There are more than 2,400 zoos to visit in the U.S., each one packed with animals from near and far. Most major cities have a zoo or aquarium, making these fascinating venues a great day trip on any vacation. Zoos in the United States have the added benefit of contributing to research and conservation efforts. Many are working toward providing open-air, cageless enclosures for their animals, resulting in happier creatures in a natural environment. For frequent zoo-goers, memberships help support the care and maintenance of animals and their habitats.


1. The San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is the largest zoo in the United States, housing over 3,700 animals encompassing more than 650 species. This zoo is unique in that it led the charge of open-air, cageless enclosures for animals and is one of the only zoos in the world to successfully breed the giant panda. The newest exhibit, added in 2017, is called Africa Rocks and cost over $60 million to construct.


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