We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Best place for kids”

Western North Carolina Nature Center
Ranked #10 of 196 things to do in Asheville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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 220 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA
Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Best views of animals. Animals look very well taken care of. Kids loved petting zoo. Needs some updating on exit gate very hard go get out.

Thank AAIN13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (647)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

507 - 511 of 647 reviews

Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

We visited this nature center with our 2 children. It was so awesome for our 2 1/2 year old boy. He loved watching the animals. I enjoyed the trails being paved since I had to push my baby around in a stroller the whole time. Very family friendly & a great place to visit. Plenty of animals to watch from otters to bears.

Thank TxTravelTeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

After dragging our three children all over trying to find it, there were very few parking spaces. I did not realize it would be so crowded. When we climbed our way to the entrance, we were curtly greeted and having shown our membership card, our maps were practically thrown at us, so they weren't happy that we didn't need to pay and just pointed the way in. No further information was given. I like to give nature centers the benefit of the doubt because they don't get a lot of funding, but we did pay for membership so we felt we were unfairly treated. It was nice otherwise and there were a good variety of animals although most were sleeping, but it was probably that time of day. There are plans for another exhibit opening this summer but we'll have to see it during another visit. Also, no bats. The brochure advertised that there were bats, but there are none. It would have been nice to see them. The otters, Obi and Olive were really cute and you can watch them on their own web cam if you can't view them due to the crowd.

Thank A L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

When I visited the nature center I got a most pleasant surprise. It was quite an active place. When you enter there is a lobby with a shop where you can purchase nature related items from t-shirts to calendars. Proceeds go to help the nature center.

You can then stroll leisurely on a paved walkway which winds around to give excellent views of the various wildlife. Each wildlike habitat is totally enclosed and fenced to protect both animals and visitors.
It is interesting to view the animals. Some are in plain sight playing or being lazy. Others you might have to search for depending on where they choose to lie or roost at that moment. If you do not see a certain species, go back around and chances are they will then be very visible.
There is a petting area where children love to interact with the small animals. Hand washing facilities are prevalent.
This attraction is so much fun for all. Everyone from small children to senior adults get caught up in the fun. Plan to spend time leisurely walking through the grounds. There is a lot of nicely shaded area throughout the stroll.

Thank Sarah H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

We had a baby squirrel fall out of a tree and nursed it all night, called around and found that the Nature Center would take it in and return it to a local habitat when it was grown. Have enjoyed visiting many times, the volunteers are amazing!

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

Travelers who viewed Western North Carolina Nature Center also viewed

Asheville, North Carolina Mountains
Asheville, North Carolina Mountains
 
Asheville, North Carolina Mountains
Asheville, North Carolina Mountains
 

Been to Western North Carolina Nature Center? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing