This 290-acre complex is quite a distance from Miami proper and the beaches -- about 45 minutes -- but worth the trip. Isolated and never really crowded, it's also completely cageless -- animals are kept at bay by cleverly designed moats. This is a fantastic spot to take younger kids; there are wonderful play areas, safari cycles for rent, and the zoo offers several daily programs designed to educate and entertain like The Wildlife Show and Diego's Discovery Den Show. Mufasa and Simba (of Disney fame) were modeled on a couple of Metrozoo's lions. Other residents include one rare white Bengal tiger, Komodo dragons, koalas, kangaroos, and African meerkats. The air-conditioned monorail and tram tours offer visitors a nice overview of the park. The zoo is always upgrading its facilities, including the impressive aviary, Wings of Asia. Cool activities include the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station, where, for $2, you get to feed the giraffes veggies, and Humpy's Camel Rides where you can hop on a camel for $5. Opened in December 2008, Amazon & Beyond features jaguars, anacondas, giant river otters, harpy eagles, a stingray touch tank, two interactive water features, the Flooded Forest building with a unique display of a forest before and during flood times, and an indoor Cloud Forest building that houses reptiles. At 27 acres and a cost of $50 million, the exhibit is massive and makes Metrozoo the third zoo in the country to have giant river otters, one of its keystone species. Private tours and overnights are also available for those who really want to commune with nature. Note: The distance between animal habitats can be great, so you'll do a lot of walking here. There are benches, shaded gazebos, cool misters, a water-shooting mushroom and two water-play areas strategically positioned throughout the zoo so you can escape the heat when you need to. Also, because the zoo can be miserably hot during summer months, plan these visits in the early morning or late afternoon. Expect to spend all day here if you want to see it all.