Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a 110-acre (44-hectare) park with a walking safari and a collection of more than 2,000 animals. Stroll through scenic botanical gardens spread throughout the zoo. The complex has about 1,000 types of plants. Among the zoo’s favorite attractions are the Range of the Jaguar, the 4-D ride and the garden tours.
Make your way to the Range of the Jaguar, which houses one of the largest collections of jaguars in the U.S. Get close to more big cats in the 2.5-acre (1-hectare) Land of the Tiger exhibit. Cross the arena below the tigers and look up at the majestic creatures. See elephants and rhinos in their own enclosures. Pet live stingrays in a touch tank and observe giraffes, reptiles and primates in African-themed exhibits.
Explore the array of botanical gardens in the park. Enjoy a break from the Florida heat in shady spaces. Examine Asian bamboo, futuristic horticulture and the Rivers of Color Garden.
Let the kids romp in the Play Park and Splash Ground’s mazes, fountains and climbing areas. Take the little ones on the 4-D ride, which is a 3-D movie with water and wind effects to make you feel like you are part of the action.
The zoo was established in 1914. It opens daily from morning until late in the afternoon. There is an admission fee, with concessions for children and seniors and free entry for children under 2 years of age.
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is located in northern Jacksonville, on the way to the city’s international airport. It sits on the point where the Trout River and the St. Johns River converge. For additional fun, take a 6-mile (10-kilometer) water taxi journey northeast to the attraction from the center of the city. Alternatively, arrive by car and park for free. Visit some of the other landmarks in the region, including the St. Johns River, Turner Pond and several parks.