10 Best Zoo in Texas – Where to Go in 2023?

There are nearly 50 well-known zoos in Texas. However, to have the best experience looking at wildlife, you should pick the finest among them.

In this article, I’ll list the ten best zoos in the state of Texas. Let’s get started:

Top 10 Zoos in Texas

I have mentioned what makes these zoos better than others in Texas. So, make proper considerations before taking your family and friends to a nearby zoo.

Fort Worth Zoo

Fort Worth Zoo
Fort Worth Zoo
Address:1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, Texas 76110
Phone:(817) 759-7555
Attraction:Giraffe Experience, Safari Splash, Tasmanian Tower

Fort Worth Zoo is considered the second-best zoo in North America by USA Today. The place has 7,000 animals, including giraffes, stingrays, jaguars, rhinos, etc. 

The nearby area of Fort Worth Zoo has many attractions that you can visit alongside the zoo. Log Cabin Village, Trinity Park, etc., are some of the places in a one-mile radius near the Fort Worth Zoo.

The habitats and exhibitions are very well-made. Even though there are prominent zoos like Dallas or San Antonio Zoo, Fort Worth takes the crown of being the best zoo in Texas. 

Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo
Dallas Zoo
Address:Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R. L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, TX  75203
Attraction:T-Rex Express Mini-Train, Endangered Species Carousel.

One of the best things about the Dallas Zoo is the presence of zoologists. Therefore, while seeing the animals of the zoo in real life, you and your family can learn about them in extensive detail.

There are several attractions and things to do at Dallas Zoo. Some of the best things to do are giraffe feeding, where you can hand-feed wild giraffes, and wild encounters, where the zoo will let you be up close to the animals. 

You can see some endangered species in the zoo. The zoo teaches visitors critical facts about wildlife with a primary focus on conservation. Unless some exhibitions are closed, you can see all the animals and learn about them.

San Antonio Zoo

San Antonio Zoo
San Antonio Zoo
Address:3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212
Attraction:Giraffe Feeding, Flamingo Mingle, Beastly Breakfast: Giraffe, Roo, Hippo

San Antonio Zoo is home to over 8,500 animals. It was built in the 19th century and is currently one of the best zoos for family visits. SAZOO offers a monthly membership that lets you be present during the recurring events inside the 56 acres of the animal sanctuary.

SA Zoo is also great for students with several education programs. Pupils can learn more about wildlife from the Will Smith Zoo School, Conservation Field Trips, Scout Workshops, and many more!

One of the best things about San Antonio Zoo is the clean environment. They believe in conservation and care for the animals inside the zoo. The zoo is relatively easy to navigate, and you can spend over four hours seeing the exhibits and learning.

Houston Zoo

Houston Zoo
Houston Zoo
Address:6200 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, TX 77030
Attraction:African Forest, Sea Lion Habitat, Texas Wetlands

Houston Zoo is one of the most reviewed zoos in Texas, with over 6,000 animals in its 55-acre area. Every year, more than 1.6 million people visit this zoo. Moreover, it is considered one of North America’s best zoos for kids.

Houston Zoo has a lot of different species of animals, such as anteaters, Ankole cattle, capybaras, cheetahs, fossa, wild birds, giraffes, and many more! You shouldn’t forget to see the red pandas and elephant exhibit and get a close-up view of rare bird species.

The Animal Encounter program of Houston Zoo makes it such a kid-friendly place because there are a lot of learning opportunities. Moreover, there are unique programs catered toward both teens and adults. 

Cameron Park Zoo

Cameron Park Zoo
Cameron Park Zoo
Address:1701 N 4th St, Waco, TX 76707
Attraction:Gibbon Island, South American Exhibit, African Savanna

The Cameron Park Zoo in Waco has over 1700 animals, including giraffes, crowned cranes, elephants, lions, meerkats, etc. It is 52 acres of area with many different exhibits that maintain a specific theme. For example, the Asian Forest area has Komodo Dragons, Sumatran Tigers and Orangutans. 

If you plan to spend the entire day in the area, consider visiting Cameron Park and Waco Suspension Bridge, which are very close to Cameron Park Zoo. Cameron Park zoo is relatively small compared to the best zoos I mentioned. However, the beautiful environment makes the visit worth it.

Cameron Park Zoo is a good idea if you are looking for a zoo in Waco where you can roam around for at least two hours, Cameron Park Zoo is a good idea. 

Caldwell Zoo

Caldwell Zoo
Caldwell Zoo
Address:2203 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tyler, TX 75702
Attraction:Giraffe Feeding, Petting Zoo, Keeper Talks

Caldwell Zoo is situated on a large 85 acres area. It is a scenic place filled with trees and various species of animals. It is one of the best zoos in Tyler for school kids due to its variety of programs. Summer camp and ZooSchool programs help students learn about wildlife in Caldwell Zoo. 

