Top 5 Drive Through Zoos and Safaris in Florida
By Jill Martin
Sure, there is plenty of wildlife in Florida, but have you ever viewed a giraffe from the comfort of your car?
You won’t find big screens or bags of popcorn at these drive-ins, but they are action-packed and provide lots of entertainment. Silence your cell phone and enjoy the show at these drive through zoos in Florida.
1. J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island
Sunbathing gators, green herons, white ibis and a crocodile call this four-mile Wildlife Drive home. Roseate spoonbills can be found here year round. Drive time: Approximately 40 minutes
2. Lion Country Safari, West Palm Beach
Florida’s only drive-through safari boasts 800-plus animals, including wildebeests, rhinos and the world’s largest herd of captive zebras. But the giraffes steal the show at the Lion Country Safari. Drive time: 90 minutes
3. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville
Amazing wildlife viewing is easy with the self-guided map that lists numbered stops along Black Point Drive. See gators, otters, turtles and hundreds of bird species, including eagles. Drive time: 40 minutes
4. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, near Tallahassee
Rated five stars by birders, this seven-mile drive through zoo takes you past pinelands and salt marshes to Florida’s second-oldest lighthouse. Look for black bears, turkeys, deer and whooping cranes. Drive time: A little over 30 minutes
5. Turner River Road, Big Cypress National Preserve
White-tailed deer, bobcats, snowy egrets and wood storks can be spotted along with sunning alligators. This dusty trail is 21 miles of oohs and ahhhs in southwest Florida. Drive time: 60 minutes