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5 Washington Zoos & Aquariums

It’s Summer – well, almost – and what better way to enjoy the weather than to see explore animals from across the globe?

The Woodland Park Zoo is an amazing experience for the entire family – and they’re constantly reimaging their spaces and how to better serve the animals and reptiles in their care. With 300+ species and over 1,000 different animals, they save animals and educate visitors. Woodland Park itself sees more than 1.3 million visitors annually, but they connect beyond the zoo and are active members of a global community of advocates and partners.

The Seattle Aquarium is an inspiration along the Seattle shoreline. Located between Seattle’s Waterfront Park and Piers 62 & 63, the aquarium offers opportunity to peer through the “Windows on Washington Waters”, as well as other exhibits including Life on the Edge, Pacific Coral Reefs, Birds & Shores, the Underwater Dome, and Marine Mammals. A major expansion in 2007 added 18,000 square feet, and another renovation in 2013 marked the first step of their 20-year strategic plan towards “significantly increasing [their] physical size and becoming the centerpiece of the City’s revitalized waterfront.”

Located in Issaquah Washington, backing Cougar Mountain, the Cougar Mountain Zoo offers understanding of conservation efforts through education and serves as a rallying point for endangered or threatened animals. Though their species pool isn’t as vast as other local zoos, they offer expert care for everyone and great learning resources for visitors and their surrounding schools and communities.

The Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is a combination of stellar land-roaming exhibits and undersea excursions. If you’re looking for a tropical vacation in the Pacific Northwest, give this zoo a try. Their South Pacific Aquarium features dozens of brightly colored tropical fish in a 24,000-gallon lagoon. They even have 5 different species of sharks in their 240,000-gallon Outer Reef environment. But that isn’t all, Point Defiance has tons of separate animal exhibits including the Asian Forest Sanctuary, Arctic Tundra, and Red Wolf Woods! Other activities include educational programs, garden tours, budgie buddies, a petting zoo, and other conservational efforts.

A little off the beaten path, the Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is dedicated to conservation, education, and recreation through native Northwest wildlife. The Discovery Tram is one of Northwest Trek’s main attractions, as it explores through the trees and wildlife and gets you up-close-and-personal with some of the mountain’s largest herbivores including the great moose, bison, swans, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep!

While these Washington zoos and aquariums have our stamp of approval – don’t be afraid to add your favorites below if we missed them!


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