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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Phoenix Zoo

This wildlife park often ranks in the top American zoos for families, and is the largest non-profit zoo in the United States.

The 125-acre (50-hectare) Phoenix Zoo houses about 1,200 animals, including many endangered species. You can see most displays along three themed trails that take you from Arizona to Africa to the Tropics. A fourth trail is aimed at small children and includes interaction with farm animals. The family-focused zoo attracts about 1.4 million visitors per year.

Over 50 years ago, Phoenix resident Robert Maytag set out to collect funds for a local zoo. Sadly he died shortly before the opening in 1962, but his vision to have a non-profit zoo without government funding is still alive today. Initially it was called the “Maytag Zoo,” but his heirs later requested it be renamed Phoenix Zoo to reflect its community spirit. For a relatively young zoo, the Phoenix Zoo has already gained a reputation for its wildlife conservation efforts, such as a successful captive breeding program to reintroduce the once extremely rare Arabian oryxes into the wild. 

Explore the 2.5 miles (four kilometers) of trails by foot or jump aboard the safari train for a narrated tour of the attractions. Check out the local coyotes and javelinas or visit the rainforest of Monkey Village on the Tropics Trail. Pay a few dollars extra to pet cownose stingrays in Stingray Bay, ride a camel or feed giraffes from the observation deck. Kids can learn where their food comes from and what farm life is really like at the Windmill House. If you visit during the Christmas holiday period, head to the zoo at night for the ZooLights spectacle, with lights in the shapes of animals.

The Phoenix Zoo is located in Papago Park, a 20-minute drive east from downtown along Van Buren Street. Opening hours vary according to season. Stay for at least three hours to walk all trails, and get there early during summer when the park closes at 2 p.m. Picnic areas are available and the zoo has many eateries. Several bus routes pass the zoo and there is a parking lot.


Guide to Exploring around Phoenix Zoo


Top Phoenix Zoo Flight + Hotel Deals

Best Lodging Options Near Phoenix Zoo

See all 5,935 Properties near Phoenix Zoo
3 Palms $56
3 Palms

3 Palms

7707 E McDowell Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in South Scottsdale, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Big Surf, Desert Botanical Garden, and Scottsdale Stadium. Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Hole in the Rock are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe $84
    Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe

    Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe

    1415 N. Scottsdale Road, Tempe, AZ
       
      2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tempe Town Lake Marina and Tempe Town Lake. Big Surf and Sun Devil Stadium are also within 2 mi (3 km). Center Parkway - Washington Station is 29 minutes by foot.

      Papago Sunshine - Pool + Hot Tub + Ping Pong + Cable + Old Town Scottsdale, ASU
      Papago Sunshine - Pool + Hot Tub + Ping Pong + Cable + Old Town Scottsdale, ASU

      Papago Sunshine - Pool + Hot Tub + Ping Pong + Cable + Old Town Scottsdale, ASU

      Tempe, AZ
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Tempe, this vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Papago Park, Phoenix Zoo, and Desert Botanical Garden. Old Town and Tempe Town Lake are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Taylor Street 4 Bedroom Home
        Taylor Street 4 Bedroom Home

        Taylor Street 4 Bedroom Home

        211 E Taylor Street, Tempe, AZ
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Tempe, this golf vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Papago Park, Phoenix Zoo, and Desert Botanical Garden. Old Town and Arizona State University are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Motel 6 Phoenix, AZ - East $60
          Motel 6 Phoenix, AZ - East

          Motel 6 Phoenix, AZ - East

          5315 E Van Buren St, Phoenix, AZ
             
            2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Camelback East, this motel is 1 mi (1.7 km) from Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting and within 3 mi (5 km) of Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue District are also within 3 mi (5 km). 50th Street Station is 14 minutes by foot and Priest Dr - Washington Station is 22 minutes.

            Condo W/pool & Spa Access: 7.5 Miles to DT Phoenix
            Condo W/pool & Spa Access: 7.5 Miles to DT Phoenix

            Condo W/pool & Spa Access: 7.5 Miles to DT Phoenix

            Phoenix, AZ
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Camelback East, this condo building is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting and within 3 mi (5 km) of Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden. Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue District are also within 3 mi (5 km). 50th Street Station is 18 minutes by foot and Priest Dr - Washington Station is 19 minutes.

              Luxury Suite Close to Scottsdale - Airport - ASU - Zoo - Gym - 1st Floor
              Luxury Suite Close to Scottsdale - Airport - ASU - Zoo - Gym - 1st Floor

              Luxury Suite Close to Scottsdale - Airport - ASU - Zoo - Gym - 1st Floor

              Phoenix, AZ
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Camelback East, this condo building is within 2 mi (3 km) of Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting, Phoenix Zoo, and Desert Botanical Garden. Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue District are also within 3 mi (5 km). 50th Street Station is 18 minutes by foot and Priest Dr - Washington Station is 19 minutes.

                Gated One Bedroom Resort Style Condo Near Asu, the Zoo, Golf, Botanical Gardens
                Gated One Bedroom Resort Style Condo Near Asu, the Zoo, Golf, Botanical Gardens

                Gated One Bedroom Resort Style Condo Near Asu, the Zoo, Golf, Botanical Gardens

                Phoenix, AZ
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Camelback East, this condo building is within 2 mi (3 km) of Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting, Phoenix Zoo, and Desert Botanical Garden. Tempe Town Lake and Mill Avenue District are also within 3 mi (5 km). 50th Street Station is 18 minutes by foot and Priest Dr - Washington Station is 19 minutes.