Visiting a zoo is a fun, educational experience for people of all ages; in these wonderful areas, children and adults alike can learn about different animals and their habitats. In fact, many zoos have educational programs that aim to teach visitors about animals.
Zoos also provide a place for people to see animals that they would not normally see in the wild, especially if they’re from a different continent. Seeing these animals close-up helps people appreciate and respect them more; they become less of an abstract concept and more of a living, breathing presence right in front of them. Many zoos also breed endangered animals in captivity and release them back into the wild to try to avoid their extinction.
Some of the best zoos in the world are located right here in the US. At these zoos, you can see animals ranging from majestic lions and tigers to playful monkeys and apes. Whether you’re interested in big cats or small rodents, you’re certain to find something interesting; there’s something for everyone at a zoo.
In the state of Oregon, there are many great zoos that all offer a unique and exciting experience. This article outlines some of the best zoos in Oregon so you can begin planning a fun day out for you and your friends or family.
Best Zoos in Oregon
Oregon Zoo – Portland
Located at 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, the Oregon Zoo is a wild and wooly 64-acre animal park. This meticulously landscaped zoo is full of natural vegetation. It’s home to approximately 3,000 creatures with 19 endangered species among them, making it a must-visit park.
While you should dress comfortably for all parks, it’s especially true for the Oregon Zoo; there are 23 interactive exhibits to explore here. These exhibits are divided among five main areas, including the Great Northwest, the Pacific Shores, the Discovery Zone, the Africa Zone, and the Elephant Lands.
If you have any questions or concerns to run by this zoo’s team before visiting, you can call them at (503) 226-1561.
Sea Lion Caves – Florence
While not technically a zoo, this two-acre marine park and nature preserve is still home to a wide variety of animals, including sea lions, seals, seabirds, and tide pool inhabitants. The highlights of the park are the titular Sea Lion Caves, which are a network of natural limestone caves that serve as the winter home for a colony of sea lions. Visitors can visit the Sea Lion Caves at 91560 US-101, Florence to take a self-guided tour of the caves, or they can join a guided tour led by one of the park’s naturalists.
While this cave is a spectacular sight, it is unfortunately inaccessible to young children and people with mobility issues. This is because the cave is only accessible via a steep, narrow staircase. If you are able to visit these caves, however, it’s certain to be an unforgettable experience. If you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility or safety of the caves, you can call them at (541) 547-3111.
West Coast Game Park Safari – Bandon
The West Coast Game Park Safari, located at 46914 US-101, Bandon, has become one of the best zoos in Oregon thanks to its expansive collection of animals. Their collection includes more than 75 species of animals, including big cats, wolves, bears, primates, reptiles, birds, and many, many more. Visitors can not only see these amazing creatures up close during their self-guided tour, they can also feed some of the animals. This makes the park an exciting and interactive experience that your friends and family are sure to love.
The park has a number of different shows and presentations, which are sure to be a hit with the whole group. If you’re looking for an exciting and educational zoo experience, be sure to check out West Coast Game Park Safari. You can call them at (541) 347-3106.
Wildlife Safari – Winston
The Wildlife Safari, located at 1790 Safari Rd, Winston, is extremely worth the visit. This zoo has a drive through safari where you can see animals up close from the safety of your own car. If you want to get even closer, you can also take a walking safari tour to see even more animals. This safari also has a petting zoo where visitors of all ages can pet their friendly animals.
They also have an array of interesting and educational shows and presentations, including a bird show, a cheetah run, and a reptile show; whatever your friends and family are interested in, something here is bound to catch their eye.
Whether you’re planning a trip to Oregon or you’re a local, be sure to stop by this fantastic zoo. It’s one of the best zoos in the state; you don’t want to miss it. If you have any questions or concerns to ask the zoo staff before your visit, you can call them at (541) 679-6761.
A Guide to Visiting Zoos in Oregon
Before we go to the list of Oregon zoos, let’s first take a look at some tips for visiting a zoo so that you can make the most of your experience.
- Check the Website -Most zoos have websites where you can find information about special events, hours of operation, and admission fees. It’s always a good idea to check the website before visiting to ensure that you’re fully prepared and you won’t miss out on any exciting activities.
- Keep the Weather in Mind – Different zoos have different policies on weather-related closures, so it is always a good idea to check the website before you visit. Zoos are typically not open in extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or heatwaves. Zoos may also close in cases of high winds, snowfall, or other hazardous weather conditions. Being mindful of their weather policies can help you avoid driving out in inclement weather only to have to turn back home.
- Dress Appropriately – When visiting a zoo, it’s important to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Zoos can be large, so you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking. In the summer, wear sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the sun. In the winter, dress in layers so you can stay warm.
- Plan a Route – Most zoos have maps online or at the entrance. Plan your route before you enter so that you can make sure you get to see all of the animals that you’re interested in. If you’re planning to see a show or another time-sensitive attraction, be sure to keep times in mind as you plan your route.
- Bring Your Own Food and Water – Zoos typically have food available for purchase, but it can be very expensive. Instead of paying for this, bring your own snacks and drinks to save money. Many zoos have picnic areas where you can eat your own food. In some zoos, there are specific places where you’re not allowed to bring food, such as animal exhibits. Be sure to check the zoo’s website or ask a staff member before you bring food into an exhibit area and be mindful of what you’re carrying and where you’re stepping.
- Use Lockers if They’re Available – Some zoos have lockers available for rent near the entrance. These can be helpful if you plan on bringing food, drinks, or valuables to the zoo.
With these tips in mind, you’re sure to have an amazing experience at the best zoos in Oregon. So, without further ado, here they are:
If you and your friends and family are looking for a fun and educational experience, be sure to visit the best zoos in Oregon. With everything from wild animal safaris to petting zoos, there’s something for everyone at these amazing attractions. These zoos have something to offer to nature buffs, animal lovers, and anyone who’s just looking for something to do on a rainy day.