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Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Visit a red wolf habitat, watch polar bears swim and see elephants in a simulated forest environment at this unique zoo and aquarium.

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is home to one of the Northwest's most comprehensive collections of regional and international animals. Learn how this unique facility has helped to save the country’s red wolf population. Explore exhibits that recreate environments in Southeast Asia, the Arctic tundra and the Andes Mountains. Touch stingrays and small sharks in the South Pacific Aquarium.

Stop at the zoo’s Arctic Tundra exhibit to see polar bears swimming in a saltwater pool. This exhibit simulates a coastal environment similar to Point Hope in Alaska. Look for Arctic foxes, large muskox and reindeer.

The Asian Forest Sanctuary is an incredible 5-acre (2-hectare) complex that recreates a southern Asian environment. Head to one of the many viewing points to look for clouded leopards, a type of wildcat naturally found in the Himalayan foothills. Spot white-cheeked gibbons, Malayan tapirs and Indian crested porcupines.

Watch brightly colored fish swimming in the facility’s massive South Pacific Aquarium and catch one of the daily shark-feeding sessions. Find the North Pacific Aquarium to see ratfish, salmon and jellyfish. Interact with more than 100 budgies in the open-air, walk-through Budgie Buddies exhibit and go for a fun camel ride.

Learn how the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium was instrumental in the recovery of the red wolf, which was facing extinction in the late 20th century. Due to ongoing efforts by this facility and other organizations, the red wolf population has grown from 14 to over 250.

Visit during the holiday season to see the zoo’s famous Zoolights event, during which over half a million lights illuminate the grounds. The decorations include 3-D animal light displays, such as a 22-foot (7-meter) wide rock crab.

The remarkable Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is located within Point Defiance Park, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the center of Tacoma, Washington. Ample parking is provided at the facility as well as next to the Point Defiance Park entrance.

Get up-close with more than 300 different animal species at this imaginative zoo and aquarium.


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Lodging Near Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

See all 117 Hotels near Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Charming North End Craftsman

Charming North End Craftsman

3913 N Verde St, Tacoma
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Tacoma, this vacation home is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Marine Park and 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Camp 6 Logging Museum and Fort Nisqually Living History Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$90
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast

Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast

1702 Narrows Drive, Tacoma
4.0
of 5, from 46 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Tacoma, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Titlow Park and Performance Golf Center are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$139
The INN at Gig Harbor

The INN at Gig Harbor

3211 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor
4.2
of 5, from 527 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Gig Harbor hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grandview Forest Park, Skansie Brothers Park, and Harbor History Museum. Performance Golf Center is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

$127
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites

Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites

6575 Kimball Drive, Gig Harbor
4.4
of 5, from 308 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Gig Harbor, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Grandview Forest Park and Skansie Brothers Park. Harbor History Museum and Crescent Creek Park are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Gartland Dock House

Gartland Dock House

2829 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Gig Harbor, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Skansie Brothers Park, Grandview Forest Park, and Harbor History Museum. Crescent Creek Park and Paradise Theatre are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Get Away in This Bayfront Gig Harbor Home w/ Private Beach & Dock!

Get Away in This Bayfront Gig Harbor Home w/ Private Beach & Dock!

2829 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Gig Harbor, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Skansie Brothers Park, Grandview Forest Park, and Harbor History Museum. Crescent Creek Park and Paradise Theatre are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Unbeatable Gig Harbor Bay and Sunset Views

Unbeatable Gig Harbor Bay and Sunset Views

8321 Goodman Dr NW, Gig Harbor
4.3
of 5, from 3 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated on the waterfront, this vacation home is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Crescent Creek Park and within 3 mi (5 km) of Harbor History Museum and Skansie Brothers Park. Paradise Theatre and Discovery Village are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Sunrise Beach Gig Harbor Beach Front Home With Mt Rainier View

Sunrise Beach Gig Harbor Beach Front Home With Mt Rainier View

9609 Sunrise Beach Dr., Gig Harbor
4.9
of 5, from 46 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated on the beach, this vacation home is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) from Crescent Creek Park and within 6 mi (10 km) of Harbor History Museum and Paradise Theatre. Skansie Brothers Park and Discovery Village are also within 6 mi (10 km).