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The Palm Beach Zoo: A Tropical Experience

Updated on January 8, 2013
Tropical foilage and flowers adorn the zoo pathways.
Tropical foilage and flowers adorn the zoo pathways. | Source
This temple is within the Mayan Plaza. It is quite impressive in size and design.
This temple is within the Mayan Plaza. It is quite impressive in size and design. | Source

Our Weekly Date Night Adventure

My husband and I choose one day a week to venture out on a date. We enjoy eating at different restaurants and visiting new places. We reflect upon our visit afterwards and give them a rating according to our experience. This week we decided to do a "day date" instead and toured the Palm Beach Zoo. Although it is not as big as other zoos we have visited, the layout and tropical setting are a true delight. It gives you the feeling that you are walking through a jungle as you go through dense foliage and view the animals on display.

The time spent there was very rewarding as we found out going late in the afternoon proved beneficial. At this time the animals are active as they await their dinner, and you can see most of them close up. We enjoyed watching the animals run and jump in anticipation of their meal, and the many different roars, chirping and whistling made by others.

The cafe service and food is excellent and offers a good menu that satisfies most every pallet. If you go, you have to explore the Mercado located in the Amazon Basin area. It has a unique marketplace setting similar to those you would find in any South American village. It is an enjoyable tour and most likely you will see one or two iguanas roaming about as you walk. They are quite big so I would advise steering away from them or allow them room to cross your path.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
These flamingos enjoy living in a natural topical environment.The Wildlife Carousel is a favorite with chlidren of all ages.
These flamingos enjoy living in a natural topical environment.
These flamingos enjoy living in a natural topical environment. | Source
The Wildlife Carousel is a favorite with chlidren of all ages.
The Wildlife Carousel is a favorite with chlidren of all ages. | Source
The Tropics Cafe has an outdoor seating area overlooking a placid lake.
The Tropics Cafe has an outdoor seating area overlooking a placid lake. | Source
The Interactive Play Fountain is a welcome relief after a fun day at the zoo.
The Interactive Play Fountain is a welcome relief after a fun day at the zoo. | Source

Zoo Information

The Palm Beach Zoo is located in Dreher Park not far from Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach, Florida. It houses 1,400 animals on twenty-three acres of lush tropical habitat. The zoo has an open-air classroom of living creatures to foster awareness, appreciation and respect for the natural world.¹ It has some of the most beautiful displays of tropical foliage and flowers in a setting that simulates a walk through a jungle.

Upon entering the zoo, an interactive fontain welcomes children to play among the sprays of dancing water. Many schools take advantage of the fun activity during summer camp when they visit the zoo. The zoo also has a carousel featuring painted animals common to the tropics. Children love to ride on zebras, gazelles, hummingbirds, dolphins, panthers, bears and other animals native to the area.

It offers a full service restaurant, Tropics Cafe, in an Amazon Basin theme. Families can also dine outdoors almost any day of the year on the wood deck overlooking a beautiful lake. The menu carries a variety of food items from hot dogs to gourmet sandwiches. The attached gift shop is huge and sells animal-themed souvenir items as well as novelty gifts.

The zoo also has daily animal performances featuring birds, tigers, hedgehogs and primates. The talking tiger show is one of the highlights, but the most attended is the alligator demonstration. It is quite fascinating to watch these animals in action.

It is open year round with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The best time of year to go is between late November and end of April. The heat during the summer months can be intense and the animals prefer to stay hidden under trees and in indoor habitats to keep cool; therefore, going early in the morning is recommended.


