Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

#10 in Best Things To Do in West Palm Beach
Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society picture
Joe Raedle/Staff/Getty Images

Key Info

1301 Summit Blvd.


Zoos and Aquariums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
  • 3.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

It may not be as big and fancy as other zoos, but you'll still see plenty at the Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society. Located within Dreher Park (about 4 miles southwest of downtown West Palm), the Palm Beach Zoo offers various animal exhibits, including multiple interactive experiences with koalas, sloths and tigers. Special kid and adult-centric events, such as a breakfast with the Easter bunny, a craft beer festival and a 5K tiger awareness run, are also hosted throughout the year.

To fully enjoy your time at this South Florida zoo, previous travelers recommend visiting during a weekday. Walkways are a bit tight throughout the attraction, so when the zoo fills up on the weekends, it can feel a bit cramped and difficult to get around. Another tip: Plan your visit on a cooler day when the animals are more likely to roam their exhibits instead of lounging in the shade. Also, make sure to explore the grounds, which feature a variety of plants and impressive replica Mayan ruins.

To visit the Palm Beach Zoo, visitors can drive or take the No. 45 Palm Tran bus, which drops visitors within feet of the zoo's entrance. Expect to pay between $14.50 and $19.50 to enter, depending on your age. (On select rainy days, half-price tickets are offered on the zoo's Facebook and Twitter pages.) Admission prices include free parking and access to all animal exhibits, an interactive water fountain, the zoo's Kid Zone, a gift shop and a cafe. Animal experiences – which are 15 to 45 minutes each – cost an additional $35 for smaller animals and $65 for tigers, black bears and jaguars. Strollers, double strollers and wheelchairs are also available to rent for $6 or $8. The zoo is open daily – excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas days – from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information about property amenities, tickets and special events can be found on the Palm Beach Zoo's website.

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Time to Spend
#1 McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary

Featuring more than 170 animals, including lions, tigers, panthers and lemurs, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary is an ideal attraction for animal lovers. Unlike Lion Country Safari and the Palm Beach Zoo, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary affords visitors an up close view of various animals, as well as interactive opportunities with many of the property's smaller species. In fact, travelers can hold everything from baby alligators to pythons during each tour.

Overall, past visitors appreciated McCarthy's mission to rehabilitate injured or abandoned wild animals. Not only are the grounds well-maintained, but the tour guides are also informative, polite and engaging, according to reviewers. Remember, though, to make arrangements for this attraction well in advance since appointments are required. Another note: Children younger than 5 are not permitted.

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