Everything You Need to Know About Jacksonville Zoo

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The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens in Jacksonville, Florida is an award-winning Cultural and Education Institution. There are at least a dozen animal exhibits, which include, Plains of East Africa, Wild Florida, African Forest and Stingray Bay. There are also seven Gardens exhibits, which include Rivers of Color, Asian Bamboo Gardens and Savanna Blooms. The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens has various conservation programs that visitors are encouraged to support.

 

While the zoo houses species from all over the world, many Floridians are surprised to also see many of the animals that are indigenous to Florida, such as manatees and alligators. Even with so many fun and interesting museums in and around Florida, a lot of visitors still make time to visit the incredible Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens and so should you. It is also one of the must-see tourist destinations when visiting Jacksonville, Florida.

 

 

Jacksonville Zoo’s Main Attractions

 

Land of the Tiger

The Land of the Tiger exhibit in Jacksonville Zoo winds around the whole visitors area and around the two tiger exhibits meaning that visitors can observe the tigers from any vantage point
Photo by L. Rick on Unsplash

 

The Land of the Tiger in Jacksonville Zoo is a great exhibit that helps protect various endangered species. The way that the trail around the area has been designed is pure genius. It winds around the whole visitor area and around the two tiger exhibits and directly over the visitors’ heads. This means that you are able to see a tiger from any vantage point. In most cases, visitors are caught by surprise when they see how close the tigers are.

 

 

Jacksonville Zoo’s Popular Animal

 

Jaguar

The Range of the Jaguar is a must see if you’re going to plan a trip to the Jacksonville Zoo
Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

 

The Range of the Jaguar is a must-see if you’re going to plan a trip to the Jacksonville Zoo. This is not only because of the Florida Jaguar’s NFL team but also because it is an award-winning South American exhibit. This zoo was the first to have a black jaguar in captivity. All other zoos have jaguars that are descendants of the original black jaguar of the Jacksonville Zoo. It has the largest amount of jaguars of any of the zoos in the country. You can’t visit the home of the Florida Jaguars and not see an actual jaguar.

 

 

Dining Options At Jacksonville Zoo

 

Concession Foods

Jacksonville Zoo has two full-sized restaurants, a snack bar and plenty of other dining options
Photo by Blake Guidry on Unsplash

 

If you are traveling to the Jacksonville Zoo, you will undoubtedly make an entire day of it. This means that you’ll need to know how to plan for your visit. One thing that is sure to help you in your planning is to know what type of food is available. The zoo has two full-sized restaurants, a snack bar and plenty of other dining options, which include several café’s, and a candy shop. There is a lovely Picnic Park located at the zoo that seats up to 200 visitors.

 

 

How To Get To Jacksonville Zoo

 

From I-95 South: Exit 358A onto Heckscher Drive/Zoo Parkway. Stay on Zoo Parkway for about ¼ mile. Jacksonville Zoo’s entrance will be on the right.

 

From I-95 North: Exit 358A to Heckscher Drive/Zoo Parkway. Stay on Zoo Parkway for about ¼ mile. Jacksonville Zoo’s entrance will be on the right.

 

From the Dames Point Bridge or 9A: Take exit Zoo Parkway/Heckscher Drive West. Stay on Zoo Parkway for about 5 miles. Jacksonville Zoo’s entrance will be on the left.

 

 

Jacksonville Zoo’s Opening Hours

 

Weekdays: 9 AM until 5 PM

Weekends: 9 AM until 6 PM

 

If you are planning a visit to Jacksonville Zoo, do note that the last admission is an hour before the official closing time. This could change if there is a special event at the zoo.

 

There are no refunds/rain checks given due to bad weather.

 

 

Jacksonville Zoo’s Tickets & Packages

 

General Admission

 

Adults (13 to 64)

$19.95

Seniors (65 and above)

$17.95

Children (3 to 12)

$14.95

Children (2 and below)

Free

 

Tickets are sold at the front gate and can be purchased one hour before closing. The price includes entry to Stingray Bay and Butterfly Hollow.

 

 

Total Experience Tickets

 

Adults (13 to 64)

$28.95

Seniors (65 and above) 

$26.95

Children (3 to 12) 

$21.95

 

The price includes admission and access to 4D Theater and Campground Critters with unlimited Train and Carousel rides.

 

 

Member Total Experience Bands

 

Adults (13 to 64)

$9.00

Seniors (65 and above) 

$9.00

Children (3 to 12) 

$7.00

 

Ticket price includes Campground Critters, 4D Theater and unlimited Train and Carousel rides.

 

 

Non-Member Total Experience Bands

 

Adults (13 to 64)

$11.00

Seniors (65 and above) 

$11.00

Children (3 to 12) 

$9.00

 

The above fees do not include the price of admission. 

 

 

Military Discount

 

The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens offers a military discount of 10% for regular General Admission tickets (excludes already discounted Value Ticket) with an Active Military ID or valid AAA Membership card. Proof of eligibility must be shown when purchasing tickets. Discounts are not offered online and cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers.

 

College Student Discount

 

College Students are offered a $10 General Admission Ticket only with a valid college ID. ID must be presented at the time of purchase. Discount is not available online and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.

 

*Group Rates also available

 

 

Hotels Near Jacksonville Zoo

 

Jacksonville Plaza Hotel: 5.4 miles away

 

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront: 5.4 miles away

 

Omni Jacksonville Hotel: 5.4 miles away

 

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Jacksonville Airport: 5.8 miles away

 

Lexington Hotel & Conference Center: 5.9 miles away

 

 

Popular Tourist Destinations Near Jacksonville Zoo

 

The Budweiser Brewery Experience

At the Budweiser Brewery Experience, visitors can learn about the history of Anheuser-Busch, the manufacturers of Budweiser
Photo by A. Paloma on Unsplash

 

Visitors can learn about the history of Anheuser-Busch, the manufacturers of Budweiser. They will learn of the brewery’s world-class brewing techniques, engage visitors while tempting their senses during any one of the brewery’s signature tours.

 

Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary

 

This is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that offers a safe and loving home for endangered big cats. They aim to educate the public about how these animals are at risk of becoming extinct and what they can do to help with their conservation efforts.

 

 

Final Thoughts on Jacksonville Zoo

 

If you are looking for family fun and you just love animals, you are sure to enjoy spending time at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens. It is more than just a zoo, it is also a magnificent garden intertwined throughout the zoo to create a more beautiful environment. Visitors are surprised to see that the cost of admission offered them more than they imagined.

Dawn Wilson
Dawn is always finding for opportunities to combine her love for travel and passion for writing. She has visited several destinations throughout the years from world-renowned landmarks to the most rural parts of the world. She believes that the impulse of travel is a thrill that cannot be replicated.

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