A zoological garden and former plantation home, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere is situated 9.7 kilometers (6 miles) southeast of Downtown Nashville, TN. In 2014, the zoo was the most popular paid attraction in middle Tennessee and housed 6,230 unique animals from 339 different species. The zoo's location is roughly 188 acres (76 hectares).
Michael and Elizabeth Dunn's 300-acre slave holding plantation is now the site of the Nashville Zoo. The original Dunn residence, which was constructed in 1810 using slave labor, is still standing today. The final members of the family to reside here were Margaret and Elise Croft, great-great grandchildren of the original owner, Michael Dunn.
The city's best outdoor adventure! Explore immersive animal habitats as you've never seen them before, take a ride on the Soaring Eagle zip line, and learn about the history of the Zoo at the Historic Home. Visit the stunning new exhibits for Sumatran tigers or Andean bears. Visit Lorikeet Landing and Kangaroo Kickabout up close. Visit a variety of international creatures, such as spider monkeys, white rhinoceroses, Masai giraffes, clouded leopards, and more! To make sure you don't miss any exciting events, look over the daily schedule of events.
Attend Keeper Talks on a variety of subjects, such as the Red River Hog, Cougars, and the Africa Field, and observe a River Tank Feeding. Keep the experience going by taking tours and seeing animal presentations.
An innovative and lively zoological park, Nashville Zoo is only 6 miles south of the city's center. Nashville Zoo is the 9th largest zoo in the country by landmass, with only 90 of its 188 acres developed. One of the top tourist destinations in the state, The Zoo has been recognized by The Tennessean as the Best Regional Attraction and Best Day Trip.
There is a lot of shade, flat pathways (friendly to strollers and wheelchairs), and much to see as you walk the entire zoo, which is around 3 miles long. Weekdays - In the months of April and May, the Zoo is extremely packed with school groups on Thursday and Friday mornings. We advise arriving on a different day or in the late afternoon if you want to escape these throngs. Keep in mind that the Zoo is open daily until 6:00 p.m.
The Aquarium is made up of two LARGE structures: the Ocean Journey, which houses saltwater species, and the River Journey, which houses freshwater species. Regardless of the building you choose to begin in, be sure to download the aquarium's free app first.
The Nashville Zoo has expanded since it first opened its doors in 1991 from a small, privately owned operation 30 minutes northwest of Nashville to an AZA-accredited facility that welcomes more than one million visitors annually while participating in global conservation and research initiatives to save threatened species.
The Croft family kindly donated the site to the city under the condition that it be utilized as a "nature research area" before the zoo relocated to its current 188-acre location in 1997. Currently, only about half of this land has been developed. The Nashville Zoo and the city agreed on a 40-year lease under which the site would be owned by the city but run by the Zoo's private non-profit organization.
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