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Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
Ranked #2 of 166 things to do in Jacksonville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 73-acre park is the only zoo in Florida's northeast.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 13, 2013

i go there once every 3 months and i love it! they sell shaved ice too so if its hot just grab that! and its not expensive so get how many you want for not alot of money. i suggest that if your coming to jacksonville to visit you go to the zoo :) its awesome

Visited November 2012
Thank Mary S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Jacksonville, Fla.
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“It's not just a zoo anymore....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been transformed over the last 10 years or so into one of the prime attractions for NE Florida. From exotic animals, to an historic steam train to acres of tropical plants, flowers, and walkways throughout the park, it's an absolutely great way to take in the sights and sounds of a really top notch zoological park. The County and the Friends of the Zoo have contributed large amounts of funding to bring many exhibits up to state of the art, including polar bears, jaguars, lots of roaming areas for the "wild beasts" (lions, gazelles, etc.)
and river front gardens and flowers from all over the northern and southern hemisphere. Prices are very reasonable; senior discounts are available; and military folks get a break also. Very easy to get to and you'll park very close to where you want to be. No shuttles required. Food and drinks are available; feeding some species is also permitted -- just watch the signs. (Don't feed the seagulls - they can be a nuisance if you start to feed them!) Trails are easy walking, ride the train and enjoy, and the breeze off the river helps keep things comfortable for the most part. July and August might get a bit hot, but the animals are protected, and you can be as well -- plenty of shade to get a break from the sun. Don't forget your camera and go out and make a day of it -- you won't regret it. There's always something being updated -- your support and visit will help the Zoo and Gardens move forward (and, no, I'm not an employee!). I just like seeing something that wasn't so nice about a dozen years or so ago being what it is today -- a really nice spot for couples, family etc. to visit.

Visited January 2013
Thank Art C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
236 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
“Excellent small zoo with a lot of fun options for the kids”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

We have lived in Jacksonville for over 20 years now and the zoo has come a long way. The landscaping is beautiful and the layout is nice. There is plenty to see and do, especially for the under 10 crowd. In the summer they have a small water area that is connected to a larger play area that includes a tree house, rock wall, rock slide, and plenty of room to run. There is also a squirrel monkey exhibit that has climbing vines for the kids (I think the monkeys have just as much fun watching the kids as the kids have watching the monkeys!), goats in the petting zoo area that have brushes available for the kids to "groom" the pygmy goats, and our favorite the penguin exhibit. There is a small underwater viewing area for the kids to lay down under and see the penguins in action, there are also benches and shade for the adults. Close by is a small cafe, bathrooms, and maze. Make sure to see the Range of the Jaguar, there is a really cool temple that has some fun animals inside, an aviary that has otters, and of course the jaguar exhibit. The newest addition is the Asian garden in the very back of the zoo, it's beautiful. Lot's of bamboo, flowers, bridges and a koi pond. You can also see the Komodo Dragon here! Some of the activities at the zoo include feeding the giraffes, stingray interactive exhibit (you can touch and feed them), carousel, behind the scenes tours, CSX train ride, and many educational day camps for the kids. Yes, it's a small zoo compared to ones in bigger cities but you don't want to miss it. If you live in Jacksonville you are better off purchasing a family membership and enjoying the zoo all year long. They offer special programs and activities with a discount for members and members are always the first to see a new exhibit at the zoo. Almost forgot Butterfly Hollow, it's located right along the river and you are able to see plenty of butterflies and their life cycle (extra fee to get in, about $2 pp, members receive discount).

Visited May 2012
Thank Shawna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“A Good Zoo”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

There are better Zoo's in the U.S., but they do a really nice job taking care of the animals at the Jax Zoo, and we always had fun taking the CSX-Sponsored train ride around the entire park. The tiger and elephant exhibit's are really cool.

Visited September 2012
Thank Mike K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Troy, Illinois
Level Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Satisfying short-term visit”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2013

As zoos go, this is probably one of the smaller zoos you will encounter. It had several appealing features, though, including a train which travels about the perimeter of the property (for an added cost, of course.) At $14.95 per person (but with free parking), it is a bit pricy for what can be experienced in a couple of hours. Special admission prices can be found if you watch closely, though. Note that my experience is skewed somewhat by our world-class St. Louis Zoo, which offers free admission daily.

Visited January 2013
Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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