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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

North Florida, FL, USA

Description

Jacksonville Zoo is a tropical wonderland! It is a large zoo with winding paths lined with gorgeous tropical plants. Even the parking lot is filled with California-style date palms. In some spots there are colorful flower plantings! Most of the animals have big, interesting enclosures, except for one or two.
The zoo is divided into different geographic areas, each in a loop that is easy to walk. Kids enjoy the huge sculptures, such as a giraffe and an elephant sculpture. There is a bird aviary with roseate spoonbills! Kids can touch stingrays in a shaded touch tank. We had a fantastic view of the male lion playing with a huge toy in his enclosure. The alligator area is a boardwalk over a pond filled with duck weed. It's a beautiful area with tropical architecture. Kids can stand on an alligator sculpture, too. It's funny to watch storks up in trees here. There is an awful, tiny wire enclosure for the Florida Bobcat. The bobcat should be moved to a nicer enclosure.
A manatee area has a pool for rescued manatees to be returned asap to their natural habitat. You can see Florida black bears and Florida panthers.
A fantastic area is the Lost Temple, which looks like a Disney ride! Here you can see amazing leopards cruising on stone ledges. Inside, check out the Green Anaconda- what a gorgeous snake! The stingray in the same tank has a wonderful design. Enjoy the beautiful carvings in the stone inside the Lost Temple.
In the South America area, check out calybaras- they are such funny animals. Walk past bamboo and Brazilian vaseplants, and over a pedestrian rope bridge. The yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers from tropical South America are gorgeous too. Pink Caribbean flamingos wow you in their pond. How could an animal be this colorful?
Kids enjoy the carousel with zoo animals, and the large fountain near the riverside, with tall flower pots reaching into the sky. Here a bright blue manatee sculpture adds a friendly feel. 
Walk through a circular archway into the Asian section, with bridges and flowers. Check out the huge Komodo dragon and the way he flicks his tongue. The wreathed hornbills are such wonderful birds, like toucans. Check out the fluffy tigers with their huge paws, sleeping on a bridge over you. 
We didn't make it to every part of the zoo, but plan to be back soon!
After, we ate at Panera Bread in the modern development called River City Marketplace, an eleven minute drive north.

Photo Gallery


California palms in the parking lot!

Giraffe sculpture.

Cute bird standing on one leg on a rock.

Roseate spoonbill in a tree!

Sting ray touch tank.

Purple flowers, end of March.

Lion playing with a toy.

Shaded area for alligator viewing.

Beautiful tropical architecture.

Alligator sculpture kids can stand on.

Roseate spoonbill in a tree!

Alligator smile.

Cute architecture.

Rescued manatee.

Florida black bear.

Florida panther.

Elephant sculptures.

Kids standing by the elephant sculptures.

Lost Temple area, which looks like you're at the Disney theme parks.

Amazing leopard.

Inside the Lost Temple.

Snake in the Lost Temple.

Carvings in the Lost Temple.

Green anaconda. They live in slow-moving rivers in the Amazon River Basin.

Nice atmosphere in the Lost Temple.

Amazing sting ray with patterned back.

Lost Temple and cactus.

A boy checks out a Capybara.

Bamboo!

Swinging bridge.

Brazilian Vaseplant.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow flowers.

Caribbean flamingos!

Amazing colors of the flamingos.

Animals to ride on the carousel.

Kids love this area by the lake with potted flowers up high.

Manatee sculpture in bright blue- sweet.

Japanese garden.

Bougainvillea by the lake.

Bamboo architecture in the komodo dragon section.

Komodo dragon sticking out his tongue!

Banana leaves and bamboo!

A tropical wonderland.

Tiger sleeping above us.

Tiger paw!!

Tiger tail!
 

Directions

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, 370 Zoo Pkwy, Jacksonville, FL 32218. Parking is free and there's a large parking lot. 
Open Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat and Sun 9-6. Closed on Dec 25. 
Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors aged 65+, $10 for college students with ID, and $15 for children aged 3-12.
The zoo accepts some reciprocal memberships, so don't forget to show your card!
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