13 Top Picks for the Best Zoo in the US

San Diego Zoo The San Diego Zoo stands as the best in the U.S., featuring open-air exhibits, 14,000+ rare animals, and botanical gardens. It also offers a memorable wildlife experience, with the free Skyfari Aerial Tram providing a bird's eye view.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park With nearly 2 million annual visitors, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, established in the late 1800s, is located in the heart of the nation's capital, hosting 250 animals across 20 species on its historic 163 acres.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo And Aquarium Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, recognized globally for animal care and conservation, is one of the world's best zoos, spanning 160 acres with the largest indoor rainforest, nocturnal exhibit, and indoor desert,.

Bronx Zoo The Bronx Zoo, the largest metropolitan zoo in the U.S. on 265 acres, hosts over 10,000 animals across 700 species, offering diverse exhibits like Tiger Mountain, Jungleworld, and the Children’s Zoo.

Saint Louis Zoo The Saint Louis Zoo, known for conservation and superior animal care, spans 90 acres, repurposing structures from the 1904 World’s Fair to showcase 16,000 animals across 600 species. 

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a charming experience for nature enthusiasts. Featuring a diverse collection of over 500 animals and 3,000 plant species, the zoo is committed to education and conservation.

ZooTampa At Lowry Park Nestled along the picturesque Hillsborough River, ZooTampa at Lowry Park seamlessly combines entertainment and education, featuring immersive exhibits and interactive experiences with animals like manatees, giraffes, and orangutans.

Fort Worth Zoo Dedicated to animal conservation and showcasing a diverse collection of species, the Fort Worth Zoo spans 64 acres, offering captivating exhibits such as Texas Wild! and African Savanna for wildlife enthusiasts.

Brookfield Zoo Nestled in a Chicago suburb, Brookfield Zoo is a beloved attraction merging education, conservation, and family fun, featuring diverse exhibits with lions, gorillas, and dolphins for an engaging experience.

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Offers a unique, immersive experience, blending a zoo, botanical garden, and natural history museum to showcase the diversity of the desert ecosystem, with encounters featuring javelinas, desert tortoises, and Mexican wolves.

Lincoln Park Zoo Lincoln Park Zoo, among the oldest in the U.S., provides a delightful city escape with free admission, offering a diverse range of animals and promoting wildlife conservation.

Denver Zoo The Denver Zoo in the Mile High City provides interactive events, including llama interactions and cultural performances, with a unique 'Bunk with the Beasts' overnight stay for kids, offering close encounters with animals and delightful meals.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium Pittsburgh Zoo is accredited as both a zoo and aquarium, housing over 4,000 animals and 475 species. Notable exhibits include the interactive Kid’s Kingdom and the Asian Forest, home to species from Eastern and Southeast Asia, including two new Amur leopard cubs.