Great Zoos & Aquariums in Each Region of the US

No matter where you live, there are amazing zoos and aquariums nearby. As you enjoy the summer with your family, these destinations can be a great option for a day trip or weekend getaway.

This guide will show you excellent zoo and aquarium options throughout the country so that no matter where you are, you can take a few hours to check out animals you don’t see every day!

Western U.S.

If you’re in the western United States, the first thing on your list should be the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park. From the zoo to the safari park, you’ll see a wide variety of animals. The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance works on conservation projects all around the world, and many of them take place at the zoo.

Also, don’t miss the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where you can take in behind-the-scenes tours and other fun activities.

For aquariums, you can’t miss the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with nearly 200 exhibits, or the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. The Seattle Aquarium is another excellent choice!

Midwest U.S.

The Midwest might be best known for its farmland, but it’s also a great place to find some of the top zoos and aquariums in the country.

The Omaha Zoo is a well-known draw in the region, and other top attractions include the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs and the St. Louis Zoo.

Although the Midwest is landlocked, it has its share of excellent aquariums as well. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago is excellent, as is the Newport Aquarium in Cincinnati, Ohio. A recent addition is the Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri, a 1.5 million gallon aquarium with 35,000 live fish and other animals.

Southern U.S.

Live in the South? No problem! Consider checking out Zoo Miami, the Fort Worth Zoo, or the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans.

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There are great options for aquariums as well, including the Georgia Aquarium, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, the Downtown Aquarium in Houston, or the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

You’ll have a great time looking at hundreds of fish and wildlife no matter where you go.

Eastern U.S.

Along the east coast, there are a variety of high-quality zoos and aquariums as well. Just make sure before you hit the road that you have proper insurance coverage. Pay too much? Consider shopping around for a better deal. Just make sure you look at companies that have high star ratings. Freeway Insurance consistently gets high star ratings and the company is great with rates even for less-than-perfect drivers.

Great zoos in the Eastern U.S. include the well-known Bronx Zoo, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in D.C., and the Philadelphia Zoo. Each of these has dozens of exhibits to explore.

Eastern aquariums include the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD, the New England Aquarium in Boston, and the New York Aquarium in New York City. You can’t go wrong!

Enjoy Zoos and Aquariums This Summer

No matter what part of the country you live in, there’s a great zoo or aquarium waiting for you to explore this summer. These institutions are home to amazing animals and offer fantastic learning opportunities for people of all ages.

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