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Parks and Gardens in Boston

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Boston Public Garden
The Boston Public Garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in downtown Boston, for more reasons than just offering free admission to the public. It is a family and couple friendly park that allows visitors to absorb the rich history in one of America's first great cities. Located in the heart of Boston, the Public Garden is an ideal tranquil getaway from the surrounding hustle and bustle of the busy downtown streets. There are dozens of restaurants surrounding the park which offer great take out options for enjoyable picnics. Built in 1837 as the first botanical garden open to the public in the United States, the Boston Public Garden has gradually been filled with several statues commemorating the city's and nation's history. Of course, carefully selected trees such as weeping willows and Elms have been added to beautify the park. Erected in 1869, the bronze equestrian statue of George Washington dominates the western side of the park, allowing visitors to sit on benches on open space lawns and reflect. The walkways of the Public Garden are lined up with other statues such as of Boston politician Charles Sumner and the Ether monument. The focal point of the park is the small pond, which can be crossed over on a pedestrian bridge. The Swan boat rides on the pond, which have been offered since the 19th century, have become trademark activities of Boston. For a small fee, visitors can ride along floating swans, which make the Public Garden their seasonal home in spring and summer.
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Adams National Historical Park
Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, MA, is comprised of the birthplace homes of Presidents John and John Quincy Adams; the Old House, home to four generations of the Adams family; and the Stone Library. Many park programs and special events are offered to give kids of all ages an opportunity to Picture Themselves in the Past and see themselves in their nation's future. Contact the park for dates and details.
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Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
After Isabella Stewart Gardner's husband died in 1898, the art enthusiast bought land in Boston's Fenway area to open a museum to display her impressive collection of Italian art. The museum, which was fashioned after the Palazzo Barbaro in Venice, was completed in 1902, at which point Gardner moved in to the fourth floor and began installing her collection.
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Fenway Park
Fans of America's favorite pastime won't want to miss a game at Fenway Park. Home to the Boston Red Sox, this stadium has been the site of home runs, stolen bases and grounders since 1912.
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Roger Williams Park
Since the 1890’s, Roger Williams Park has been the premier playground for both Providence and Rhode Island residents. Designed in 1874 by landscape architect Horace W.S. Cleveland, the entire park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park’s 435 acres feature over 100 acres of ponds that weave their way through the rolling landscape. Major attractions include the nationally-recognized Roger Williams Park Zoo, the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, the Botanical Center, the Casino, the Carousel Village, the Temple to Music, the Todd Morsilli tennis courts, and the Tim O’Neil baseball fields.
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Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo of the Wildlife Conservation Society is the premier place to study and appreciate the world's many creatures. Home to more than 6,000 animals, the zoo spans 265 acres that re-create the diverse natural habitats of its numerous residents. Open year-round, it’s a great experience in any season. During the winter, be sure to stop by Tiger Mountain or Himalayan Highlands to see big cats enjoying the chilly outdoors—then head to World of Reptiles or JungleWorld for a warm up with tropical wildlife.
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The High Line
When the weather is pleasant, there’s nothing quite like walking the High Line. NYC’s elevated park is certainly one of more popular New York attractions everyone needs to check off their list, and it's the perfect activity to take visitors from out of town. To give you a bit of history, the High Line was once a rail track, which went out of use in 1980. In 2009, the 1.45-mile-long strip was transformed into what is now considered one of the most unique parks in NYC. The urbanite playground features wildflowers, greenery and outdoor art installations in addition to killer views of New York’s skyline. Below, you’ll find everything you need to know as well as our recommendations for things to do on the High Line, including where to grab a bite and go shopping nearby.
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is as committed to education and conservation as it is to inspiration. Whether you’re looking to learn something or just want to soak up 52 acres of natural beauty, the BBG has more than 18,000 kinds of plants from all over the world. The garden is open year-round and has plants for every season, plus indoor tropical gardens and bonsai trees.
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Staten Island Zoo
The Staten Island Zoo might not be the largest or most exotic zoo around (its nickname is the "biggest little zoo"), but it is highly educational and acclaimed for its Serpentarium, housing an extensive collection of rattlesnakes. The zoo also cares for many warm-blooded creatures, with more than 800 species in all.
