. At the “Wetland Trails” everything revolves around Florida’s native species. Here, you cannot only watch fish otters gliding through the water. The authentically designed mangrove habitat also houses pelicans, spoonbills and the Sunshine State’s famous alligators.

“Madagascar” presents the diverse wildlife of Africa’s largest island. Playful lemurs are swinging from branch to branch in a true-to-life replica of the island’s jungles. Smaller inhabitants like Madagascar tortoises and giant cockroaches can be spotted in glass terrariums.

If you always wanted to pet a stingray, you can do so at the “Bays and Beaches” zone with its touch pool. In the open ocean, the aquarium’s 300 pound grouper would be a highly sought-after trophy for fishermen. Here, the giant shares his habitat with bizarre toadfish, aptly named lookdowns and spindly garden eels. In this strange underwater world, green turtles are the most normal-looking animals.

Fans of documentaries like “Planet Earth” might already know the luminescent jellyfish called Moon Jellies. At the Moon Bay, you cannot only see these animals up-close, but also touch them. The “No Bones Zone” houses equally fascinating creatures, among them colorful starfish, anemones, sea cucumbers and sea urchins.

The Florida Aquarium takes great pride in its tiger sharks. These marine predators populate an aquarium that holds a whopping 500 gallons of water – together with silvery barracudas. Other aquariums are tilted inwards. This way, you can look up and watch swarms of fish and huge manta rays glide past you. Australian seahorses are found at “Dragons Down Under”, and fans of “Finding Nemo” can admire colorful clownfish in the “Waves of Wonder” zone.

In addition, the Florida Aquarium also houses:

  • Ducks
  • Octopuses
  • Pythons
  • Geckos
  • Crawfish
  • Nurse Sharks
  • Moray Eels
  • Porcupinefish


Not only fish are allowed to swim at the Florida Aquarium. At the Splash Pads, an extensive water playground, little guests can splash around with fun fountains and master a jungle gym with obstacle courses. Visitors who want to get up-close to their favorite animals should book the Swim & Dive to snorkel with giant groupers, turtles and (harmless) sharks.

If you want to explore the open ocean while keeping your feet dry, you should have a seat at the 4D cinema. In addition to life-like 3D effects, splashes, fog, wind, artificial snow and even smells will take you on a journey to exotic lands. Adults can go on a virtual dive with Great White Sharks, and children follow the cute Octonauts on their trip to the Amazon.

By the way: Even though the aquarium does not house dolphins, fans of the gentle mammals have come to the right place. Two times a day, visitors can join the Wild Dolphin Cruise for 17 USD and observe groups of playful dolphins off-shore. If you want to pet, feed and learn more about cute penguins, you should purchase the Penguins: Backstage Pass for 31 USD.

On the Behind the Scenes Tour for 12.50 USD, visitors get to know the hidden side of the aquarium. All activities can be booked online together with regular tickets.

More Attractions at the Florida Aquarium - Tampa


The aquarium is open daily from 9.30 am to 5 pm. On-site parking costs 5.50 USD.

Online ticket prices depend on the day of your visit and how many days you book in advance. Tickets for adults range between 25–31 USD. Children aged 3–11 receive a discount of 4 USD, senior citizens pay 2 USD less, and children aged 3 or under visit the aquarium for free.

If you want to get 54% off your ticket, you should buy the Tampa City Pass. With this pass you can also visit the theme-park Busch Gardens, ZooTampa and the Museum of Industry & Science.


Thanks to a jam-packed event calendar, there is always something going on at the Florida Aquarium. Visitors who are interested in marine ecosystems and the conservation of species should visit the Evening Tide Talks. And if you want to have a nice workout before the aquarium opens, you can sign up for the Yoga class “Flow with the Fishes”.

On Halloween, the Florida Aquarium attracts visitors with its spooky decoration. In addition, children can go trick-or-treating, watch divers carve pumpkins underwater and receive 50% off their entrance fee if they come fully costumed.

The aquarium is also a perfect place for gourmands: During the Sea Grapes, Wine and Food Festival in April, guests can try more than 100 fine wines, as well as culinary treats provided by local restaurants. And if an ice-cold stout or lager is for you, then you should visit the Brews by the Bay festival with more than 100 sorts of beer.

Of course, guests can also host their own event at the Florida Aquarium – from birthday parties and corporate events to conferences and weddings. And if you are looking for some lavish fun on the water, you can rent the aquarium’s party boat.


The Florida Aquarium can be reached from Tampa Airport in about 20 minutes. Guests in Sarasota need 60 minutes, and getting there from Cape Coral takes about 2 hours.