North Carolina Zoo

4401 Zoo Pkwy
Asheboro NC 27205
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Sat: 9am-5pm
  • Sun: 9am-5pm


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In the middle of North Carolina ,just south of Asheboro, is the North Carolina Zoo. The NC Zoo sits on over 2,000 acres of land, making it in the largest walk-through zoo in the world. The NC Zoo offers visitors the chance to see animals native to North America and Africa, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, bison and many more species. 

Best And Worst Times to Visit The North Carolina Zoo
The zoo is open year-round so there is ample time to visit. Holidays such as Memorial Day and Labor Day are some of the worst times to visit, as are most summer weekends.

Must-See At The North Carolina Zoo
The Watani Grasslands Reserve offers a rare chance to see elephants and rhinos in massive fields. The Forest Aviary has guests get up close and personal with several tropical species of birds. The Rocky Coast has polar bears, seals and arctic foxes who are always crowd favorites.

Admission To The North Carolina Zoo
General Admission runs in the $10 to $21 range plus tax. School groups can gain free admission as the zoo is state-owned. Other groups and out-of state school groups run around $9 to $13 per person. Groups of 15 or more must purchase tickets half a month in advance to take advantage of the best deals.

Parking At The North Carolina Zoo
Parking is free and is available at both the North America and Africa sections. However the Africa parking lot and entrance is only open April through October There are overflow lots at both entrances so there's little fear of running out of spaces. A shuttle runs between the two lots ever 20 minutes when both are open.

Public Transportation To The North Carolina Zoo
There are several taxi services in nearby Asheboro that can get to the zoo. There are no train options and the nearest airport in Piedmont Triad International in Greensboro, NC, 45 miles away.

Food At The North Carolina Zoo
Both entrances have restaurants right at the entrance. The Wilderness and Bear Creek Cafe in North America and the Crocodile Cafe in Africa. Wilderness and Crocodile serve burgers, fries and desserts while Bear Creek is more kid-friendly with cotton candy and pretzels. Junction Springs Cafe between the two sections is another burger and fries stop. Plus there are snack bars all throughout the park with different options such as pizza, hot dogs and slushies. Prices for all are higher than what the same quality would be outside of the park.

Insider Trip for Visitors To The North Carolina Zoo
Leave the high heels and sandals at home. While there is a tram that circles the park for a fee, most of the exhibits can only be visited by walking. Visitors can expect to log 3-5 miles walking if they want to see most of the 225 different species of animals across the 2,000+ acre park.

Author's bio: Thomas Sherrill is a mountain man trying to make his living in Boone, North Carolina.​​