Skip to main content

Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens


My family is a Disney family and from Raleigh and now Charlotte it is anywhere from an 8 to 10 hours drive from North Carolina to Orlando.   We have been to Disney five times since 2014 and with now two kids in tow, we typically split the trip down with an overnight stop along the way.  And where possible be able to do an activity that afternoon following the drive.  One of the places we have frequently stayed at is Jacksonville, Florida.  In January 2016, we visited the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens before heading to our hotel.


The Zoo is located on over 120 acres along the Trout River and has been in operation since 1925.  The first zoo in the city opened in 1914.  Known as the Municipal Zoo, it was located at 3rd and Broad Streets near downtown Jacksonville.  Eleven years later, the Zoo moved to its current location north of the city along the Trout River.


Over the decades, the zoo expanded to include a number of well known exhibits.  The Range of Jaguar, Dinosauria, Great Apes, and Plains of East Africa are some of the zoo's best known exhibits.  In the early 2000s, the Zoo expanded to include botanical gardens that are integrated within the various exhibits.


When we visited, we didn't see the whole zoo; however, we greatly enjoyed the grounds.  Most areas of the zoo loop off of the Main Path making it easy to navigate the grounds.  The exhibit habitats for many of the animals were open spaces.  One of our favorites was the feeding of the giraffes and how close we could get to them.  Over the years, we have learned that feeding giraffes is a common attractions at zoo; but this was our first time and we all enjoyed it.


The Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens are open from 9am to 5pm seven days a week.  Admission ranges from $24.95/adults - $19.95/children for general admission to $32.95/adults - $25.95/children for a total experience package that includes carousel and train rides, animal feedings, and other in zoo attractions.  It is definitely worth a visit and if you are making a long trek further south into Florida, the Zoo and an overnight stay in Jacksonville may be a welcome relief.

Sources & Links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Vague Original Southern Terminus of US Route 91 in the Californian Mojave Desert

One of the more intriguing mysteries of the early US Route System in California is where the original south terminus of US Route 91 was intended to be located in the Mojave Desert.  This blog is a little different than my usual behind the wheel fare and explores why US Route 91 ultimately ended at US Route 66 in Daggett instead of Bannock. What ultimately became the US Route System was first discussed during the American Association of State Highway Officials ("AASHO") during their annual 1924 meeting.  Ultimately the AASHO recommended to the Department of Agriculture to work with the States to develop a system of Interstate Highways to replace the many Auto Trails in use.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways was ultimately commissioned by the Department of Agriculture and it's branch agency the Bureau of Public Roads in March of 1925.  The Joint Board on Interstate Highways first met in April of 1925 and decided on the new interstate road network would be known a

Where the hell is Hill Valley? (US Route 8 south/US Route 395 east)

Recently I made a visit to Universal Studios near Los Angeles.  While on the back lot tour I came across a piece of infamous movie-borne fictional highway infamy; the location of town square of Hill Valley, California on US Route 8/US Route 395. The above photo is part of the intro scene to the first Back-to-the-Future movie which was set in 1985. To anyone who follows roadways the signage error of US 8 meeting US 395 in California is an immediately notable error.  For one; US 8 doesn't even exist anywhere near California with present alignment being signed as an east/west highway between Norway, Michigan and Forest Lake, Minnesota.  To make matters worse US 8 is signed as a southbound route and US 395 (a north/south highway) is signed as an eastbound route.  At minimum the cut-out US 8 and US 395 shields somewhat resemble what Caltrans used in the 1980s. Assuming Hill Valley is located on what would have been US 395 by 1985 what locales would be a viable real world analog? 

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways constructed for automotive use.