- Mon: 10am-5pm
- Tue: 10am-5pm
- Wed: 10am-5pm
- Thu: 10am-5pm
- Fri: 10am-5pm
- Sat: 10am-5pm
- Sun: 10am-5pm
In Miami, the bright lights and big city vibe is only one part of its charm and popularity. There's also a great appreciation for animals and nature, as evident at Zoo Miami. This 35 year old local landmark boasts an exciting array of animals and plants from around the world. For most visitors, it's just plain fun to see animals that you'd normally never come in contact with.
Best and worst time to go to Zoo Miami
The best times to visit Zoo Miami are: weekdays –- the zoo isn't crowded, and when you can avoid rush hour traffic, the travel time is significantly shorter.
Another great time is on a day of your trip you can dedicate several hours to a zoo visit. It's not one of those places you can cover in an hour, so the more time you have to spend there, the better.
The worst times to visit Zoo Miami are during weekday afternoon rush hour (travel time to Zoo Miami can exceed two hours) or when temperatures are in excess of 90 degrees. Because this is an outdoor attraction, exposure to the sun is increased. When it gets hot in Miami, not only does increase the risk of injury and illness due to heat exposure, it also puts a major strain on your wallet from all the water and soft drinks you'll need to buy.
Must see & do at Zoo Miami
Ride the Monorail: Visitors get a three-fold benefit when they ride the Monorail. One, it's a very quick and convenient way to move across the large property. Two, it's air-conditioned, a much appreciated luxury when temperatures start to creep up. Three, it provides a bird's eye view of the zoo, which adds to the fun.
Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station: One of the zoo's highlighted attractions is the Samburu Giraffe Feeding Station. It's a neat way to get interactive with the animals at the zoo, which is a special treat for the kids.
Admission to Zoo Miami
Rates for admission to Zoo Miami are charged by age group: visitors 13 and older pay the adult rate; visitors 3-12 pay the child rate, and kids up to age 2 get in free. Members of the Zoological Society of Florida are also privy to free admission. The zoo offers discounts to some groups and industry professionals, such as seniors, travel agents and Miami-Dade County employees.
Parking at Zoo Miami
General parking is free every day. Valet parking is available on the weekends and holidays for a nominal fee.
Public Transportation to Zoo Miami
Miami-Dade Transit offers service to Zoo Miami, via Route 252 (Coral Reef Max). Riders can transfer to this bus using other routes around the county, or using the Metrorail, the county's commuter train service. Rates and schedule information can be found on the Miami-Dade Transit website.
Food at Zoo Miami
Around the park visitors will find vending machines where they can buy cold drinks, water, and even ice cream. Looking for something more substantial? Visit one (or all three) of Zoo Miami's restaurants: Oasis Grill, Carousel Café and Fiesta Café. Each offers a wide selection of items from several different cuisines.
Insider tip for visitors to Zoo Miami
Check the zoo's website for information on Monorail service. Periodically, the Monorail is closed for maintenance or repairs. When this happens, they usually provide ground tram service as an alternate.
Author's bio: Shawanda James is a busy freelance writer, wife, and mom of four in Miami. She giddily writes about travel on the It's All Travel Blog. She's written local and national articles for CBS. Follow Shawanda on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.