Miami boasts an excellent zoo, thanks in part to a subtropical climate that allows for large swathes of natural habitat. Inside Zoo Miami (formerly Miami Metrozoo), more than 200 species roam the cageless surrounds; don’t worry, the animals are kept at bay by cleverly designed moats.
Residents at Zoo Miami include elephants, koalas, colobus monkeys, and black rhinoceroses. You’ll also see a pair of Komodo dragons and Bengal tigers, including a gorgeous white tiger. Over at the Tropical America exhibit, you can see anacondas, giant river otters, jaguars, and sting ray touch tanks. You can even feed giraffes at The Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station. Younger kids, especially, will find much to enjoy at Zoo Miami. There’s a first-class petting zoo and play area, and the zoo offers several programs designed to entertain and educate. For an overview of the park, hop on the Zoofari Monorail.
Zoo Miami (formerly Miami Metrozoo) is about 45 minutes south of Miami. To get here, take U.S. 1 south, then turn right on SW 152nd Street and follow signs to the entrance. Expect to do a bit of walking, as the zoo is quite large, and the distance between animal habitats is often great. However, strategically-placed benches and shaded gazebos provide convenient rest stops. Allow 3 hours for your visit.