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America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans & Families Paperback – May 16, 2008
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From the Author
It's a common misconception that all zoos are alike. This erroneous belief keeps many people from adding zoos to their travel itineraries. People ask, "We already have a good zoo in our hometown, so why should we want to see some other zoo?" The fact is, though, that each zoo is different, and some are unique. The tropical foliage at the Jacksonville Zoo is quite different from the evergreens of Portland's Oregon Zoo. An African savanna exhibit in the desert at the Phoenix Zoo is not at all similar to the savanna at the urban Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Some zoo exhibits, such as the Bronx Zoo's Congo Gorilla Forest or the Lied Jungle in Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, are unparalleled. Koalas, okapis, giant otters, and even moose are displayed at very few zoos, and there are still fewer than half a dozen U.S. zoos where you can go to see a giant panda. Thus, visiting a new zoo is almost guaranteed to be a very different experience than a visit to your local zoo.
Together, we have visited all sixty of the "Best" zoos featured in this book, many of them more than once. We have visited these zoos as tourists, often with family members (including children) accompanying us, and we have been careful to notice what would interest the typical visitor. Our hope is that this book will inspire you to visit more zoos around our nation, and that it will make your experience of these zoos even more rewarding.
Top Customer Reviews
As Newt Gingrich points out in the introduction, America's zoos have played a much bigger role in protecting wildlife and conserving species than most people realize. The authors, Allen Nyhuis and Jon Wassner, have visited hundreds of zoos and provide you with valuable information on what to look for at each zoo and what each zoo's specialty is.
This book is organized very well and provides its information in helpful ways. After Newt Gingrich's foreword, the introduction provides information on trends at modern zoos, what to expect when going to the zoo, and how to take in the experience when you have children along (shorter visits, mix up viewing exhibits with rides and shows, for example). There is also a section on unusual and favorite animals and which zoos specialize in them. The next section explains how to use the book and how the zoo reviews are laid out.
The 97 zoos reviewed in this book are grouped into seven areas by geography. Each section intro also includes a map of the region and dots mark where the zoos are. Another 37 zoos are given a paragraph as the "best of the rest" at the end of each section.Read more ›
Some of the best creative exhibit design in America is found in zoos. And it is all in this book.
It is fun to browse through a book that was an obvious labor of love. Let's face it, some of your best childhood memories took place in zoos.
Each zoo has its own character. So use this guide whenever you are going someplace. That old zoo you remember has probably changed a lot--for the better.
The book profiles zoos, highlights kids features, and has regional maps to plot out that day trip or keep track of your goal to visit them all.
We have a year's membership at our local zoo here in Salt Lake City. It also gives us admission and/or discounts at other zoos as well. So pack this book and bring your yearly membership.
Remember, there might be penguins!
(I love penguins. Nothing is as good as penguins.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had a post about the first edition of the book on amazon, describing how we use it to find more zoos than the law allows, and one of the authors warned me there was a second... Read morePublished on January 18, 2014 by DTroppens
This is an excellent book! I went and visited 30 AZA facilities this summer, the majority of which were in this book. Read morePublished on September 1, 2013 by Christopher
Love this book. Informative and easy to read. A must have for any zoo goer. I plan on seeing as many zoos as I can in the USA and will definitely be using this book for all of... Read morePublished on August 15, 2013 by D. CAPONIGRO
This is the third book I have bought over the years that rates and describes zoos, and it is the best of the three-also the only one that is current. Read morePublished on January 29, 2012 by Share Lindsey
I stumbled across this book at the Indianapolis Zoo in 2009. It was a great find. I am a zoo lover. I started traveling to other zoos last year. This book has been invaluable. