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“Very Nice Zoo”

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 113 things to do in Columbia
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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.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

We recently brought our 3 year old and 8 month old here and had a fantastic time! We went in February and wasn't sure how active the animals would be but was pleasantly surprised. They had numerous attractions indoors and lots of interactivity for the kiddos. Be sure to check out the pony rides, train ride, playground, carousel, and goat/giraffe feeding. I wouldn't recommend the nectar feeding for the birds unless you look in and see that they're hungry (we ended up throwing our cup away bc none of the birds wanted it). Overall we had a great experience would recommend it to others. Oh, we didn't make it there but there is also botanical gardens attached after walking over to the other side of the river. :-)

Thank Amanda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"zip line"
in 107 reviews
"pony rides"
in 61 reviews
"ropes course"
in 55 reviews
"giraffe feeding"
in 33 reviews
"merry go round"
in 33 reviews
"train ride"
in 31 reviews
"wide variety of animals"
in 29 reviews
"rock climbing"
in 27 reviews
"bird house"
in 25 reviews
"sea lion exhibit"
in 43 reviews
"before christmas"
in 57 reviews
"day trip"
in 90 reviews
"across the river"
in 41 reviews
"animal exhibits"
in 25 reviews
"well taken care"
in 37 reviews
"all ages"
in 96 reviews
"under construction"
in 30 reviews

1,747 - 1,751 of 2,478 reviews

Reviewed February 7, 2014

I grew up in Columbia. All during my school years, we would take trips to the zoo. It was fun, but it was old and run down. Not anymore. My wife and I stopped here on our way back from Asheville to kill some time and we were very happy with the visit. The zoo looks fresh and modern, there are numerous types of animals to see, and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. A must see if you are in Columbia.

Thank Joshua K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

One of the best sights in Columbia, no matter how old I get - going to this zoo is always a wonderful experience!

We have been members of the zoo for many years and no matter how many times we visit we always see something different. The exhibits are constantly changing which keeps us coming back several times a year. You can take a tram across the river to see the botanical garden. If you’re here at Christmas be sure to check out the “lights before Christmas”.

As with any zoo the concession prices are a bit high … we always eat before or after our visit.

Thank bobbyarcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

I've visitied many zoos around the world, but the one right here is Columbia is by far our favorite. You get up closer and more expreiences with the animals than anywhere I've ever visited.

Thank D T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 23, 2014

I had never been to Columbia, SC and my sister in law moved to ,Lexington, not too far from downtown, this past November.we stayed at a downtown hotel and decided to make a long weekend visiting the riverbanks zoo and return with the family that evening for the Christmas lights and walk through out the zoo. I was thrilled to find animals up close, well taken care of with clean enclosures. There were exotic birds as well as lions and tigers. I miss the reptile house but saw koala bears for the first time. Besides the carousel and ropes climbing structure there are beautiful gardens up the hill tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the zoo. I cannot wait to go back in the spring when everything is in bloom. The gardens are layer out as a beautiful English garden and a perfect venue for a wedding or large event. I was most impressed with this little jewel
and will happily return this year.

Thank pbstjs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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