|by Rachel Mosely||Wildlife Appreciation, Zoos, Coolest Small Towns, Family Travel||63|
TripAdvisor recently announced the top 10 zoos in the U.S., as measured by rankings compiled through the site. Top honors go to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, which boasts the largest indoor desert in the world (you'll find cape cobras and meerkats, among other heat–loving critters, inside). Coming in second place is Saint Louis Zoo, which is unveiling a new sea lion exhibit at the end of this month. And in third place: Cape May County Park & Zoo, located in one of BT's Coolest Small Towns.
And as for the rest of the list? The Southern U.S. had a decent showing, with four zoos in the top 10, including: Columbia, S.C.'s Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (4th place); Tennessee's Memphis Zoo (5th place); Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Fla. (8th place—and featuring a new zip line course); and New Orleans' Audubon Zoo rounding out the list at number 10. Perhaps the famous zoo in the country, the San Diego Zoo, came in at number six, while spots 7 and 9 went to The Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kans., and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, Colo., respectively.
Though BT's reigning Cutest Zoo Baby, Maggie the Giraffe, won't be found at one of TripAdvisor's top 10 zoos (she's at the Oakland Zoo in Oakland, Calif.), we love any reason to check out a wildlife wonderland. And breaking the bank isn't a requirement: Admission for these zoos runs the gamut, from the pricey ($42/adult for The San Diego Zoo) to the blissfully budget–friendly (both the Saint Louis Zoo and Cape May County Park & Zoo offer free admission).
Here's the full list:
1) Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Nebr. ($13.50/adult; $9/child aged 3–11)
2) Saint Louis Zoo, St. Louis, Mo. (free; though charges apply for certain exhibits)
3) Cape May County Park & Zoo, Cape May, N.J. (free)
4) Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Columbia, S.C. ($11.75/adult; $9.25/child aged 3–12)
5) Memphis Zoo, Memphis, Tenn. ($15/adult; $10/child aged 2–11)
6) San Diego Zoo, San Diego, Calif. ($42/adult; $32/child aged 3–11)
7) Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kans. ($13.95/adult; $8.95/child aged 3–11)
8) Brevard Zoo, Melbourne, Fla. ($14.50/adult; $10.50/child aged 2–12)
9) Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colo. ($17.25/adult; $12.25/child aged 3–11)
10) Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, La. ($16/adult; $11/child aged 2–12)
What do you think? Are there any zoos missing from TripAdvisor's list?
SEE MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL