Waccatee Zoo began in 1988 as the Futrell family's private collection of exotic and domestic pets. Today it is a 500-acre (202-hectare) property, showcasing more than 100 different species from around the world.
Simple, natural habitats are the focus at Waccatee, which remains a family-run enterprise. The zoo is located on a private, wooded property and the trails connecting the exhibits run through fields, under tree canopies and over creeks.
Pet baby calves, horses, goats and ducks at interactive enclosures. You’ll also be enchanted by the large collection of colorful peacocks that roam the park.
The zoo features a large African safari collection, including herds of zebras, buffalo, tigers, lions, cougars and leopards. The grounds are a natural habitat and breeding ground for many species of migratory birds.
Don’t miss meeting Chico, a lively, 27-year-old chimpanzee, who is one of the zoo’s original inhabitants. It’s said that he was like a son to the late founder Archie Futrell.
Waccatee Zoo is just 15 minutes by car from central Myrtle Beach. While it doesn’t have the fancy features of some of the country’s bigger zoos, the trade off is admission prices are minimal. Only basic food is available at a snack bar, so bring a packed lunch if you like. Much of the zoo is outdoors, making it a perfect family outing for sunny weather.
The zoo is open seven days a week, and there is free parking.