Things to do / Travel Guide
There's lots of variety when it comes to aquariums and zoos in southern Florida, and each choice is fresh and exciting. Alligators, monkeys, parrots, dolphins, butterflies, and elephants; they're all here! The animals of southern Florida are indeed something to see whether they're on the land, in the sea, or flying overhead.
Fort Lauderdale Zoo – Butterfly World
About 10 miles north of Fort Lauderdale sits Butterfly World where you'll be greeted by butterflies from five continents flying, feeding, and sunning themselves all around you. Walk through the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary while exotic birds fly overhead and butterflies flit all around. It's an experience you won't soon forget!
Zoos in Florida – Palm Beach and Gulf Coast
For those who prefer to get their thrills on dry land and while sitting in a car, Lion Country Safari is just the place. This 500-acre preserve is home to over 1,300 animals hailing from East Africa to the American West. Should you wish to get out from behind the wheel, the price of admission also includes access to an amusement park with paddleboats, a ride on a carousel, a round of miniature golf, or a visit to a nursery for baby animals born in the preserve.
Five hundred animals await you at the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park, including jaguars, bats, birds, and snakes. The Tropics of the Americas exhibit takes you into a rainforest where you'll learn about the animals, plants, and culture of the Americas. Kids will love the petting zoo and monkey exhibit!
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens has got what you're looking for if that includes a multimedia presentation combining video, music, and live animals that swim, jump and slither through a natural rock theater. It also has exciting boat rides past islands inhabited by monkeys and apes.
Fort Lauderdale and Miami Aquarium
You can learn a lot about dolphin behavior or just have a good time swimming with these friendly creatures at the Miami Seaquarium. Shows also feature killer whales, sea turtles, seals, and sea lions. The Miami Seaquarium is less than an hour drive from Fort Lauderdale.
Zoos in Miami, Florida
Miami Metrozoo offers visitors the unique opportunity to work alongside the zookeepers as they do their daily chores. If you don't feel like working too hard on your vacation, you can take a bike tour of the exhibits which are widely spread out, or ride the monorail for a nice overview of the facility.
Then there's Monkey Jungle - the real deal - which means it's a little bit gritty. You'll be able to watch monkeys playing freely all around while you walk down a screened-in trail through their jungle home. The Wild Monkey Swimming Pool lets you watch sea monkeys dive for food.
The southern Florida region also takes you to the sky at Parrot Jungle and Gardens. See roller-skating cockatoos, card-playing macaws, and many talented parrots in the aviaries, jungle trails, theaters, and petting zoo.
Airboat Tours and Alligator Farms in the Everglades
Go to the Everglades and visit the Everglades Alligator Farm, where you can watch the alligators feeding, see snake and alligator demonstrations, and take an exciting airboat ride through the Everglades.
Florida Aquariums - Upper and Middle Keys
Is the theater your thing? Then don't miss Theater of the Sea where the actors are dolphins, sea lions, and tropical fish. Watch them perform from a cozy distance, or put on a snorkel and get up-close and personal with these fun sea creatures.
If you're really fascinated by dolphins, then The Dolphin Connection is the place to visit, where many programs give you a chance to interact with the mammals on an intimate and personal level, including learning about how they're trained. Similarly, The Dolphin Research Center has many programs to help you learn about dolphins. These include Trainer for a Day, Researcher for a Day, Dolphin Encounter, Play with the Dolphins, and - most exciting - Paint with a Dolphin.
Zoos and Aquariums in Key West, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach, Boca Raton and Southern Florida