Denver Zoo

Vacation Travel Guide
Denver Zoo which includes zoo animals and marine life

This zoo started with a single bear. Now, it’s an award-winning tourist destination housing more than 3,500 animals.

In 1896, a small black bear named Billy Bryan was given to the mayor of Denver and the Denver Zoo was born. Today it has more than 80 acres (32 hectares) of habitats and, with more than 1.6 million visitors a year, is one of the most popular zoos in the United States.

More than 650 different species, about 200 of them threatened or endangered, are housed in enclosures almost identical to their natural habitat. Watch monkeys swing through trees, wolves prowl through a shaded wood and giraffes graze on an open field, all just a 10-minute drive from downtown Denver. It’s easy to get around either on foot or by taking the zoo’s train, which is both reasonably priced and environmentally friendly. Pull-along wagons for kids, strollers and wheelchairs are also available for rent.

One of the first points of call should be Bear Mountain. When the enclosure opened in 1918, it was the first naturalistic zoo animal habitat in North America. Today it’s considered a national historic landmark, with a collection of bears, including grizzlies and the adorable coati.

Predator Ridge offers a safe way to get close up to some of Africa’s most dangerous animals, including lions, African wild dogs and hyenas. The enclosure is a recreation of aspects of the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya.

The zoo lays claim to a number of records: the world’s only rhinoceros that paints with a brush (his artworks are displayed in the Pachyderm Building), the world’s largest indoor Komodo dragon exhibit and one of the largest habitats for endangered gorillas.

Daily feeding demonstrations draw hordes of curious onlookers. Check the timetable on the zoo’s official website to schedule them into the day. Stop for lunch at one of the restaurants, or pack a picnic. There are plenty of grassy knolls to sit on and large trees to relax under. In summer, between Memorial Weekend and Labor Day, there’s an extensive calendar of free programs, from wild encounters with reptiles to interactive bird shows. During the Christmas holiday season, the zoo hosts a spectacular light display. Millions of sparkling lights decorate the zoo along with animated animal sculptures.

Located within City Park, the Denver Zoo is a ten-minute drive from downtown, and there’s plenty of parking. It’s also easy to get to by light rail or bus.

Top Hotels Close to Denver Zoo

Sonesta Denver Downtown
Sonesta Denver Downtown
4 out of 5
1450 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO
The price is $79 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Located in Downtown Denver, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Paramount Theater and Colorado Convention Center. Civic Center Park and Denver Art Museum ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,593 reviews)
"I didn’t like the view of a parking garage ."

Reviewed on Oct 16, 2021

Sonesta Denver Downtown
Hilton Denver City Center
Hilton Denver City Center
4 out of 5
1701 California St, Denver, CO
The price is $84 per night from Nov 24 to Nov 24
Located in Downtown Denver, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Paramount Theater, Colorado Convention Center, and 16th Street Mall. Wells Fargo Center ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (1,397 reviews)
"Very clean, professional staff. Housekeeper texted me to ensure everything was going okay. Staff also held luggage for me for a few hours after checking out which was nice. Hotel bar is very nice as well! Very pleased with our stay."

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Hilton Denver City Center
Warwick Denver
Warwick Denver
4 out of 5
1776 Grant Street, Denver, CO
The price is $105 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Located in Uptown, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Wells Fargo Center, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and Paramount Theater. Colorado ...
3.7/5 Good! (1,439 reviews)
"What a great place to stay. We will be back."

Reviewed on Oct 25, 2021

Warwick Denver
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Denver Zoo

Sonesta Denver Downtown
Sonesta Denver Downtown
4 out of 5
1450 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO
The price is $79 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Sonesta Denver Downtown
Hilton Denver City Center
Hilton Denver City Center
4 out of 5
1701 California St, Denver, CO
The price is $84 per night from Nov 24 to Nov 24
Hilton Denver City Center
Warwick Denver
Warwick Denver
4 out of 5
1776 Grant Street, Denver, CO
The price is $105 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Warwick Denver
Brand New Spacious 4 bed, 4 bath, game room, deck, patio, 2 porches
Brand New Spacious 4 bed, 4 bath, game room, deck, patio, 2 porches
Denver, CO
Brand New Spacious 4 bed, 4 bath, game room, deck, patio, 2 porches
Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Downtown
Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Downtown
2.5 out of 5
1845 Sherman St, Denver, CO
The price is $91 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Hampton Inn & Suites Denver-Downtown
Staybridge Suites Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel
Staybridge Suites Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
333 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO
The price is $99 per night from Nov 26 to Nov 26
Staybridge Suites Denver Downtown, an IHG Hotel
New| Architectural Denver Home| City Park Golf|
New| Architectural Denver Home| City Park Golf|
Denver, CO
New| Architectural Denver Home| City Park Golf|
Loftium | Stylish Basement Suite by the Park!
Loftium | Stylish Basement Suite by the Park!
Denver, CO
The price is $170 per night from Oct 29 to Oct 29
Loftium | Stylish Basement Suite by the Park!
Private Apartment Sleeps 8 in the Heart of Denver
Private Apartment Sleeps 8 in the Heart of Denver
Denver, CO
Private Apartment Sleeps 8 in the Heart of Denver
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.