I have been to a couple of zoos in my day, Tampa, Dallas, and Ft. Worth, to mention a few, so I consider myself well traveled in that aspect. I actually had been to Zoo Miami, but back when it was called Metro Zoo and I was too little to recall it. We are currently back in Miami visiting my family. Every time we are here, my dad tries to take us to the zoo, but for some reason or another we never make it. We finally decided today was the day and boy am I glad!
This zoo was so much more enjoyable than I ever imagined. Here are my top reasons I loved Zoo Miami:
- Truly, I felt like I was on vacation in some tropical place (which I guess I kinda am)
- I loved the vegetation, which sounds silly, but it was lush and green everywhere. There were even some decent canopies throughout the walkways that provided much needed shade.
- The animals were all extremely visible. There is obviously adequate separation, but it is done in a way that you can actually see the animals almost face to face.
- The food was fantastic. Seems like a weird thing to note, but I hate spending money on crummy food. There is The Oasis, which offers outdoor seating and walk up order service. There is also an indoor seating restaurant, Nourish 305, which we didn’t try but had good reviews.
- There are various children play areas, dry and wet. There’s a soft playground and also a splash pad that is way more than a pad. Not to mention the carousel, rides, and petting zoo!
- I love that there are so many different ways to experience these 324 acres of developed space with kids. You can rent a bike (more on that later), ride the monorail, and walk and rent a stroller.
- Some of our favorite animal exhibits included walking through the Wings of Asia Aviary (that includes around 400 birds), seeing the Lions of Africa, and feeding the Reticulated Giraffes.
There are a couple of key things we did, that I think made this trip worth doing:
- Go on a day that the weather is under 90 degrees. I know in Miami that becomes a bit difficult, but I do think it makes all the difference.
- Get there early. They open at 10 am on most days (they are open on every day of the year, including holidays but the times vary). We arrived right at 10 AM and it definitely helped.
- Go on a weekday. Not during a local off day for school, because it best part of our visit was how easy it was to navigate the grounds with fewer guests.
- RENT THE BIKE. If you go through the whole zoo it is 3 miles, but I can assure you it feels like a lot more. The bike experience, on a day like today, was incredible. We were able to see the whole zoo easily and happily in 4 hours (with plenty of stops).
- Stop and enjoy snacks and meals. We brought some snacks and drinks in but we also enjoyed Icees at Miami Ice and a delicious lunch at The Oasis. Taking a break makes keeping on moving, much more enjoyable.
- Take it easy. We loved the bike for this reason. The girls sat on the front and we peddled slowly from exhibit to exhibit. We’d park and most of the times stayed inside the bike and just watched the animals from our seats.
- Do one of the animal encounters. We like to feed the giraffes at every zoo we visit. These giraffes were beautiful. They also felt really close, in the sense that they had to bend down a little to eat out of our hands. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the two new baby giraffes and even feeding a 6 month old one.
All in all, it was really a wonderful experience. I honestly didn’t think that I would be as impressed as I was. The weather was great, the bikes were so much fun, the animals were all out and about, the food was delicious, and I will definitely be back again!