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Montreal Botanical Garden
The Jardin botanique de Montréal, one of the city’s jewels, is recognized as one of the world’s greatest botanical gardens. It offers a colourful program of events, exhibitions and activities all year long. With its collection of 22,000 plant species and cultivars, 10 exhibition greenhouses, Frédéric Back Tree Pavilion, and more than 20 thematic gardens spread out over 75 hectares, it’s also a perfect place to enjoy fresh air and natural beauty. Located just minutes from downtown Montréal, right near the Biodôme and Olympic Park, the Jardin botanique de Montréal is a veritable living museum of plants from the four corners of the globe.
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Fairmount Park
Fairmount Park boasts many architectural treasures, seven of which are maintained as historic house museums open to the public. Located on the banks of the Schuylkill River, these homes originally served as the rural summer villas for well-to-do families during the eighteenth- and early-nineteenth century.
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Love Park
Philadelphia’s iconic John F. Kennedy Plaza better known as LOVE Park is currently receiving some much-needed love, care and 21st-century upgrades. The overhaul to the popular public space includes adding green space, structural improvements, installing a new water feature, creating concession areas and opening up access to the park. LOVE Park gets its nickname from Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE statue, which has resided in the space almost continuously since 1976.
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Civil Rights Garden
The Civil Rights Garden is a tranquil public sculpture garden comprised of 11 granite columns, winding pathways, plants, flowers, Gingko trees and sculptures with inscriptions related to the history, events and people of the Civil Rights movement.
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Bellevue House
As a Father of Confederation and Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald has had a direct impact on how Canada has grown from a small colony into a world leading democratic country. Tour the gardens of historic Bellevue House knowing that seeds were planted there for the birth of a country. Sir John A. Macdonald, and his family made Bellevue House their home from 1848 to 1849. Wander through the family’s preserved kitchen garden to help the costumed gardeners, watch them wielding scythes to cut the lawn in the method of the 1840s and bite into an apple in the heirloom orchard. Be escorted on a journey back in time, following a maid on an Estate Tour to hear tales about the past at Bellevue House and its most famous residents. Explore the juicy deets of Canadian history through an interactive discussion led by an interpreter, while jumping on an Alternative Facts Tour or simply sip a cup of tea relaxing on the grounds and enjoying the view.
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Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
Open year-round, beautiful Montmorency Falls Park is just a few minutes from downtown Québec City. The waterfalls are 83 m (272') tall, a full 30 m (99') higher than Niagara Falls. Take the cable car up the cliff to start the panoramic walking tour at the Manor, where are housed an interpretation centre, gift shop and restaurant. Follow the footpath along the top of the cliff to the suspended bridge, which affords a splendid view of the area. Keep walking along the path until you get to the 487-step staircase down the side of the cliff that will bring you to the foot of the falls. There are also three via ferrata routes near the falls, along with a 300-m (984.3’) double zip line.
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Maryland Zoo
A 135-plus acre zoo nestled in Druid Hill Park, the Maryland Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the country. Maryland Zoo is Baltimore's wildest attraction! The zoo is home to 1,500 exotic mammals, encompasses birds, amphibians and reptiles representing nearly 200 species.
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Theodore Roosevelt Island
Reachable by footbridge off the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Theodore Roosevelt Island pays homage to the great conservationist. You will find nearly two miles of trails that traverse through forest and wetland, as well as a 17-foot statue dedicated to the historic figure. Via the trails, you can encounter beautiful views of the Potomac River.
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Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
Frederick Law Olmsted’s design for Buffalo’s South Park included a conservatory and surrounding formal gardens. In 1894, Professor John F. Cowell was appointed as the first Director of the conservatory. He gathered plants, trees and flowers from every corner of the world and his expertise and guidance allowed for many successful years for the conservatory. While South Park was being constructed, Lord & Burnham Co. was busy designing the South Park Conservatory. The tri-domed Victorian design was modelled after the beautiful Crystal Palace in England and was built by a Buffalo construction company, George P. Wurtz & Son, of wood, glass, iron and steel for a total cost of $130,000. Upon opening in 1900, the conservatory was the third-largest public greenhouse in the United States and was ranked as the ninth-largest in the world. The South Park Conservatory continued to grow throughout the early 1900s and six greenhouses were added in 1907. Over the years, extensive renovations and upgrades have been made, including restoration of many of the gardens, replacement of the outdated heating system, renovation of the main palm dome and greenhouses and more. Today, the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens attracts more than 100,000 annually to enjoy the amazing architecture and the indoor and outdoor garden sanctuary. It is a gathering place where visitors can find peace and harmony and enjoy the simple power of the natural world.
