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Trip Planner: USA / North Carolina / Asheboro / North Carolina Zoo
Spread out across 810 hectares (2,000 acres), North Carolina Zoo is the largest walk-through zoo in the world. More than 1,600 animals from more than 250 species, split into an Africa and North America section, live here. The African habitat houses such creatures as ostriches, elephants, gorillas, and lemurs, while the North American part hosts alligators, bears, sea lions, the largest collection of Alaskan seabirds in the country, and much more. Don't miss the critically acclaimed aviary, with free-flying birds in tropical rainforest conditions. The zoo makes getting around easy, thanks to 8 km (5 mi) of walking paths, as well as trams and air-conditioned buses. Lines for the trams and buses can be long, so wear comfortable shoes. Take a look at our Asheboro trip planner to schedule your visit to North Carolina Zoo and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
North Carolina Zoo reviews
We have been members of the NC Zoo Society for 35-40 years and have never been disappointed in our visits. The staff is always very helpful, and the various presentations provided by the volunteers...
We have been members of the NC Zoo Society for 35-40 years and have never been disappointed in our visits. The staff is always very helpful, and the various presentations provided by the volunteers... more »
Beautiful! Friendly staff. Took friends visiting from Minnesota who watch a show about the zoo. Appreciate the trains and mobile carts.
Beautiful! Friendly staff. Took friends visiting from Minnesota who watch a show about the zoo. Appreciate the trains and mobile carts. more »
Don’t ever go in January if you want to see animals. We saw 1 gorilla, 1 chimpanzee, 1 polar bear, snakes, 1 fox, 1 zebra, 1 bison and 10 elk. I’ve been to this zoo before and this was so...
Don’t ever go in January if you want to see animals. We saw 1 gorilla, 1 chimpanzee, 1 polar bear, snakes, 1 fox, 1 zebra, 1 bison and 10 elk. I’ve been to this zoo before and this was so... more »
Visited for our anniversary weekend. We enjoyed ourselves, but we were super exhausted by the end of the day. You spend most of the time walking uphill, but there are plenty of stops along the way to rest. Bring comfortable shoes! There are places to eat once in the zoo. Don't know how affordable the prices are, since we ate prior to entry. Plenty of charging stations for electric vehicles. We were in the zoo the entire afternoon so it was nice to be able to come back to a charged car. Overall, we enjoyed our experience and look forward to coming back.
Clean& fun. Well guided trails and trams to travel on. Good food is available at multiple spots in the zoo. Bathrooms are set throughout the whole zoo. And in great spots. The animals and environments are well cared for, and so magical to see. Strollers and handicap electric scooters available to rent. It really is worth the trip. And cheap tickets for such a large zoo. Recommended 100% for any age. Also, the paths are all shaded by trees so it's not miserable to walk in the blaring sun.
This is one of my favorite zoos. I generally have a love/hate relationship with zoos because I feel that many animals don’t have enough space in them. For the most part, other than a few of the large cats exhibits, I do not feel that way here. I’m impressed by how large the exhibits are. That does mean that there is a lot of walking and you may not see some animals. I think it’s a good trade off. Prices are cheap. The team is wonderful for when you’re exhausted and need a lift back to the front entrance. They have several education programs and are very involved in rehabilitation programming as well. 10/10 would recommend. I should also add that I’ve been several times and am a zoo member so I’ll definitely be back!
One of the Top Ten Zoos in the country FOR SURE! I enjoy walking around and seeing and photographing the plant-life and floral-life equally as much as I do the animals! This is an absolutely beautiful zoo! Well cared for and landscaped. We love bringing our little boy here and he has always enjoyed himself here too! He loves the outdoor playground areas they have here for kids! FYI - If you buy the yearly family pass here at the zoo, it is also good to get you into the Sylvan Heights Bird Park, which is equally as AWESOME!!! Best bird aviary I have ever been to! Amazing! It is in the exact opposite direction from Raleigh though, but WELL WORTH the visit!!!
We went on a day that it was only about 80, cloudy and a week day. It took us 6 hours to walk the whole park. Food was good but way over priced for the small amount you get. The gift shop is less expensive than the food. The polar bears have never been out the 5 times we have been. I have always loved the zoo and we go every year! Can nit wait for the new expansion opening in 2026! Hoping for pandas! Highly recommended the zoo. Make sure to wear comfy shoes, a water bottle (lots of water refill spots) and your own stroller/wagon! Always take the tram back to your side if the park! Saves about 30 minutes of walking
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