20 Free Animal Viewing Spots in the U.S.

Georgia Aquarium
image from NatGeo article

In the past I’ve written about some amazing animal experiences that we’ve had over the years.

Kim and I have been on a bunch of African safaris in countries like Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa but also got to take Our First American Safari a couple of years back. During that same trip to South Dakota we also had a great laugh while Hanging With the Burros (similar to a donkey).

You can also check out a post about My Top 5 Animal Encounters which includes some experiences from around the world.

National Geographic came up with an interesting article related to free animal viewing.

The article- Free to See: 20 U.S. Animal Viewing Spots lists some interesting animal experiences.

Here is the list:

  1. Congress Avenue Bridge Bats- Austin, TX
  2. Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center- Apollo Beach, FL
  3. Lincoln Park Zoo- Chicago, IL
  4. The National Zoo- Washington, DC
  5. Lake Washington Ship Canal Locks- Seattle, WA
  6. Houston Zoo- Houston, TX
  7. San Francisco Zoo- San Francisco, CA
  8. Wetland & Wildlife National Scenic Byway- Kansas
  9. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo- Cleveland, OH
  10. Memphis Zoo- Memphis, TN
  11. The Shedd Aquarium- Chicago, IL
  12. Point Reyes National Seashore- California
  13. Saint Louis Zoo- Saint Louis, MO
  14. Georgia Aquarium- Atlanta, GA
  15. The World Bird Sanctuary- Valley Park, MO
  16. Monterey Bay Aquarium- Monterey, CA
  17. National Elk Refure- Wyoming
  18. Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary- Florida
  19. Long Lake National Wildlife Refuge- North Dakota
  20. New England Aquarium Lecture Series- Boston, MA

Something to keep in mind is that not all of these experiences are free all of the time or to everyone. I also noticed that the list is heavy on including zoos and aquariums as opposed to viewing animals in more natural settings.

While I’ve visited lots of zoos, I can’t say that I am so excited to visit them anymore. Our last zoo visit was to the Bronx Zoo over the summer. The animals were barely moving around and seemed to be very lazy. Who knows maybe the zoo wants them to behave this way.

I much prefer seeing animals in their natural environment not locked up in a zoo.

Find out more about National Geographic’s 20 Free Animal Viewing Spots HERE.

2 thoughts on “20 Free Animal Viewing Spots in the U.S.

  1. A note about Houston Zoo. The Zoo offers free admission to guests on the first Tuesday of the month between September and May from 2 p.m. until closing.

  2. This list is very confusing. The GA Aquarius is NEVER free – they rarely have discounts. Monterey Bay Aquarium has a hefty admission charge as well. What am I missing?

    My favorite free wildlife viewing would include the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (SW Oklahoma), home to free-ranging bison and prairie dogs.

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