Jacksonville Stories and Tips

Lions, Tigers, and Bears... Oh My?

Entrance Photo, Jacksonville, Florida

During the Memorial Day Weekend of 2010, I took my family to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. I thought what better way to get my family out of the apartment and take them to the zoo.. My family got into the car and headed out there.

Getting There
The Jacksonville Zoo and Garden is on Florida highway 105; however, I suggest you compy the address to your GPS, if you have one. The zoo's entrance is not well seen from the road since it is next to a cruise line terminal. Make sure that you don't follow the cars going into the cruise terminal. I did that, but fortunately, my wife noticed I was going the wrong way and made a U-turn to get back to the right road. We made it to the zoo, FINALLY!.

Heat and Humid... Oh My!
Once we got out of the air-conditioned car, the heat and humid hit my face like a nuclear blast explosion. I felt like a chocolate bar being melted away by the sun.My family and I walked to the ticket booth to buy our tickets. Tickets costs $13 for an adult, $8 for kids, and free for kids under 3-years old.

(Tip: never pay full-price for admissions at this zoo, you can find discounts for this zoo. A good website to check is www.visitjacksonville.com to find these discounts).

Inside the Zoo
I have never been to a zoo as organized as this zoo. The zoo is separated into five main areas:"Africa, Australia, North America, South America, and Asia. Because the weather was very hot, we decided to see only Africa, Australia, and South America ( we saw also a bit of North America, too, but we did so accidentally). We got a map to help us give direction in where to go. The setup is a circle; however, we noticed that if you walk that you would have to leave the way we came into the zoo. Walking around the zoo in the heat made me realize that my family would not last too long. I made sure that we found places to rest.

Heat + Exotic Animals= Siesta!
I have to say coming to the zoo during the hottest part of the day is the worst idea if you are planning to see the animals. The animals seemed like they decided to form a union in the zoo and determine to make the hottest part of the day nap time.The only active animal in the entire zoo was a warthog digging in a mud pit, so it could cool of from the heat.The warthog was rolling around the mud pit like it won the lottery and got millions of dollars. The warthog was so funny that my wife wished she could be that warthog for one day, especially during the hot temperatures we were in.
My family and I saw the elephants and was given an educational brief about elephants. It was cool because I got to touch the tail of an elephant. Next, my family decided to see the giraffes. My daughter wanted to feed the giraffes; however, there were too many people to do so.

My Lasting Impressions
If you take anything from this story, it is don't come to this zoo during the hottest part of the day. All the animals will lounge around doing nothing until the temperatures become cooler. Even though the temperature was hot, I liked the zoo. I liked how this zoo gives you a chance to be close up with many types of animals such as elephants and giraffes. Lions, tigers, and bears... not oh my but oh yes. Oh yes, this zoo has those animals sleeping away in the heat.

Been to this destination?

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