The Best Zoos in Hawaii
The islands of Hawaii have many attractions, but you can’t miss out on their zoos. Zoos and aquariums are a great way to get acquainted with Hawaii’s marine life and tropical wildlife. If you’re planning on visiting zoos in Hawaii, it’s better to see your options ahead of time.
With that, here is a full guide to the best zoos in Hawaii, what you can find in them, and what you need to prepare before you go.
Cities with Zoos in Hawaii
There are many cities with zoos in Hawaii, but we’ve handpicked some of the most enjoyable options to add to your itinerary. Here are some of the best zoos in Hawaii to visit during your trip.
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo
Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is located on the big island of Hawaii. It’s a great, cost-efficient option as admission is completely free for all visitors. It’s home to many animals, some endangered, that can only be found in Hawaii. The animals in the zoo include lemurs, white tigers, nene geese, spider monkeys, and more. Panaewa Rainforest Zoo also has a butterfly house and a petting zoo that is open every Saturday.
Honolulu Zoo is one of Hawaii’s oldest zoos, first opening to the public in 1916. That being said, it has become one of the most popular attractions in Hawaii, hosting over 300 different species of animals. Honolulu Zoo has four major areas: The African Savannah, The Tropical Forest, The Children’s Zoo, and The Pacific Islands.
Waikiki Aquarium is also located in Honolulu, near the beach. It was opened even earlier than Honolulu Zoo, in 1904, and is known today as the oldest aquarium in the United States. Waikiki Aquarium is home to some species of Hawaii’s marine life and offers 6 areas for visitors to enjoy: Hawaiian Reefs, Seahorse Exhibits, Pygmy Angelfish Exhibit, Coral Reefs and Giant Clams, Hawaiian Monk Seal, and an area devoted to sharks.
Maui Ocean Center
Maui Ocean Center is one of the most popular attractions in Maui. Seeing as it’s an ocean center, the attraction highlights Hawaii’s marine life. They offer areas like the Living Reef, Hammerhead Harbor, Open Ocean, and Turtle Lagoon. These areas feature animals like octopi, turtles, moray eels, sharks, and more. The most popular and recent attraction is the Open Ocean, which gives visitors a close view of Hawaii’s marine life as they step into a large acrylic tunnel submerged in a 750,000-gallon tank.
A Guide to Visiting Zoos in Hawaii
- Make the most of your day by arriving early. Zoos often have several areas, attractions, and activities for you to enjoy. Arriving late gives you less time to enjoy them, so be sure to get there early.
- Buy tickets ahead of time. Buying tickets on-site is okay, but many websites offer discounted prices for popular zoos in Hawaii.
- Research zoos in Hawaii ahead of time. Find out what your best options are, considering the distance from your accommodations, the cost of the trip, and the attractions inside.
- Bring extra clothes and shoes. Expect to get wet or dirty if you’re heading to an aquarium or zoo in Hawaii, because some areas allow you to get up close and personal with the animals.
- Pack your own food or buy some outside the zoo. Zoos in Hawaii offer several options for food, but they may be overpriced. Allocate your budget towards other costs instead, like more attractions or transportation.
From Honolulu to Maui, visitors can make the most of their trips by adding these zoos in Hawaii to their schedules. Experience Hawaii’s marine and tropical wildlife like never before, and buy your tickets today!