Explore Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is located along the Saluda River in Columbia, South Carolina. It is the state’s largest gated attraction on 170 acres with a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden that attracts over a million visitors each year.

The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals, with collections of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. The site features natural habitat exhibits, scenic views of the Congaree River, valley overlooks and historic landmarks. Visitors come to watch giraffes, zebras, and ostriches roam on an African savanna reproduction, see endangered animals, partake in an interactive walk-through exhibit at Kangaroo Walkabout, tour the 20,000 square-foot Aquarium Reptile Complex, and visit with various geographically-themed bird habitats at The Birdhouse at Riverbanks. Visitors can also connect with domestic animals at Riverbanks Farm. For a complete list of exhibits, landmarks, and animals visit the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden website.

Riverbanks also has a 70-acre botanical garden with more than 4,200 species of native and exotic plants. Waterfall Junction is open year-round where kids can explore nature or cool off during warmer months. Waterfall Junction offers a cascading waterfall, splash zones, life-size replica of a T-Rex, giant tree houses, rabbit holes and more! The botanical garden is always full of color and interesting things to see. To see a list of upcoming events and programs at the Botanical Garden, visit here.

Riverbanks has many rides and attractions for those seeking additional adventure in their visit. Zoo guests can soar to new heights through zipline tours, including “River Zip” and “Moonlight Zip,” or scale the Wild Adventures Rock Wall. Younger visitors can take a spin on the carousel or climb aboard the Spots & Stripes Railroad. Sky-High Safari ropes course provides fun for the whole family! There is also plenty of opportunity to mingle and feed the animals. Zoo rides and attractions require an Explore More Card. Additional information on rides and attractions can be found here.

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is much more than a zoo. Consistently ranked as one of the top ten things to do in Columbia, and offering plenty to do for all ages, it is definitely worth a visit! Park hours of operation, rates, and directions can be found here. Have fun exploring!

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