18 Best Zoos In Texas: A Comprehensive Guide

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If you’re looking for an amazing zoo experience, Texas is the place to be. With world-renowned zoos like the Dallas Zoo and the San Antonio Zoo, as well as a variety of smaller local favorites, there’s something for everyone. The animals on display vary from tigers and lions to elephants and gorillas, with many aquariums thrown in for good measure. So whether you’re a resident or just visiting, make sure to check out at least one of these 18 best zoos in Texas!

Dallas Zoo (best zoo in Texas)

Address: 650 S R L Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75203

Founded year: 1888


  • Adults:  $15-17
  • Child + Seniors:  $12-14
  • FREE for under 2 and members of Dallas Zoo

Parking: $10 per vehicle; Dallas Zoo members get free.

The Zoo takes cash and credit cards with a photo ID that matches.

Open: 7 days/week  9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


It is Texas’ oldest and largest zoo, and it attracts more than a million visitors each year.

The Dallas Zoo is a 106-acre wildlife park with about 2,000 animals from 406 species. Some of the highlights include a herd of lions, tigers, elephants, a family of gorillas, and a colony of penguins.

The zoo also features a children’s zoo, where kids can pet and feed animals such as goats, sheep, and llamas. It is a great place to learn about animals from around the world and see them up close.

There are also several restaurants, gift shops on-site, great variety of restaurants, including a cafe and a pizza place,…

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Abilene Zoo

Address: 2070 Zoo Ln, Abilene, TX 79602

Founded year: 1966


  • Adult – $10.00
  • Child – $7.00
  • Senior – $9.00

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Since 1985, the Abilene Zoo has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participates in its Reciprocal Admissions Program. Consequently, members can obtain free or reduced admissions to many other American zoos.

The zoo includes more than 800 animals from over 175 species. Some of the features of the zoo include a petting zoo, a train ride, and a playground. There are also plenty of exhibits to see, including lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!).

The zoo also has a pretty good selection of restaurants and gift shops, making it a perfect destination for a day out with the family.

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Amarillo Zoo

Address: 700 Comanchero Trail, Amarillo, TX 79107

Founded year: 1955


  • Adults (13 – 61)$4.50 
  • Senior (62+)$3.50 
  • Children (3 – 12) $2.50 
  • Infants (0 – 2) Free

Open: 7 days/week 9:30 AM – 5PM


Features over 60 species of animals, The Amarillo Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, bears, and elephants. It also features a petting zoo where visitors can get up close and personal with some of the zoo’s smaller animals.

The zoo has several exhibits that allow visitors to learn more about the animals they are seeing, as well as a gift shop where they can buy souvenirs.

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Austin Zoo

Address: 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin, TX 78736

Founded year: 1990


  • $14.95 for all adult visitors between the age of 13 to 59 years.
  • On showing their valid ID cards, military personnel and students get a $1 discount on the full ticket and pay only $13.95 for entry. 
  • Seniors 60 years and above and kids between 2 to 12 years also qualify for the $1 discount. 

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM


At the Austin Zoo in Texas, there are over 300 animals from around 2100 different species. These include African lions, Bengal tigers, cougars, three types of monkeys, black bears, ring-tailed lemurs, and porcupines!

The Austin Zoo is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun day out with the family. There are plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, from watching the animals roam around in their natural habitats to playing in the children’s play area.

The zoo is also home to several events throughout the year, such as Boo at the Zoo and Zootoberfest, so there’s always something new to check out.

And if you get hungry, there are plenty of places to grab a bite, from food trucks to concession stands. So whether you’re a local or just visiting, be sure to add the Austin Zoo to your list of things to do!

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Photo courtesy of Austin Zoo

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Caldwell Zoo

Address: 2203 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Tyler, TX 75702

Founded year: 1953


  • General Admission (ages 13-54): $16.50
  • Children (ages 3-12): $12.50
  • Children 2 and under: Free
  • Seniors (ages 55+): $14.50

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM


The Caldwell Zoo is a great place to visit if you want to see a variety of animals from all over the world. The zoo has a wide range of exhibits, including a rainforest walk, an Africa exhibit, and a children’s zoo. In addition to the animals on display, the zoo also offers educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages.

They offer summer camps for kids as well as ZooSchool, a program that offers classes that meet once a month for 6 sessions.

The camps are educational and interactive, and kids have a chance to learn about animals from all over the world.

Campers also get to participate in fun activities like hikes, crafts, and games. The zoo is a great place to learn about animals, and the summer camps are a fun way to spend a summer day.

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Cameron Park Zoo

Address: 1701 N 4th St, Waco, TX 76707

Founded year: 1993


  • Adults(13+) – $13.00
  • Children 3-12 yrs – $10.00
  • Sr. Citizens (60+) – $12.00
  • Children 2 years old and under – free

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The zoo contains over 1731 animals from 300 different species, providing visitors with a chance to learn about the natural history of native and exotic animals.