Highlights From Our Visit

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The Florida wetlands is home to some of the most beautiful birds. This flight reminds me of a scene from Jurassic Park. The Asian walkway is lined with tall, willowy bamboo trees.  As the wind blows through the branches you can hear them singing. Hidden in secret nooks are small garden areas where one can drink in their peaceful beauty.
The Florida wetlands is home to some of the most beautiful birds. This flight reminds me of a scene from Jurassic Park.
The Florida wetlands is home to some of the most beautiful birds. This flight reminds me of a scene from Jurassic Park. | Source
The Asian walkway is lined with tall, willowy bamboo trees.  As the wind blows through the branches you can hear them singing.
The Asian walkway is lined with tall, willowy bamboo trees. As the wind blows through the branches you can hear them singing. | Source
Hidden in secret nooks are small garden areas where one can drink in their peaceful beauty.
Hidden in secret nooks are small garden areas where one can drink in their peaceful beauty. | Source

Other Zoo Facts and Interest

The zoo also offers programs attractive to families and educational groups. Many child care centers include the zoo in their summer camp programs. It is quite a trip for these youngsters and the educational experience is well worth the time and expense. If they register beforehand, the children can experience many animals up close through interactive zoo programs. They will encounter common animals as well as exotic, all at a safe distance.

The Palm Beach Zoo also promotes "green" living throughout the zoo grounds. They provide containers for recycling of trash and food items. Additionally they have adapted some of the animal habitats as learning zones for the teaching of positive environmental usage. Key water conservation tips are displayed in certain animal exhibit areas. The zoo is involved in many conservation projects around the world such as the Research and Conservation of Endangered Sea Turtles in Venezuela. All in all, the Palm Beach zoo provides a wonderful afternoon of adventure and first hand learning experience on the life of zoo animals.

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¹ Source: palmbeachzoo.org

General Location On Florida Map

The zoo is located just off I-95 at 1301 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The zoo is located just off I-95 at 1301 Summit Blvd. in West Palm Beach, Florida. | Source

Watching The Otters Play At The Zoo

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    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great pics! I felt like I was just right there at the zoo. Voted up and awesome!

    • profile image

      susanm23b 5 years ago

      I love your wonderful photos! The Mayan Temple looks very "real" with all the plants around it. You did an excellent job of discussing the features of this zoo. It looks like a great place to visit! Voted up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am glad to hear your comments on this hub, rebecca, you are much appreciated. It is a really nice little zoo and does replicate a jungle experience. Thanks for the votes of support.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Susan, I love the Mayan temple area of this zoo. It is a good size and has so much more of the Mayan experience inside the area. Thanks for the visit and your votes of support, I value your comments.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      What a fabulous idea to have a 'date' once a week! I loved the visit to the zoo and the fabulous photos, the temple is very impressive!

      Thank you for sharing and voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for your positive comments a vote of support. I am glad you enjoyed your visit to the zoo! Yes, we enjoy our date nights and some places we visit are an adventure, such as this one. Take care, Movie Master.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very interesting hub. Very well written. I hope I can visit this place one day. I really enjoy all stunning pictures above. Rated up (useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting). Take care!

      Prasetio

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I hope that you get a chance to visit this zoo some day also. The best thing is that it is near the ocean so you can make a very good vacation out of the trip. Thanks for the visit and the votes of suppport. Be well and safe!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub, teaches! I enjoyed looking at the lovely photos and learning about the zoo. Thanks for all the information. I will definitely visit the Palm Beach Zoo if I ever go to Florida. The Mayan Temple looks especially interesting.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Awesome hub and I love the pictures especially the flamingos. What a great place to go on a day date. Voted all the ups except funny.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Alicia, I think the real highlight of the zoo is the Mayan exhibit area. It is quite an experience in itself. Thanks for the visit and glad you enjoyed strolling through the zoo. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello, Charlu! You can't tell by the pictures but the flamingos are at least five feet tall, if not taller; and the vivid pink-red does not show as well in the photo. They would look pretty in any front yard decor! Thanks for the votes of support and glad you enjoyed the tour. Have a great weekend.