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Delaware Park Rose Garden
The Rose Garden is one of the main focal points of Delaware Park, featuring varieties from the All-America Rose Selections. There are 33 beds, allowing for several combinations and arrangements of spectacular rose bushes in bright purples, pinks, reds, yellows and whites. At the eastern end of the garden is a prominent pergola, dating to 1912. The Rose Garden sits beside the historic Marcy Casino, site of the Terrace Restaurant, and is maintained by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
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Japanese Garden of Buffalo
In December 1962 the city of Buffalo joined the United States Sister City International initiative by connecting with Kanazawa, Japan and a wonderful history of sharing resources has grown. In 1996, Kanazawa was largely responsible for the major renovations to the Japanese Garden of Buffalo providing trees, shrubs, paths and the unique stone lanterns. Located behind The Buffalo History Museum in the Olmsted Conservancy’s Delaware Park, the lush gardens and serene lake provide a contemplative refuge for all of Buffalo to enjoy.
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McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve
McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve is named after the automakers' founder, Col. Sam McLaughlin, the Reserve has become a popular attraction for lovers of nature and peaceful surroundings. The Reserve occupies in excess of 41 ha (108 acres) of land owned and operated by General Motors of Canada Limited. An additional 40 ha of the same tract has been set aside for the office complex, parking and services, along with adequate buffer zones. Home to almost 400 different varieties of plants, trees, shrubs and wildflowers, as well as a great number of native birds, mammals and fish, the McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve features a number of walking trails, viewing platforms for photographers and birdwatchers as well as the Dogwood Trail, for use by partially-sighted or visually-impaired visitors. It is open to the public seven days a week, year-round, free of charge, and is wheel-chair accessible. A series of 11 trails in network of McLaughlin Bay Wildlife Reserve - connected to Second Marsh Wildlife Area and Darlington Provincial Park - part of provincial waterfront system.
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Halifax Public Gardens
As one of the finest surviving examples of a Victorian Garden in North America, the Halifax Public Gardens is located in the heart of Halifax. Located on 17-acres and enclosed by a wrought-iron fence with a magnificent set of ornamental gates, take a leisurely stroll through the gardens to view many floral displays that include exotic and semi-tropical ornamental species, trees, shrubs, statues, and fountains. In 1874, the city of Halifax assumed responsibility for the original garden (N.S. Horticultural Society, 1836) and a civic garden (1867); the gardens were brought together by the present design in 1875. Richard Power, the Garden’s superintendent from 1872–1915, oversaw the introduction of the bandstand, fountains, statues, and wrought iron gates – all features of the High Victorian Pleasure Garden. Each piece honoured a milestone in Queen Victoria’s reign, a contemporary military event, or an important local personage. Recognized as a National Historic Site in 1984, the Halifax Public Gardens are a much loved and popular destination for locals and visitors alike. From mid-June to mid-September, the bandstand features afternoon band concerts.
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Halifax Citadel National Historic Site
The Halifax Citadel is a must-see stop on any itinerary when visiting Halifax. Majestically set upon an expansive hill overlooking the city, it is part of a series of forts – each one showcasing changes over time to its defenses, each significantly different than its predecessor – that protected Halifax Harbour from 1749 to 1906. It was so strategically important that it was rebuilt three times yet it was never once attacked. Today, this historic fort offers a fascinating window into our colonial past. Spend time exploring the Halifax Citadel’s grounds and meticulously recreated period rooms, including the barracks, tailor shop and school. Even join the 78th Highlanders in their period uniforms for the day and see if you are up for the job of keeping Halifax safe from enemy attack. Heft a soldier’s knapsack in the barracks, stand in awe as the Royal Artillery command the firing of the noon gun, and ask a soldier what garrison life in the Halifax Citadel was really like.
