Western North Carolina Nature Center

Western North Carolina Nature Center, Asheville: Hours, Address, Western North Carolina Nature Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Western North Carolina Nature Center

Western North Carolina Nature Center
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
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About
Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region's rich biodiversity. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Less than 230 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
810 reviews
Excellent
463
Very good
253
Average
75
Poor
12
Terrible
7

Ronda C
68 contributions
Family
This facility is accredited- they meet standards and they help promote reproduction to avoid extinction of species. There is a lot of shade and easy walking. If you can’t find a few of the animals I’d recommend retracing your steps before you leave and they may be spotted on second attempt. The small building with a few snakes, frogs and turtles we found very interesting and the river otters are always a favorite!
Written June 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

YO_LOOK_AT_ME
San Antonio, TX2,256 contributions
We didn’t exactly know what to expect as the entrance is a bit deceiving; doesn’t look like a zoo or nature center per se. However, once inside, though smaller in stature to some of the similar places we’ve been to, we found it to be well laid out and easy to get around. Regrettably, the weather was being uncooperative, more so for us, not the animals. We believe the weather was at the appropriate level of “coolness” where many of the animals just wanted to slumber; so we missed out on seeing some of the animals roaming around, etc. Overall though, it was a nice little visit and only took about 2-3 hours max to meander thru and see the animals, etc. Worth a visit if you have time.
Written June 14, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stephanie D
46 contributions
Family
On a recent visit to Asheville, I had mentioned to my family about visiting the Nature Preserve. No one really said yes or no until my 3 y/o grandson kept asking to see animals during the car ride. We decided if the weather continued being nice we "could" go; however whenever he immediately woke up from his nap asking about seeing animals again....Gigi was going to make it happen. The weather was perfect, we wore masks (they had disposal masks if you didn't have one), people followed social distancing guidelines, and it was great. The reptile exhibit was the only thing closed, but we definitely enjoyed our time there. I would recommend it for a way to spend a few hours enjoying nature and appreciating animals.
Written November 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jordan B
1 contribution
Family
So disappointed! I’ve visited the Nature Center my entire life, but the experience we had today was NOT worth the $50 I spent on it. We got there around 3 and felt so rushed the entire time. There were fewer exhibits than they had in the past, and not even the petting zoo was available, which I had of course advertised to my kids. We used to love coming, but I can’t say we will be back.
Written August 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

wildcatsu
Charlotte, NC376 contributions
Family
This is a cute little place. It’s not a very large zoo but the animals seem happy and well cared for. It took us about an hour an a half start to finish with a little bit of time to play on the rope climbing structure. They have a little gem mining activity that could also be purchased for around $10 to add some time on but overall you can see all there is to see in under 2 hours. There were only a few animals that didn’t show themselves. Free parking. Clean restrooms. Soda machines to purchase drinks on site. Lots of shade. Part of aza if you have the membership it’s discounted fifty percent which is nice.
Written July 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shannon
South Carolina468 contributions
We had time to kill on a Saturday morning and decided to check out the WNC Nature Center. It's a small animal park without all the frills of a bigger zoo or amusement park. Vegetation is left mostly natural and not pristinely landscaped. That said, we enjoyed the variety of animals from goats and donkeys to otters and red pandas. Unless you have small children (<5) that will play with the hands-on exhibits, we stayed for about an hour. Parking is somewhat limited if you get there when it's busy.
Written June 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lawrence N
1 contribution
Solo
Don’t come here if most of the animals being in hiding or sleeping with their backs turned to you gets you uptight. I’m not like that, so I liked my visit because it was a really pretty, breezy day and there were elevated walkways through the beautiful forest. And I did see SOME animals. There are two black bears that are clearly visible. I also think this is a great organization, so my ticket money went to a good cause.
Written June 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LindaLouConroe_Tx
Austin, TX273 contributions
My family and I visited the Nature Center during our family vacation. It was so clean and very much like nature (as much as you can). There are maps to help you navigate around. There is a building that houses reptiles etc, it was very hot inside of the house. I'm not sure if that is how it normally is but it can become uncomfortable if you stayed in too long I'm sure. Highly recommend visiting with your family.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Angela H
Umatilla, FL6 contributions
The last day we were in Asheville we stopped at the WNC Nature Center for the morning and it was so fun. It is inexpensive and a quick visit and more than worth it! We actually went around the park twice because we were having so much fun and didn't want to leave. I recommend giving this business your money because they are doing good things and teach about conservation along with having a good assortment of animals for the family to see.
Written January 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barbara E
Greer, SC2 contributions
Family
This park has a lot going for it. It provides a natural setting winding through the woods. I don’t know how old the facility is, but it looks brand new. I took my grands, and we had a lovely afternoon wandering through the exhibits. The animals tend to be indigenous to the area with a few exceptions. By far, this is the first animal park where I’ve seen 2 breeds of wolves, coyotes, and 2 breeds of fox. The wolves even treated us to howling! I’ll be back!
Written March 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Western North Carolina Nature Center

Western North Carolina Nature Center is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM


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