The Cameron Park Zoo is a great place to take the family for a day of fun. There are plenty of animals to see, including lions, tigers, and elephants. The zoo also has a petting zoo where kids can pet llamas, goats, and sheep. There is also a train that goes through the park, and a playground for the kids.

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El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Address: 4001 E Paisano Dr, El Paso, TX 79905,

Founded year: 1940


  • Baby (23 months & under): Free
  • Child (2yrs – 12yrs): $7.50
  • Teen (13yrs – 17yrs): $9.00
  • Adult (18yrs – 59yrs): $12.00
  • Senior (60+ yrs): $9.00
  • Active Duty (w/valid ID) $9.00

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


The El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens are a one-of-a-kind attraction in El Paso, Texas. The zoo is home to hundreds of animals from all over the world, while the botanical gardens are full of beautiful plants and flowers.

The center houses a variety of animals representing over 220 species, including the Amur leopard and the Aruba rattlesnake, both of which are critically endangered.

What makes the zoo and gardens so special, though, is their combination of natural beauty and educational opportunities. Both the zoo and gardens are perfect for families, with plenty of things to see and do.

el paso zoo and botanical gardens
Photo courtesy of El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens

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Ellen Trout Zoo

Address: 402 Zoo Cir, Lufkin, TX 75904

Founded year: 1967


  • $5.00 for adults
  • $2.50 for children (4 – 11)
  • Free for children under 4.

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Ellen Trout Zoo is a special place because it is the largest zoo in the United States. There are more than 800 animals on exhibit, including elephants, lions, tigers, and gorillas. The zoo also has a botanical garden with more than 2,500 plants.

The Ellen Trout Zoo is an excellent place to visit if you’re interested in seeing wild and exotic animals from all around the world. In addition, there’s a pre-Civil War train replica that you can ride around the lake which makes for a very scenic trip.

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Fort Worth Zoo

Address: 1989 Colonial Pkwy, Fort Worth, TX 76110

Founded year: 1909


  • ADULTS (13+ ): $18
  • CHILDREN (3 TO 12): $14
  • SENIORS (65+): $14

Open: 7days/week 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


They have 5,400 species on the current list, including 72 mammal species, 148 avian species, and 172 ectothermic species. They also have two fantastic exhibits to explore. The expansion of elephant springs is presently under construction; however, visitors are still able to see the elephants on exhibit.

According to popular publications such as USA Today and Los Angeles Times, our zoo is rated the best in America and attracts more than one million visitors a year.

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Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Address:  2299 Co Rd 2008, Glen Rose, TX 76043

Founded year: 1987


  • $29.95 for guests age 12 and older
  • $24.95 for children ages 3 to 11
  • Children 2 and under are free.

Open: 7 days/week 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM


The park features a 7-mile drive with more than 1,000 species and may take several hours to explore. They have a gift shop and restaurant about halfway through the journey.

This drive-thru park is a great place to see exotic animals living in their natural environment. You can purchase one bag of animal feed per car. Make sure you bring binoculars so you can catch glimpses of the animals at the designated observation areas.

fossil rim wildlife center
Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

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Frank Buck Zoo

Address: 1000 W California St, Gainesville, TX 76240

Founded year: 1930


  • $6.50 for adults
  • $5.50 for Seniors and Military
  • $4.50 for children ages 1-12yrs.

Open: 7 days/week 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM


The Frank Buck Zoo is a marvelous place to visit. Not only will you see a large variety of animals, but you will also learn about them and their habitats.

The zoo staff is knowledgeable and passionate about the animals they care for, and they are always happy to answer questions. In addition, the zoo is beautifully landscaped and provides a great opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy nature. I highly recommend visiting the Frank Buck Zoo!

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Gladys Porter Zoo

Address: 500 E Ringgold St, Brownsville, TX 78520

Founded year: 1971


  • Adults ages (14 – 64):  $15.50
  • children ages (2 – 13): $9.50
  • Seniors (65 and over): $12.50.
  • Children, ages 1 and under: free. 

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Gladys Porter Zoo is a great place to visit if you want to see a variety of animals. The park has 1600 animals and 225 plant species spread out over 31 acres. They have everything from elephants and lions to monkeys and tigers.

Plus, the zoo is set up in a way that makes it easy to see the animals in their natural habitats. If you’re looking for an enjoyable day out with the family, the Gladys Porter Zoo is worth checking out.

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Houston Zoo

Address: 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030

Founded year: 1922


  • Adult (13 to 64 years): $22.95
  • Child (3 to 12 years): $17.95
  • Senior (65+ years): $17.95

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Houston Zoo is home to over 6,000 animals from 900 species. The 55-acre zoo is located within Hermann Park in Houston, Texas, and receives around 2.4 million visitors each year. It is the second most visited zoo in the United States.

Guests will encounter a variety of animals in their natural habitats, such as Asian elephants, southern white rhinos, Malayan tigers, western lowland gorillas, African lions, and many more!