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Parkwood National Historic Site
Step back in time and experience the home of the late R.S. McLaughlin, Canadian auto baron and founder of General Motors of Canada. Inspired by early 20th century Beaux-Arts design, this 15,000 square foot, 55-room mansion was built between 1915 and 1917. The art, architecture, gardens, landscaping and original furnishings are all faithfully preserved in this National Historic Site. Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this National Historic Site through daily site experiences, a variety of special learning opportunities, and events that will engage your senses. From Mansion & Garden experiences to afternoon teas, there’s always something unique to experience at Parkwood.
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Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens
The vision for the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden (O.V.B.G.) is to develop a unique botanical garden attraction in Oshawa. This is to be done by incorporating the nationally designated gardens of Parkwood, The R. S. McLaughlin Estate, with a series of modern feature gardens linked by the parklands and the natural terrain of the Oshawa Valley Creek trail system. The first garden opened was the Peony Garden. It was started in the fall of 2001 with 100 peonies donated by the Canadian Peony Society. Further donations from peony breeders and suppliers across North America have led to the entire collection, more than 300 varieties, becoming one of the largest modern collections of peonies in North America. The one of a kind collection of locally hybridized daylilies addition to the already beautiful gardens was made possible by the generous donation from Henry Lorrain and the late Douglas Lycett, founders of We’re in the Hayfield Now. The 265 daylily collection was established in 2017 and can be found on the east side of the Oshawa Creek directly across from the Peony Garden with access to the Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path.
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McNabs Island
McNabs Island is the largest island at the entrance of Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia. Part of the McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park, McNabs Island is only a short boat ride from Halifax or Eastern Passage, but feels like a world away with its colorful past and unspoiled natural beauty. Situated on the eastern side of the entrance to Halifax Harbour, McNabs Island has provided a scenic and historic backdrop to the lives of metro residents for over two centuries. Its strategic location was utilized by the military to guard the harbour, her fertile soils provided an important source of food for early settlers, and the beaches, woodlands, open fields and scenery have attracted local residents for leisure-time pursuits since the 1700's. McNabs Island is accessible by private boat, or commercial water taxi and charter boat operators from Halifax, Dartmouth and Eastern Passage. Depending on pick-up and drop-off locations, the trip takes about 20-30 minutes from downtown Halifax or Dartmouth, and 10 minutes from Eastern Passage.
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Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Reservation State Park, which surrounds mighty Niagara Falls, is the oldest state park in the United States. The park is made up of numerous islands, as well as the famous Prospect Point area. The magnificent Great Lakes Garden greets visitors entering the park. The visitor centre offers information and exhibits about the park’s history, geology and technology. The Niagara Scenic Trolley provides three-mile guided tours, stopping at the park’s most scenic vistas and at such facilities as the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, which tells the story of the creation of the falls with exhibits and a multiscreen theatre presentation. The Observation Tower has elevators that take visitors 180 feet down to the base of the tower for a close-up view of the American Falls. While in the park ride the world-famous Maid of the Mist Boat and get wet while at the Cave of the Winds attraction. Visitors can also hike, bike and fish. Open year-round.
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Toronto Zoo
With a huge range of creatures from around the globe, the Toronto Zoo is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, the Americas, Australasia, Eurasia, Canadian Domain and the Tundra Trek. Animals can be seen indoors in tropical pavilions and outdoors in naturalistic environments. The Toronto Zoo also participates in many conservation initiatives including captive breeding and reintroduction, habitat and species research and much more. Set in the beautiful Rouge Valley in the east end of the city, the Zoo is open 364 days a year and is accessible by car and public transit.
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Hamilton Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario is the largest botanical garden in Canada and one of the largest in the world. It is a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature. Royal Botanical Gardens is a member of the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Within its 60 documented collections approximately 40,000 plants are displayed in five major garden exhibition areas; the Arboretum, Hendrie Park, Laking Garden, RBG Centre and the Rock Garden.
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Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum
Fieldcote is a cultural heritage centre with an emphasis on the collection, preservation and exhibition of local history, the promotion of fine arts and the celebration of natural heritage through beautiful landscaped gardens and walking trails. Explore ‘Stories From the Edge’, an exhibition celebrating the history of Ancaster. Set on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, with a bounty of water and resources, Ancaster has attracted humans since the retreat of the last glacier over 10,000 years ago. Using 31 stories and artifacts, one for every year the museum has been open, this exhibition offers snapshots of Ancaster’s history from the earliest human occupants to present day.
