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North Carolina Zoo

North Carolina Zoo

The World’s Largest Natural Habitat Zoo

Facts & Figures

Address: 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, NC 27205

County: Randolph

Size: 2.142 square miles = 2,600 acres

Hours: Open Daily from 9:00am to 4:00pm

Phone: (800) 488-0444


Management: North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources


  • Antelope
  • Baboon
  • Black Bear
  • Bobcat
  • Bison
  • Cheetah
  • Chimpanzee
  • Elephant
  • Elk
  • Flamingo
  • Giraff
  • Gray Wolf
  • Grizzly Bear
  • Lemur
  • Lion
  • Ocelot
  • Ostrich
  • Polar Bear
  • Seal
  • Zebra


  • African Pavilion
  • Africa Bushlands
  • North American Sonoran Desert
  • North America Marsh
  • North America Rocky Coast
  • R.J. Reynolds Forest Aviary
  • Africa Lemur Island
  • Africa Patas Monkey Exhibit
  • Africa Forest Glade
  • North America Streamside
  • North America Honeybee Garden
  • Africa Watani Grasslands
  • North America Northwoods
  • North America Prairie
  • Africa Kitera Forest
  • Africa Forest Edge
  • North America Cypress Swamp



Located centrally in the geographic center of the state in Asheboro in Randolph County, the North Carolina Zoo is the world’s largest natural habitat zoo at 2,600 acres in size. The North Carolina Zoo offers daily admission, group pricing, and annual memberships, offering a variety of options to explore all the zoo has to offer. With dozens of exhibits and over 1,800 animals, the North Carolina Zoo provides educational opportunities time and time again, even for repeat visits with an annual membership. From the smallest of insects to the largest of mammals, there is fun for everyone!

Our Experience

At only a 1.5-hour drive from our home outside of Raleigh, the North Carolina Zoo is our family’s favorite day trip. We have been annual zoo members since relocating to North Carolina in 2013. With the cost of an annual membership, just two visits a year for a family of four will pay for the membership. In addition to admission at the North Carolina Zoo, an annual membership also gets you in to all of the North Carolina Aquariums, as well as half price admission to a wide variety of other educational partners, such as the Greensboro Science Center.

Our family typically goes to the North Carolina Zoo at least once in the spring and once in the fall. Summer is brutally hot and humid, unless you take advantage of rare cold fronts, which is what we did in the summer of 2019. However, the spring season with blooming flowers and plants makes for a beautiful time of year to visit and the fall season with the changing leaves makes for a spectacular visit. As natives of Northeast Ohio, we were used to the Akron Zoo and the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, but after experiencing the North Carolina Zoo for the first time after relocating here, we were blown away. I’ll never forget the first time overlooking the African Grasslands and how vast it was. At 2,600 acres and 2.142 square miles, there is tons to explore. We like to park and begin our visit from the North American parking lot and make our way through the entire zoo to the African exhibits, then ride the tram back to where we started. We pack plenty of drinks and snacks for our kids, as well as a picnic lunch and stop halfway through our visit.

Published by Dave Herpy

I am a father of four, a camp and outdoor recreation professional, and a freelance writer. I have over twenty years of experience in the outdoor industry and over a decade of experience as a freelance writer. I enjoy camping, cycling, golfing, hiking, kayaking, running, swimming, and triathlons, as well as traveling, volunteering, and writing. I live in Clayton, North Carolina.

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