"Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens" Top 5 Page for this destination Jacksonville Travelogue by noidiotsplease

Jacksonville Travel Guide: 418 reviews and 914 photos


After an aggressive long-term growth plan, the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens is a must see for animal lovers. Covering acres of riverfront land in Jacksonville's Northside, some of the zoo's attractions include the "Tuxedo Coast" Magellianic penguin exhibit, a stingray lagoon, Asian komodo dragons and bamboo gardens, "Great Apes of the World," a renovated bird aviary, "Wild Florida" (a wetlands attraction), the 11-acre "Plains of East Africa," and a giraffe overlook that literally puts you nose to nose with these gentle giants. The zoo's premier attraction, "Range of the Jaguar," is an excellent complex of its own. Designed as a recreated Latin American village and temple, the attraction includes a restaurant with large picture windows allowing you to watch these mighty cats while you eat. The lion, elephant and aardvark exhibits are also exceptional!

In addition to the animals, the zoo also features the largest thatched-roof structure in North America, Main Camp Safari Lodge, which serves as the park's entrance in addition to housing a gift shop, meeting space and party areas. When the Main Camp was built, the zoo brought in authentic Zulu craftsmen from Africa to weave the thatching by hand.

Other attractions include a narrated train tour, medical and educational facilities, boat docks and a variety of other large and small animal exhibits. Special holiday events like
Spooktacular and Christmas lighting draw large crowds to the zoo after dark.

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  • Page Updated Jun 11, 2013
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