When our children were little, our favorite lazy weekday activity was a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores AL, originally known as Zooland Animal Park. Our kids were always fascinated by the wild animals they could see, yelling aloud in fright and glee whenever the lions roared, laughing at the antics of the crazy monkeys, and generally just enjoying a day spent outside with parents who were having as much fun as they were!
Today, our kids are grown, and we don’t get to the zoo in Gulf Shores as often as we would like, but we still love walking the paths and laughing at the monkey antics. A trip to the Gulf Shores Alabama zoo is a fun way to spend a few hours on your vacation in our Gulf Shores condos, especially if you have younger children!
Home to over 600 animals, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo also offers a home to 22 endangered species. Learn more about the animals here when the zookeepers offer daily talks on the animals under their care, and in the warm-weather months they put on animal stage shows daily. Small kids will love the Petting Zoo where they can pet and feed donkeys, goats, deer and more.
One of the more distinctive exhibits, Lemur Island, is home to a small colony of lemurs. Hailing from the rainforests of Madagascar, the fruit loving red-ruffed lemur and the black-and-white ruffed lemur are just two of the endangered species that have found a haven here in the Gulf Coast Zoo.
Another endangered species here at the zoo is the Bengal tiger. The zoo is fortunate to have three magnificent Bengals here – come meet Rajah, Rani and Omar! And friend and animal lover Jack Hanna gifted the zoo with a beautiful, sleek black leopard (a near-threatened species) named Katrina. Almost one-third of all parrot and similar species are now endangered, and the zoo is helping to provide a habitat for these exotic birds, including grey parrots, citron-crested cockatoos, and red-billed toucans.
Other zoo inhabitants include Chuckie (an American alligator, the zoo’s oldest animal and mascot), camels Mack and Maggie, Australian kookaburras, free-roaming peacocks, and over 50 primates (including hamadryas baboons and endangered black-headed spider monkeys). And no zoo would be complete without a Reptile House! The Gulf Coast Zoo’s is filled with huge snakes (like anacondas), lizards, iguanas, and tons of creepy bugs that the kids will love!
In addition to the regular exhibits, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores Alabama offers animal encounters to give you and your children a unique opportunity to learn about certain species in an up close and personal format. Additional tickets may be required for these one-on-one animal encounters.
The Kangaroo Encounters is a chance to cuddle adorable baby red kangaroos, while the Lemur Encounters will have you laughing out loud at the hilarious antics of these crazy animals (these silly creatures are our favorites!). Stroll through the Gulf Shores Alabama zoo’s Reptile Garden and perhaps you will have the opportunity to hold a giant snake or a baby alligator, and the Sloth Encounters offers a rare occasion to get close to the giant sloth; these furry creatures are so ugly, they are somehow cute! Sylvia, Herbert, Speedy and Sonic are just waiting to cuddle with your kids!
Located at 1204 Gulf Shores Parkway and open every day of the year from 9 AM till 4 PM (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day), The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Gulf Shores Alabama is a fun way to spend a lazy day. Adults (13-54) cost $19.95 per person, military and seniors (55+) cost $14.95, children (3-12) only cost $14.95, and kids 2 and under are free! Check the zoo’s website prior to your visit for current ticket prices and operating times. The zoo offers complimentary manual wheelchairs, and wagons and strollers for rent too.
All the proceeds go towards the care and maintenance of the beautiful creatures living out their days in this idyllic zoo in Gulf Shores. Shaded picnic areas found throughout are perfect spots to have a family picnic – just grab some delicious take-out from the Safari Club Restaurant. Benches and tables throughout the zoo are situated so that you can enjoy a cold ice cream cone on the hottest days of summer, or a tasty hot chocolate during the cooler days of winter while you watch your favorite animals frolic. And be sure to visit the zoo’s gift shop on the way out for the perfect zoo souvenirs for the kids.
If someone in your group is celebrating a birthday or special event, let the zoo know beforehand. The zoo offers party perks to add even more fun to your zoo celebration! There’s no end to the fun that can be had at the zoo in Gulf Shores. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Discover the wild side of Alabama when you stay with Harris Vacation Rentals. Contact us today and start planning your dream vacation to Gulf Shores!