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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Explore the beauty and wonders of nature at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, encompassing 15 acres including a 14-room glasshouse and 23 distinct gardens. Experience industry-leading sustainable architecture and green practices, stunning seasonal flower shows, exclusive commissioned exhibits, renowned orchid and bonsai collections and more.
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Cherokee Park
Cherokee Park Family Campground invites you to spend your next camping vacation on our quiet, scenic grounds in Portage County, near Akron in Northeast Ohio. The Park campground features gorgeous surroundings, quality facilities, excellent campsite amenities and friendly service. Set on 50 acres, just a short drive east of Akron, Ohio, Cherokee Park offers a peaceful setting with wooded and open space surrounding two small tree-lined lakes and an activities area. Enjoy the beauty of nature and the calming effect of a campfire. You might even spot an occasional deer during your stay. Cherokee Park offers 120 campsites with 30 amp electric and water hookups. Choose a sunny, open RV site or one that is shaded by trees. Pull-thru sites are available for today's larger RVs. Pets are welcome so long as they are leashed and attended. Cherokee Park offers a few family tent sites during the summer for a limited stay.
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The Akron Zoo
The Akron Zoo offers 35 acres of exhibits & guest amenities. Create lasting memories and ride the train or carousel, and view 8 animal exhibits. How did the jaguar get its spots? How does the Andean condor carry the sun into the sky? Learn the answers to the legends of these animals and more in Legends of the Wild. Travel through South America with the jaguar and capybara, Madagascar with the lemurs and the Himalayan Mountains with the snow leopards and Himalayan tahr. Come on down to the farm! You can pet, feed and get nose-to-nose with domestic farm animals like Boer goats, Oberhasli goats, Nubian goats, and pygmy goats. Make sure to see our sheep, pig and barn owl too. Buy food for these animals at our granary and then hop aboard a solar powered train, the A&K Wilber Express (April-October). If you are not too tired get lost in Ohio Farmland maze. Navigate the seven seas on the pirate playground, have a picnic in the Wild Prairie Pavilion and enjoy a snack from our Grasslands Café. Make sure you stop by the butterfly waystation and learn about the amazing migration of butterflies.
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Lake Laurentian Conservation Area
The Lake Laurentian Conservation Area is a scenic natural area located only ten minutes from downtown Sudbury. Easily accessible by car, the area offers 2,415 acres (950 hectares) of protected green space. Imagine the remote tranquility of a wilderness setting, a man-made lake and pond, scenic lookouts, a self-guided nature trail, numerous wetland areas, hiking trails, bird watching areas, and snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails in winter. The Lake Laurentian Conservation Area offers the photographer, nature watcher, and recreationist boundless opportunity to experience the wilds. At Lake Laurentian children can: touch a frog, eat juicy blueberries, feed the birds, learn to survive if lost in the woods, see animal displays or plant a tree. The Lake Laurentian Conservation Area has something for everyone. Providing environmental education for over 40 years, is only one of the many benefits this facility provides.
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Belle Isle State Park
Accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard, this 982-acre island park features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, Great Lakes museum and plenty of room to hike, barbecue, watch boats, bicycle and more. Original landscaping by the Dean of American landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmstead.
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Detroit Zoo
An animal lover's paradise, the Detroit Zoo is situated on 125 acres with many naturalistic habitats. Major exhibits include the Arctic Ring of Life, Australian Outback Adventure, Great Apes of Harambee, National Amphibian Conservation Center, Holden Reptile Conservation Center, Penguinarium and Butterfly Garden. The Detroit Zoo is home to animals from A to Z, including anteaters and zebras and hundreds of other species in between. More than 2,000 animals representing 230 species of amphibians, mammals, birds and reptiles live in the Zoo’s 125-acres of true-to-life habitats that bring visitors face-to-face with these exotic creatures.
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Greensboro Science Center
Experience the wonders of an aquarium, zoo, science museum, and 3D theatre all in one attraction! See sharks, penguins, otters, stingrays, a fishing cat and other amazing animals from around the world in NEW The Wiseman Aquarium. Get eye-to-eye with tigers, meerkats, monkeys, crocodiles and other unique animals in Animal Discovery Zoo. Roam through Dinosaur Gallery, take a journey through the human body, experience extreme weather, and have fun in Kid’s Alley in the Museum. Watch amazing 3-D shows that pop out of the screen in the OmniSphere Theatre.