Top Zoos List

Top Ohio Zoos


I've visited all six major zoos in Ohio within the last five years and here’s how I rank them:

1. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: With the addition of Heart of Africa it’s not even close to the other Ohio zoos.
2. The Wilds: Who doesn't like to see animals roaming in gigantic enclosures?
3. Cincinnati Zoo: One of the worst layouts of any zoo but a great collection of animals. Love the solar panels over the parking lot too.
4. Cleveland Zoo. Unremarkable/forgettable zoo. Nothing great, nothing bad, just eh.
5. Toledo Zoo: Hippos! Second smallest zoo on this list and another zoo with a major road intersecting it.
6. Akron Zoo: Not a bad zoo at all, I really did like it. The reasons it’s at the bottom of this list is because of it’s size.

Top National Zoos


My ranking of best zoos in the United States that I've been to in the last ten years and my year of last visit.

1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom (2012): Kilamanjaro Safaris, enough said. But if you need more, that gorilla exhibit, wow!
2. San Diego Wild Animal Park (2006): Before the transition to Safari Park, still had the tram ride.
3. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (2014): Heart of Africa. Due to the different regions, this is hands down the best laid out zoo I've been to.
4. San Diego Zoo  (2006): Very, very large zoo but many low quality exhibits when I visited, though I think most have been upgraded since.
5. Busch Gardens Tampa (2006): I like it better when they had that cool suspended monorail through the Serengeti plains. The rides seem to slowly be encroaching on the animal’s turf.

Top Aquariums


These are the best aquariums I've been to in the last five years:

1. Monterrey Bay Aquarium (2012): Sea otters! Best location of any aquarium right on Monterrey Bay where you can go outside and see seals and sea otters in their natural habitat.
2. Atlantis (2013): Manta rays, mostly open air exhibits.
3. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies (2013): Long, underwater viewing tunnel with sawfish.

What are your favorite zoos and aquariums?