Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is a nice way to spend the day while in Naples. Unlike many other zoos, you don’t just walk through and look at animals. At Naples Zoo, you have a lot of planned activities, and there are many programs for kids. Absent are the huge waiting lines and swarm of people. Naples Zoo is a much more intimate zoo, where it’s possible to get closer to the animals.
When people envision Florida, they first think about Miami Beach, or Disneyworld and Epcot Center. Or, perhaps the wild parties that go on during spring break in Ft. Lauderdale. However, for those traveler’s who want to get away from it all, and enjoy a place to relax, or even a little solitude, they head to Naples in Southwest Florida.
There are many things to do in Naples, Florida. From open air shopping in Venetian Bay, to art galleries, to seven miles of quiet, white sandy beaches and seashore, there’s something for everyone. However, Naples Zoo is a must see for Naples visitors.
Naples Zoo is a nonprofit, nationally recognized zoo. It spans over 40 acres, and is a favorite with all tourists who visit.
Founded in 1919 by Dr. Henry Nehrling, the area was first home to a botanical garden. Dr. Nehrling was a fervent conservationist, who helped raise and protect wildlife and a multitude of plants. Located just across from Coastland Center, Naples Zoo still sports a large botanical garden, and many rare animals.
Naples Zoo Program Highlights
Safari Canyon Presentations
A combination of videos and clips of animals in the wild, which features Planet Predator. You get a chance to see carnivorous animals. Watch them hunt on the big screen, and then see some of the same animals live.
Nothing but an inch of glass separates you, and your family from both spotted and black leopards. This is your chance to get up close and personal with these beautiful, but dangerous cats. This is a really great experience for kids to be so close to such animals.
Primate Expedition Cruise
This is probably the highpoint for many at Naples Zoo. You take a boat ride to see the primates. There are monkeys, apes and lemurs. The primates are all situated on small islands in a natural habitat setting. They are free to roam, jump, climb, play and relax. The boat slowly circles the islands and gets close enough that you get a great view, and can take really nice photos.
This is a nice place to watch alligators in a natural environment without having to take a trip to the Everglades. Watch as they swim, get fed, and lay in the sun.
Serpents: Fangs & Fiction
This show has snakes, tortoises and lizards. Learn all about how these animals live and hunt. The program also discusses people’s fears of some of these animals. You may be one of them
The Naples Zoo has many areas designated for feeding fish. Kids and adults can get close to the water and feed the fish as the fish wait for food.
There are three areas for kids to swing, climb, slide and practice their balancing skills. These are great places for kids to be kids. If they get tired, or bored from looking at all of the animals, these are places to take them and let them unwind.
In addition to the above programs at the Naples Zoo and all of the other animals on display, there are plenty of other animals that walk around the zoo. Ducks, birds, butterflies and others might cross your path while you are there.
Make sure you visit Naples Zoo while you are in Naples, Florida. It’s a day well spent, and who knows, you might come back for a second day.
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