The Houston Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the ideal time to go is as soon as it opens up at 9 a.m. Animals are most active and visible early in the morning. As the day wears on, animals fade into the shade and become harder to see.

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San Antonio Zoo

Address:  3903 N St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78212

Founded year: 1914


  • Adult (Ages 12+): $23.50
  • Child (Ages 3-11): $18.57 
  • Child (Under 3). $0.00.

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The San Antonio Zoo currently houses over 300 creatures, including more than 100 species. Animals from other zoos that are being retired for age, health, or other reasons are included in our collection.

If you’re looking for weekend visit ideas, consider checking out what San Antonio has to offer! They have a drive-thru zoo that’s open at specific times throughout the year. Plus, last year The San Antonio Zoo successfully hatched 10 Komodo dragons – which are known as the world’s largest lizards.

san antonio zoo
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Sea Life Grapevine

Address: Mills Mall, 3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy, Grapevine, TX 76051

Admission: $20  – $48

Open: 7 days/week 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM


  • Come explore our interactive displays and swim with the fish in our 360-degree Ocean Tunnel!
  • Be surrounded by the joyful rays at Stingray Bay.
  • Come explore the rainforest and all of its wonderful creatures!
  • The jellyfish will be enthralling, swaying in the water.
  • With more than 5,000 fish, rays, and other animals from all walks of life, you’ll have a truly unique experience.

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Texas State Aquarium

Address: 2710 N Shoreline Blvd, Corpus Christi, TX 78402

Founded year: 1990


  • Adult (ages 13 – 64): $38.95
  • Student/Senior/Military (with ID/Senior 65+): $36.95
  • Child (ages 3-12): $28.95

Open: 7 days/week 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Texas State Aquarium is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a fun and educational day out. The aquarium has a wide range of exhibits, from the sharks and turtles in the Gulf of Mexico exhibit to the rainforest exhibit with its many exotic animals. There’s also a touch tank where you can pet horseshoe crabs and stingrays, and a play area for kids.

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The Dallas World Aquarium

Address: 1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202

Founded year: 1992


  • Adult: $28.95  
  • Child (3 thru 12): $18.95  
  • Child (2 and under): $0.00  
  • Senior (65+): $22.95  
  • Military: $22.95

Open: 7 days/week 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM


The Dallas World Aquarium is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dallas. It features a wide variety of aquatic life, from fish and sharks to dolphins and whales. The aquarium also has a wide variety of interactive exhibits, which allow visitors to get up close and personal with the animals.

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The Exotic Resort Zoo

Address: 235 Zoo Trail, Johnson City, TX 78636

Founded year: 1995


  • Adults are $18.95/ea
  • Children (12 & under) are $15.95/ea
  • Seniors (60+) are $17.95/ea

Open: 7 days/week 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Exotic Resort Zoo is home to many animals from around the world. Visitors can see lions, elephants, giraffes, and many other animals in their natural habitats. The zoo also has a petting zoo where children can pet and feed animals like goats, sheep, and llamas. The Exotic Resort Zoo is a great place for families to visit and learn about animals from all over the world.

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Which zoo in Texas has the most animals?

The Houston Zoo. It is a 56-acre (22 ha) zoological park in Hermann Park, Texas, United States. The zoo has more than 6,000 animals representing 600 species.

What zoos in Texas have gorillas?

Birmingham Zoo, The Little Rock Zoological Gardens, The Gorilla Foundation, Denver Zoo, and National Zoological Park… are some of the zoos that have gorillas

What zoo in Texas has pandas?

Some of the zoos that have pandas include Zoo Atlanta, Memphis Zoo, and the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Is Dallas or Houston Zoo better?

There are many zoos around the country, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Two of the most popular zoos are the Dallas Zoo and the Houston Zoo. Both are excellent zoos, but they have different strengths.

The Dallas Zoo is smaller than the Houston Zoo, but it has a great variety of animals. It also has a children’s zoo, which is perfect for younger kids. The Houston Zoo is much larger, and it has more exotic animals. It also has an impressive rainforest exhibit.

So, which zoo is better? It depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a smaller zoo with more variety, then the Dallas Zoo is better. If you want a bigger zoo with more exotic animals, then the Houston Zoo is better.

Is Dallas or Fort Worth Zoo better?

It is difficult to decide which zoo is better, the Dallas Zoo or the Fort Worth Zoo. Both zoos have a lot of exhibits and animals to see. They both also have areas where kids can play and learn. I think that the Dallas Zoo is a little better because it has more variety in its exhibits. It also has a train that goes through the zoo, which is really fun.


If you’re looking for an exciting day out, a trip to the zoo is always a great option. Texas has some amazing zoos, and we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to the 18  best zoos in Texas. Whether you’re in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or somewhere else in the Lone Star State, there’s sure to be a zoo that will excite and entertain you. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your next adventure today!

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