    • Charlu profile image

      Charlu 5 years ago from Florida

      Five feet tall oh my gosh I would have never imagined. I also love the interactive water fountain because I am a true big kid at heart. Again awesome hub and have an incredible weekend.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      What a beautiful zoo from your portrayal with words and photos. I would definitely like to see this Palm Beach Zoo in person if I ever get down that way. Thanks for the informative hub. Voted up, interesting, useful and beautiful. Keep writing about your weekly dates! Enjoyed this!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Had no idea, teaches, this lovely zoo was located in Palm Beach. Who knew? You take lovely photos and the pic of the flamingoes is outstanding. What a great idea to go out on weekly dates. As long as you and hubby are with each other, that is. Thanks for this treat.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 5 years ago

      Teaches12345, Great hub! This looks like a nice tranquil place to visit in Palm Beach Florida! How nice a “Tropical Zoo” Luv the flamingoes! A weekly date night is something that I highly recommend for couples! It is a wonderful way to deposit lasting loving memories within your marriage!

      Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Peggy, I always enjoy your visit and comments. I think I may just post our next day date out and the next since we are going to some interesting places. I hope that you do get to visit the Zoo, but remember to go during the cooler winter months. Thanks for the support!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hey, drbj! I am sure glad to see you today. Our weekly dates often take us to some of the most out of the way places -- not always good, but we enjoy the time together. Thanks for the support and for commenting. Have a blessed weekend.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hello, DeBorrah! Since we established this ritual three years ago, we have visited over 200 places. It does make for a great time to build memories and a relationship. Thanks for the visit and for your positive support. Have a blessed weekend.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Love your "date" idea. Looks like you had a great time at the Palm Beach Zoo. Great info and pics! Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks, habee. We do have some pretty interesting dates, we never know what we will find. Thanks for your comments, support and visit. It was a real pleasure finding you here!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I have always enjoyed going to the zoo and your pictures are terrific. I didn't know West Palm Beach had a zoo like this. It is lovely and I especially like the pink flamingos. Voted up and awesome.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      So glad you liked the hub topic and I appreciate your comments and support. I always enjoy a zoo trip. These flamingos are beautiful, come and visit when you can. Have a great day!

    • formosangirl profile image

      formosangirl 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      This zoo is so lush. Great hub! Voted Up.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I have been to the Jacksonville zoo, and of course ZooAtlanta. This looks better. What a nice day you had!

    • Magdelene profile image

      Magdelene 5 years ago from Okotoks

      Great Hub, looks like a very nice setting, seems very peaceful from the photos you have posted.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is quite that, formosangirl, a lush tropical walk through for the patrons. Thanks for the vote of support and your comment. Take care.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hey, Rebecca! For the size, it is quite impressive. I think the ability to have tropical animals in a natural setting adds to the excitement. Thanks for the visit and your comments. Be well and safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is a peaceful setting and so enjoyable if you walk through in the late afternoon. Thanks for your positive comment and visit. Enjoy your day!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm putting this on my must-visit list if I get to Palm Beach. I'm into Mesoamerican stuff, so I love the Mayan temple. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Then you must see the Mayan temple area. It is has a lot of replicated statues, idols, buildings from that era. I hope that you do get to visit some day soon. Thanks for the votes of support, Alocsin. Enjoy your weekend.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      What a great adventure you dad! Love the photos and your details too, a good package :)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Thanks for the visit, Christy, and I am glad you enjoyed the zoo article. It was a great time and we hope to go back again soon. Take care.

    • HawaiiHeart profile image

      HawaiiHeart 5 years ago from Hawaii

      Seems like such an enjoyable place to visit!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Hawaii, it is a great place to go in the winter season here. The foliage and flowers are the prettiest and the animals are out where you can see them. It's nice to see you here! Thanks for commenting.

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I love this! I grew up going to that zoo. Its had prosperous times, and some not so good times throughout the years. It has survived many issues!

      Thank you for bringing me back down memory lane, Teaches.

