Looking to walk on the wild side on your next trip? If you’re an animal lover, Jacksonville, Florida, has some great attractions that you’ll want to visit including zoos, sanctuaries, trails, and ranches. Check out the list below for some of the animal exhibits you can visit in Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Zoo is a must for anyone who enjoys animal-watching. Experience wildlife through one of the zoo’s many exhibits, which feature giraffes, great apes, big cats, and more. The animal exhibits are just the start, as the Animal Encounters area of the zoo offers visitors the chance to interacts with animals like pygmy goats, stingrays, and lorikeets. For an immersive experience, try the River Quest or African Plains Tour to see animals in their natural habitats. The Jacksonville Zoo is the perfect family-friendly place to spend an afternoon.
You’ve never seen big cats like this before. The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for endangered cats and provides an informative experience for visitors. The sanctuary’s residents include rescued cats like lions, bobcats, tigers, cougars, leopards, and a few non-cat species like horses and foxes. In addition to visiting and viewing all of the cats, you can purchase tickets for the sanctuary’s Roar ‘n Snore events, which invite you to camp out under the stars with the rescued cats.
If sleeping outside with big cats isn’t your thing, you’ll need to find a place to stay that gives you access to all of Jacksonville’s animal attractions. After visiting the wild side of things, you might find yourself wanting a comfortable bed and a hot shower. Check out some of the best hotels in Jacksonville to find the perfect hotel for you and your travel companions. Finding a place that’s central to all of the attractions you want to visit is vital to making sure your trip runs smoothly.
Diamond D Ranch
A picturesque spot in Jacksonville, the Diamond D Ranch is a working horse and cattle ranch. Spanning 500 acres, the ranch offers a look into some of Florida’s wildlife through horseback tours of the surrounding forest. Children are welcome and can dive into what life is like on the ranch by learning about farm animals, going on a walking tour, and visiting the ranch’s petting zoo.
The Great Bird and Wildlife Trail is less of a single place to visit and more of a collection of some of the most densely populated areas of Florida’s animals. This trail runs right through Jacksonville, allowing you the opportunity to stop by a few spots to experience different bird habitats. Some of the bigger stops include Huguenot Memorial Park, Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park, and Machaba Balu Preserve, all of which offer a look at the rare, endangered, or protected birds of Florida. Click here to check out all of the trail’s noteworthy points.
Experience wildlife through zoos, sanctuaries, or by spotting animals on winding trails. Whether you’re looking for a curated experience or a chance encounter with some of Florida’s wildlife, Jacksonville has it all.