Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Family Friendly Animal Encounters in Charlotte, NC

As the weather improves and seasons change greater opportunities arise for Honda vehicle owners to drive somewhere new. Near or far, an adventure should not be hard to find.

Are you looking for some wild adventure? Get close to nature at these Charlotte animal attractions.

Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and North Carolina Zoo

The zoo is the first place that comes to mind when planning an animal visit. Just 85 miles south of Charlotte, you’ll find the Riverbanks Zoo, or head 88 miles northeast to visit the North Carolina Zoo. Both attractions are home to over 1,000 animals representing hundreds of species from around the world. Both zoos offer a variety of exhibits, attractions, and events. The botanical garden at the Riverbanks Zoo is on HGTV’s list of the 20 greatest public gardens in America. While it is the smaller of the two, the North Carolina Zoo is considered the world’s largest natural habitat zoo.

Tiger World

Tiger World is an exotic animal rescue park that educates visitors about endangered and threatened species. Creatures from six continents call Tiger World home. Take a carnivore tour through the park to see the big cats being fed, or sleep with the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) at the Friday night summer Safari Camp. You can even adopt an animal of your own! The Wild Adoption Program is a unique gift that will support an animal of your choice living at the park, and you can visit your new family member any time.

Discovery Place Nature

The Discovery Place Museum network inspires life-long learning through science, technology, and nature. Discovery Place Nature encourages visitors to explore a hands-on environment of fun, fur, and feathers in the Creature Cavern, the Butterfly Pavilion, the Naturalist Lab, and other exhibits. Take a hike along the Paw Paw Nature Trail, build a home in Fort Wild, or discover what animals live in our own backyards.

Carolina Raptor Center

From hawks, to owls, to vultures, and of course, the majestic eagle, the Carolina Raptor Center is home to some of the most awe-inspiring birds of prey. Thousands of students visit the center annually or attend local events to learn more about these feathered hunters and the care, rehabilitation, and conservation efforts of the center. Trained falconers and devoted animal caregivers share their knowledge of raptor biology and treatment to further the cause of environmental health and raptor conservation.

SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium

If the underwater world is more to your liking, the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Aquarium is sure to please. Swim—or at least walk with the fish through 10 interactive aquarium exhibits displaying more than 250 species of local and exotic marine creatures, including clownfish, jellyfish, sharks, octopus, seahorses, and more. You can even reach out and touch the creatures hanging out in the Touchpool exhibit.

Lazy 5 Ranch

In 1993, Henry Hampton’s dream to open an animal park at his farm became a reality. Now, visitors can see, touch, and even feed over 750 animals from around the world. Hop on the horse-drawn wagon or tour the 3 and 1/2-mile safari ride in the comfort of your own car.

Cute and cuddly, wet and wild, or sleek and savage, the animal kingdom never ceases to amaze. Charlotte is the place to be if you want to take a walk on the wild side.

Originally article published on