      Voted up and awesome!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      From what I was told, Margie, the renovations to the zoo (about 5 years ago?) brought renewed interest. For the size, it is a good experience. Glad you enjoyed the read on this post and thanks so much for the votes of support. Take care!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      What a nice look at a beautiful zoo. It's good to see that it is thriving and is such an enjoyable place for families. How good to see flamingos again! :) They are amazing creatures. It sounds like the Palm Beach Zoo has some tremendous potential to continue growing now!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      RTalloni, it was recently renovated and hopefully, it will now continue to grow each year. Yes, it is a good day trip to enjoy anytime of the year. Thanks for your positive support, you always leave some great insight to a hub. Enjoy your day!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Fabulous photos! I love the flamingos. You convinced me to visit the zoo if I'm ever in Palm Beach...it sounds and looks like fun! Great photos!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It is a very enjoyable day trip and the flamingos are one of the highlight of the tour. Sunshine, I hope that you do get to visit some day. Thanks for stopping by and for your support.

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 4 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      Beautiful pictures I have always loved flamingos,looks like you guys had a blast.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      These flamingos are the brightest shade of pink I have ever seen anywhere. I agree, they are beautiful. Prettynutjob, thanks for your visit. Have a great day's journey.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I love the Mayan temple. This sounds like a zoo that can be easily managed with young kids. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      The Amazon Basin area is a big hit with kids and adults. It has lots of hidden areas to explore as well as the animals, like the jaguar, native to the area. Thanks for visiting and voting, Alocsin.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Your presentation made me felt, i am there in the Zoo, thanks

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Girishpuri, it is a pretty nice zoo for the size. Glad you enjoyed the tour. Take care, friend.

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I would like to visit this Palm Beach Zoo and have a zebra or a bear ride, or is it just for kids? I would however steer clear of the big sized iguanas but the sight of them can be awesome. Voted up and interesting.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 4 years ago from USA

      It sounds like something I'd enjoy. I'll probably never get there though. My husband hates the humidity in Florida and won't go back. I'd go every winter if life would allow it.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you, Dwachira and Barbara for visiting the zoo hub today. I only wish we could all be there now -- so peaceful.

      Dwachira, I have rode on this with my grandkids, but I also see adults riding just for fun. It's all OK!

      I have to say that the winters in Florida are ideal. Very nice temps and no humidity from November to late April. Come on down, Barbara, we have plenty of room!

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 4 years ago from Florida

      I love it here in Florida and I love to go to zoos. Very nice hub on the Palm Beach Zoo . Love the wonderful photo's.I would like the Amazon part.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Myawn, I love Florida for the weather and the great attractions that you can visit all year round. Thanks for your support and hope you get to see this zoo some day.

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Dianna, love the pics in your article! Love the Jurassic Park bird a lot! I like the flamingos...so bright!! What a fun date night! Voted up and shared!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Audra, thanks for your visit here. AS I said before, we're kids at heart. Gotta catch the carousel next visit! See you later.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      I adore places which are different from my own country. Amazing place. I believe nature there is also worth seeing as much as animals.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Pavlo, Florida does have beautiful tropical plants all year long that make it unique. The zoo displays them well. Thank you for comment.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Loved the pink flamingoes. I saw some in San Diego once. The first photo is so colourful too. Makes me wish I was somewhere like this right now. it is so drab here in the winter!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Wonderful pictures, Dianna. This zoo is one place I'd really love to visit! Thanks for sharing!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jools, the flamingoes are my favorite stop whenever I go to the zoo. Hope you are having a sunshiney day!

      Midget, I do hope you get to visit this one some day. It is really worth the visit. Thanks for visiting here today.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      This brought back great memories of growing up in West Palm Beach. I love Lion Country Safari though!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jen, Lion Country Safari is one of our musts when visitors come each year. It is a great place to see animals in a natural habitat. Thanks for the supportive comment. Enjoy your week!

    • PaulGoodman67 profile image

      Paul Goodman 4 years ago from Florida USA

      This looks great! Thanks for posting this! My wife and I have put the zoo on our places to visit!

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