There’s no better way to really get to know the animals of the world than to visit one of America’s many game parks. More than mere zoos, game parks let you get up close to animals from all over the world, providing opportunities to get hands-on with many exotic species that are rare even in their natural habitats. These five parks give visitors the best, most immersive wildlife experiences for the money.
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is a true jewel in the crown of one of the world’s most prestigious zoos. More than two million people come to visit the park’s huge collection of animals—more than 300 species—every year, and there is far more to see than just a single visit can cover. It’s one of the only places in the world to see rare animals such as the California condor and the northern white rhinoceros! The park also boasts an amazing botanical gardens, as well as tons of fun activities such as the Flightline and the Jungle Ropes that will thrill children and adults alike!
Get up close and personal with your favorite animal friends at the West Coast Game Park Safari, the largest wildlife park in Oregon. The moment you step into the park, you and your family are greeted by friendly goats, deer and many others, roaming free and ready to enjoy your attention… and a little snack, if you want to feed them. Have you ever wanted to scratch a lemur’s belly? The park’s ambassador animals can’t wait to meet you and pose for photos! With over 450 animals from more than 75 species, it’s sure to be a great time and a fun learning experience.
The Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon, offers a truly magical experience for animal lovers of all ages, chock full of opportunities to see some of the most wonderful wildlife up close and personal. There are more than two dozen animal encounter programs that give families an intimate look, as well as the opportunity to participate, in the lives of big bears, majestic tigers, amazing painting pachyderms, and more than 60 other species! There are also fun programs for kids, such as daycames and the Junior
Zookeeper, to learn tons of awesome animal facts while gaining a deeper understanding of nature and the creatures which inhabit it.
The Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, Washington, has been delighting animal lovers for over four decades, and was once the home to many of the animals Walt Disney filmed in their many documentaries and specials. The Olympic Game Farm is open year-round and offers several exciting options, such as their famous driving tours, which bring you close to more than two dozen animal species that inhabit the park’s beautiful 84 acres, and let you feed a few hungry friends. The farm is, and has always been, a family-operated enterprise that places the greatest priority on the health and safety of their animals.
Nestled amongst the gentle prairies in the heart of the Lone Star State, the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch features a large number of wild animals from all over the globe in a large, open area. More than 500 animals call the park home, in an environment quite reminiscent of their natural habitats in Africa. Giraffes roam amongst antelope and bison come right up to your car to say hello in their own special way—and moon for the camera! Kids won’t be able to resist the adorable babies in the Petting Barnyard, and there are many other games and activities suitable for the whole family.