Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

#7 in Best Things To Do in Jacksonville
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens picture
Kara Jade Quan-Montgomery/Shutterstock

Key Info

370 Jacksonville Zoo Train

Details

Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Sitting on the edge of the Trout River, about 7 miles north of downtown Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a must if you're visiting the city with kids. This facility is the only walking safari in northeast Florida; you are invited to wander the grounds, where you'll find opportunities to get up close and personal with animals like giraffes, great apes, big cats and elephants. The sprawling grounds also house Stingray Bay (where you can try your hand at feeding stingrays) and the ever-popular Play Park and Splash Ground (where you can cool off after a day in the Florida heat).

While you're here, take a spin on the Zoo Train — recent visitors say that kids are bound to love it. "The train gives a great behind the scenes view of some of the facilities and the new Asian Bamboo Garden is breathtaking," according to one TripAdvisor user.

The Jacksonville Zoo is open every day (except for Christmas day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission costs $16 for adults and $11 for children, although children ages 2 and younger can enter for free. If you'd like to take advantage of all the zoo's facilities, you can purchase a value ticket ($24 for adults and $17 for children) that covers the cost of Stingray Bay, unlimited train rides, movies at the  4-D theater and more. To learn more about the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, check out the official website.

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