As the weather warms, it’s a great time to get out and explore with our friends and families. 10Best readers were asked to vote for the best zoos, aquariums, safari parks, dude ranches and botanical gardens across the country, and the results are in.
Click on each category below to see the full winners list:
Best Aquarium: Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri
Founded by Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops, Springfield’s Wonders of Wildlife celebrates hunting, fishing and stewardship of the land and water through 1.5 miles of immersive galleries featuring 4D dioramas and a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium. Some 35,000 animals representing over 800 species are on display, including zebra sharks, sea turtles and freshwater sport fish. Unique to the aquarium is its collection of historic boats used by fishing legends and celebrities, like Jimmy Buffet, Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey.
Best Botanical Garden: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida
The warm climate of Coral Gables allows tropical plants to be grown outdoors year-round at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden – one of the only places in the continental United States where this is possible. Exotic butterflies fly freely within the Wings of the Tropics exhibit, while the Tropical Plant Conservatory and Rare Plant House displays 450 species of rare and endangered tropical plants from around the globe. Other themed gardens include a Tropical Fruit Pavilion, Palm Glade, Tropical Flower Garden, Succulent Garden and even a display of the dry forest plants of Madagascar.