Where Phoenix - - WHERE NOW -

Find Ari­zona’s largest col­lec­tion of ex­otic and en­dan­gered an­i­mals at this des­ti­na­tion in Litch­field Park, which houses more than 6,000 an­i­mals. Ad­mire the rare white al­li­ga­tor; view the chee­tahs, buf­falo and white rhinoceros; ex­plore the aquar­i­ums and then hop on over to the Kan­ga­roo Walk­a­bout. In ad­di­tion to the large va­ri­ety of sea crea­tures and an­i­mals, there are an­i­mal feed­ing sta­tions, shows and a kids’ pet­ting zoo. Rides are also plen­ti­ful here and in­clude a zip line, roller coaster, boat ride, flume ride and more (some ac­tiv­i­ties have an ex­tra fee). 16501 W. North­ern Ave., Litch­field Park; 623.935.9453 ODYSEA AQUAR­IUM When you en­ter the lobby at this aquar­ium—the largest in the South­west at 200,000 Walk amongst thou­sands of but­ter­flies from around the world at the largest in­door but­ter­fly pav­il­ion in North Amer­ica. The rain­for­est con­ser­va­tory is filled with lush trop­i­cal plants and flow­ers, a koi pond, and side­walks per­fect for me­an­der­ing as you watch the but­ter­flies flut­ter by and land on the abun­dant fo­liage. A 3-D theater shows “Flight of the But­ter­flies,” a short film about the crea­tures, and an­other must-stop is the But­ter­fly Emer­gence Gallery, where you can watch live chrysalis emerge into beau­ti­ful but­ter­flies. 9500 E. Via de Ven­tura; 480.800.3000 Spend time shop­ping at Ari­zona Mills mall be­fore or af­ter you visit this aquar­ium lo­cated at the mall’s north­east cor­ner. De­signed specif­i­cally for kids, there are sea­horses, sharks, tur­tles, trop­i­cal fish, jel­ly­fish and more shown in 30 dis­plays. 5000 S. Ari­zona Mills Cir­cle, Tempe; 877.526.3960 OUT OF AFRICA Just over an hour drive from Phoenix is Out of Africa, a repli­cated African Bush Sa­fari. See lions, tigers, jaguars, gi­raffes, an­telopes, ze­bras, water buf­falo and more. Hop on a bush sa­fari tour, com­plete with a guide and nar­ra­tion, and watch the an­i­mals roam­ing the Wildlife Pre­serve. Other ex­pe­ri­ences in­clude a preda­tor feed and gi­ant snake show. You can also see an­i­mals dur­ing a zip line ad­ven­ture, feed a tiger or take a VIP be­hind-the-scenes tour (ex­tra fees ap­ply). 3505 W. State Route 260, Camp Verde; 928.567.2840 DOL­PHI­NARIS Guests can view and in­ter­act with dol­phins at this la­goon fa­cil­ity. Watch the dol­phins from afar or hop in the water for a swim-with-the­do­l­phins ad­ven­ture. There is also a dol­phin trainer ex­pe­ri­ence. Dol­phi­naris’ mis­sion is to “amaze, ed­u­cate and em­power.” 9500 E. Via de Ven­tura, Scotts­dale; 480.407.5154 BEARIZONA Drive a few hours north from Phoenix and find Bearizona, a 160-acre fa­cil­ity where vis­i­tors can drive through the Pon­derosa Pine For­est and view an­i­mals in their nat­u­ral habi­tat. Spot moun­tain goats, wolves, bi­son and black bears. Fort Bearizona, lo­cated in a sep­a­rate area of the park, of­fers a more zoo-like set­ting. Stroll through and view baby an­i­mals and smaller an­i­mals, check out the pet­ting zoo, and step up to the view­ing glass to peek into a bear’s den. Bearizona is also home to the High Coun­try Rap­tors, a non­profit ded­i­cated to rap­tor con­ser­va­tion. 1500 E. Route 66, Wil­liams, 928.635.2289

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