Have a Whale of a Time at U.S. Zoos and Parks
If you love animals like I do, consider planning your vacation around some of the country’s most exciting zoos.
- Visit the San Diego Zoo from Nov. 11-14 to check out the Festival of Flight. This Southern California zoo has the largest collection of bird species in the United States, and some species that are extinct in the wild. Stay nearby at a place on Conde Nast Traveler's Top 100 Hotels in the U.S. list for $115 per night.
- For a little bit of everything, experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando -- the largest animal-themed park in the world, complete with, rides, shows and a safari expedition. For $99 per night, stretch out in a two-bedroom villa in Orlando.
- There are six new additions to the family at the Bronx Zoo’s Tiger Mountain. These Malayan and Siberian tiger cubs are part of a critically endangered species, with fewer than 3,500 left in the wild. Pair a visit with a stay at one of NYC's InterContinental Hotels Group. Nights start at $153 in this sale.
- For every touchdown the Ravens score in each week’s NFL game (through Jan. 7), the Maryland Zoo discounts $1 off general admission the following Friday. See the events calendar for more information. Thursday-Sunday nights are $129 per night at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel.
- Featured in the Nat Geo Wild three-part series, "Zoo Confidential," the Houston Zoo is home to two baby elephants, and is transforming a 6.5-acre site into a new exhibit. Called “The African Forest,” this exhibit is scheduled to open in December and is the most ambitious undertaking in the Zoo’s 88 year history. For $99 per night, stay Fridays and Saturdays at the Hotel Derek near the Galleria.
- The Philadelphia Zoo was the first zoo in the United States and is now home to a new female baby giraffe named Abigail. Its Rare Animal Conservation Center features a variety of endangered animals, including bats with a three-foot wingspan. That InterContinental sale also includes rooms in Philly, starting at $112 per night.
- As the largest non-profit zoo in the United States, the Phoenix Zoo contains 2.5 miles of walking trails. It was also voted one of the nation’s top five zoos for kids. This conveniently located hotel has rooms from $69-$89 per night.