Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is a premier destination in Jacksonville for family-friendly fun and educational experiences. Located on approximately 117 acres in the city’s Northside, the zoo features an array of exciting animal exhibits, captivating gardens, and interactive activities.

Since its opening in 1914, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has grown to become one of the most popular attractions in northeast Florida, drawing over 600 000 visitors each year. Over the years, the zoo has undergone several expansions to accommodate new animals and exhibits.

So, what do you expect to see and experience at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens?


At Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, you can encounter a diverse array of wild animals from around the world. These include:

  • Lions
  • Giraffes
  • Zebras
  • Elephants
  • Gorillas
  • Rhinos

There’s also an abundance of birds to be seen in the aviary and reptiles like pythons and alligators on display in the reptile house. The new North American section is home to native species such as black bears, bison, and bald eagles. These exhibits are carefully designed to recreate the animals’ natural habitats, providing great views of these majestic creatures.


In addition to its animal collection, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens boasts an array of beautiful gardens and landscapes for visitors to explore. Wander through the lush butterfly garden or admire the giant banyan trees in the Asian Garden. Other highlights include:

  • The African Garden: Home to many species of birds, plants, and flowers native to Africa
  • The American Garden: Features a wide variety of native shrubs and grasses
  • The Australian Outback Garden: Stunning displays of colorful wildflowers

Each garden has its unique charm and offers plenty of opportunities for exploration. For instance, the American Garden has a nature trail that winds through a preserved forest. On the other hand, the African Garden has a boardwalk and overlook where visitors can observe various wildlife.

Interactive Experiences

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens provides visitors many opportunities to get up close with some of its animals.

You can book a “Zoo Talk” session, which gives you special access to the zoo’s keepers and allows you to learn more about their work in animal conservation. The zoo also offers interactive experiences like feeding giraffes, swimming with dolphins, or petting stingrays at Stingray Bay.

Activities & Programs

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens host numerous programs and activities for visitors to enjoy. These include live animal presentations, educational talks, family-friendly shows, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. Kids will also love the zoo’s Summer Safari Camp, which occurs every year during June and July.

Additionally, several special events are held yearly, such as festivals, concerts, holiday celebrations, and even overnight camping trips at the zoo!

So if you’re seeking a fun day out with your family or friends in Jacksonville, then be sure to check out Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens!