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“Always Recommended” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 108 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to nearly 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. A visit to the Zoo will play host to an array of wild adventures from a diving expedition on a Pacific coral reef to a safari through the plains of Africa to an interactive Outback encounter with a flock of sociable lorikeets. The Botanical Garden boasts 70-acres of unparalleled beauty and is considered one of the America's best public gardens. Dramatic and themed gardens showcase more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants, providing a living classroom for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The Garden also is the gateway to natural river views and spectacular valley overlooks. In addition, guests can view structural remains dating back to the early 1800s with South Carolina's textile industry and the Civil War.
Little Mountain, South Carolina
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Always Recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

Whenever I have friends or family down I always recommend they go to Riverbanks Zoo. The gardens are beautiful and I love walking them even by myself; so calming and relaxing.
Riverbanks is an impressive zoo that showcases so many exciting exhibits, fun activities, and a family friendly atmosphere. It is always clean and the animals seem to be a top priority to the staff. If it is your first time going, I always recommend that you visit the Penguin exhibit, walk through the Kangaroo walk-a-bout, and go feed the birds nectar. If you are brave enough to feed the birds, just realize before hand that you may get peed on – the birds have been drinking all day you know! But always have someone with you that is not holding a cup of nectar and who can take pictures. We always get great shots of the kids with a bird on their head or on their arms! Always a guaranteed great time to be had by the entire family!

Visited July 2013
Thank Carolyn D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,095 reviews from our community

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Augusta, Georgia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Zoo in SC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

My friend and I took her 3 year old grandson to the zoo on Monday the 15th of July 2013 and it was great. To bad it had to rain for about 30 min. He rode the kiddie train, rode a pony, saw all types of animals and all types of fish, snakes, etc, in the aquarium.
We were there about 2 years ago and it was O.K. then, but it was great this time. 100% for the zoo this year.
Prices were reasonable.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank genenewton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moore, South Carolina
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

My wife and I took our two children (3 and 2) along with another couple and their two children here July 5th. Other than having to dodge rain storms we had a great time. Most of the refreshments are fairly priced for the most part. I've seen some places that are double their prices. The only bad thing about the zoo on a rainy day is that a lot of the animals are hiding in their caves, cages, etc and you don't get to see them.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Chris E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clemson, South Carolina
Level Contributor
80 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Nice Zoo and Gardens”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2013

Took the day to visit this zoo and gardens. The zoo is nice and has lots of birds. There are elephants, zebra, monkeys, tigers, and other large animals.The gardens were nice but not spectacular. We spent about 4 hours on our visit. The price was reasonable.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Tim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
51 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Awesome Zoo, Top 10 in the U.S.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 11, 2013

This is a very modern, well thought out zoo. The only zoo I have seen that is better is the San Diego Zoo. This was unexpected since Columbia is only a semi-large city. They have several cool, air conditioned buildings where people can get out of the heat. (For example the primate/gorilla building) I've never been to a zoo where I was within inches of an enormous playful Gorilla. but I was here. The gorilla was outdoors and preferred the heat. We were on the other side of the glass and air conditioned. There is also a long, beautiful walking bridge over the river. (Is this the Broad River? I'm not sure.) The bridge has large umbrellas and relaxing chairs if you want to sit and watch the river, swimmers in inner tubes, and kayakers. Highlights were gorillas, elephants, giraffes, Koalas, one with a baby on her back,(and yes she was outdoors but we could watch her from indoor air conditioning.) The flamingo's were also great, and there are too many others to mention. If you are anywhere near Columbia, SC and like zoos, go here. By the way, the botanical garden is on the other side of the river. We never quite made it that far on this trip. Also, the zoo is in the process of building zip lines for the adventurous. Will one go across the river? These are still being constructed, but if you are interested you can keep checking on the progress. Highly recommended!

Visited June 2013
Thank RickTX28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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