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“Great place to visit”

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 109 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.
Chapin, South Carolina
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great place to visit”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

We are members of the zoo and even though we do not have a child at home anymore we enjoy walking through the zoo and looking at the beautiful botanical garden. My husband can never take enough pictures at the zoo! For a small fee you can feed the giraffes and birds which I enjoy.

Visited September 2013
Thank Mustangluv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,228 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
46 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”
Reviewed October 9, 2013

The Riverbanks Zoo is a real gem right in central South Carolina. They have a large variety of animals with the exterior exhibits featuring animals such as lions, tigers and bears. There are also elephants, giraffes and meerkats. The interior exhibits featuring a wide variety of animals in the reptile and fish venues. You will see a lot of animals from all over the world while visiting there.

During your look around the zoo, you will find a number of food venues and bathroom facilities. The food shacks offer some pretty typical fried foods such as chicken fingers but there are some specialty shops which also serve burgers or pizzas. There are also a number of gift shops in a few places so you can pick up a trinket or two that you can remember your trip by!

Parking is ample and shouldn't be a problem finding a spot to keep your car at. I would recommend a minimum of 6 hours to visit the zoo and that's if you just stroll through all the exhibits and have a quick peek. Another couple of hours would be nice if you want to spend some time in any particular exhibit.

The zoo is a great place to visit for all ages. My only recommendation might be to visit there either in the spring or fall. During the summer, it's very warm, which makes it a little uncomfortable being outside all day but mostly because the outside exhibit animals are trying to stay cool and often out of sight in their dens. If the weather isn't quite as hot, they will probably be outside and more visible.

Visited August 2013
Thank Jeffrey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Hot day at the zoo.”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

Very nice zoo but account for heat and go early in day to see active animals.Price was good and plenty to say. It will take all day to do it.

Visited October 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
87 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Lots of fun for everyone”
Reviewed October 6, 2013

We had a great time at the Riverbanks zoo. I have a 3 year old and she loved it as well. All the animals were out and about. We esp. loved being able to walk through the kangaroo cage! We were within a few feet of the kangaroos. Feeding the huge goats was also a lot of fun. Entry prices are fair as well - $11.75 for adults, $9.75 for kids and kids 2 and under are free. We spent about 5 hours at the zoo and that was enough time for us to see the entire zoo, eat lunch, and see some of the animals we really liked again :) Def. worth a weekend visit to the zoo.

Visited October 2013
Thank EricaWV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lexington, South Carolina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Riverbanks is a top notch zoo. The staff is courteous and professional. The exhibits are always changing which keeps you coming back. It is a great value for a family to buy the yearly membership. We always have a great time especially when we get to go with the grandchildren.

Visited May 2013
Thank Bud N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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