There are more than 3,000 animals in this zoo. The exhibit sections are divided into several categories, such as East Africa, North America, South America, etc. In addition, the Keeper Talks program of the zoo helps learn facts about animals in the zoo in real-time.

Lastly, the best thing about the Caldwell Zoo is the beautiful environment. While many other zoos have many more animals than Caldwell zoo, the scenic and green surroundings make it a relaxing place. Beautiful enclosure and layout paired with healthy animals make Caldwell Zoo great.

Gladys Porter Zoo

Gladys Porter Zoo
Gladys Porter Zoo
Address:500 E Ringgold St, Brownsville, TX 78520
Attraction:Tropical America, Macaw Canyon, Realm of the Dragon

With over 1600 animals and 47 endangered species, the Gladys Porter Zoo focuses on conserving animals such as iguanas, rhinos, etc. GPZ is different from other zoos in Texas due to its tropical themes and beautiful botanical exhibitions on 28 acres of land.

Gladys Porter Zoo gets over 375,000 visitors every year. The sightseers love to see exotic animals that are kept in open-air areas. Moreover, it is a kid-friendly zoo that provides several opportunities to learn about wildlife and conservation.

Some of the zoo’s educational programs include – Summer Safari Camps, Starlight Safari Sleepover, Summer Teen Program, Safari Chats, Classes, Teacher Workshops, and several more! All these programs make this zoo great for schools planning a zoo trip.

Texas State Aquarium

Texas State Aquarium
Texas State Aquarium
Address:2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402
Attraction:Ocelots, Dolphin Bay, Stingray Lagoon

The Texas State Aquarium is one of the most visited, where people learn about beautiful underwater creatures. The aquarium has presentation programs that help to learn about dolphins, turtles, sharks, etc. It’s a non-profit aquarium that focuses on conserving animals in the Gulf of Mexico.

There are over 500 different species in this aquarium. The dolphin show is one of the best things about the Texas State Aquarium. While they aim to provide education on marine life, it isn’t as comprehensive as people would like. The cost of tickets is also pretty high.

Compared to other places mentioned on this list, the Texas State Aquarium is rather small. To have a fulfilling experience, I’d recommend going to the USS Lexington Museum and the Corpus Christi Harbour Bridge and Museum bear the aquarium.

Ellen Trout Zoo

Ellen Trout Zoo
Ellen Trout Zoo
Address:402 Zoo Cir, Lufkin, TX 75904
Attraction:Hippos, Giraffes, Rhinoceros

The Ellen Trout Zoo is located near the Texas Forestry Museum and Museum of East Texas in Lufkin. It is a 15-acre zoo with more than 700 animals. The ticket prices are very cheap and the zoo is great for family picnics. While there are many different types of animals in the Ellen Trout Zoo, people love to see the giraffes, hippos, and rhinos.

One of the best things about Ellen Trout Zoo is the cleanliness of the area. You can see the animals of the zoo from very close and can easily spend more than four hours. The hippos can be seen underwater as well. With a nice landscape, the zoo provides enough space for the animals and they look healthy and fed.

The zoo also hosts several education programs throughout the year. Therefore, it can be suitable for school trips as well as family visits. 

The Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium
Address:1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202
Attraction:Cloud Forest, Trek, Mundo Maya

While the Dallas Zoo can provide the best experience in the city, you can visit the Dalla World Aquarium Zoo to see more aquatic wildlife. Some of the best exhibits of the zoo are the rainforest and the aquarium. While you may expect a lot of aquatic wildlife in the place, there are more birds. Therefore, this zoo is excellent for bird lovers. 

The layout of the aquarium is well-designed. Seeing the manatees can be an experience in itself. Moreover, the Brazilian rainforest exhibit contains a variety of exotic birds and animals.

Lastly, the Dalla World Aquarium can be a decent choice if you want to visit a zoo with some aqua creatures. There are many education programs in this zoo as well that focuses on running a well-maintained wildlife sanctuary.

Frequently Asked Questions Answer

Which is the biggest zoo in Texas?

Dallas zoo is the largest Texas zoo, with an area of 106 acres. 

What are the best drive-thru safaris in Texas?

Grapeland Safari, Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch in San Antonio, Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City, etc., are some of the well-known safaris in Texas.

What zoo should you visit in Dallas?

Both Dallas Zoo and Fort Worth Zoo are the best in the state of Texas.


When picking a zoo, consider how close it is to your area and how long you can spend inside the place. For example, if you have only a few hours to kill, visiting a small zoo can be a good idea. However, to learn the most about wildlife in Texas, Fort Worth Zoo and Dallas Zoo are the best options!

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