While this 80-acre zoo isn’t the caliber of San Diego or even Memphis, it is a hit with younger kids—and with parents who understand how incredible it is that most of the zoo is naturally shaded by trees, which is a lifesaver in Nashville’s warmer months. Just south of downtown, the zoo is home to all the usual suspects, including giraffes, elephants, alligators, meerkats, and African wild hogs. In the naturalistic habitats, you’ll see river otters, bison, elk, black bear, red pandas, bald eagles, and cougars, as well as other smaller animals. The flamingo exhibit is beautiful, if a little smelly on hotter days, and the zoo is also known for its formerly endangered clouded leopard cubs. More than 32 cubs have been born at the Nashville Zoo since 2009. In the park’s aviary, you can walk among many of the state’s songbirds, and at the Cumberland River exhibit expect to see fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Kids can ride wood-carved cougars on the zoo’s colorful carousel and frolic under water features. The Nashville Zoo is also remarkable for its interactive elements including feeding and touching turtles and its kangaroo petting zoo. In the works at presstime were a $13-million veterinary medical center and millions of dollars in upgrades that are set to double the number of animals and acreage. Tip: To beat the crowds, try visiting the zoo during off-peak times (Mon–Fri around 1pm and Sun at 9am).
Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
3777 Nolensville Pike, USA
Our Rating Hours Daily 9am–4pm Transportation Follow 4th Ave. south to Nolensville Pike to U.S. 11 and turn on Zoo Rd. Phone 615/833-1534 Prices Admission $17 adults, $12 children 3–12, free for children 2 and under Web site Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
Map3777 Nolensville Pike USA Nashville
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.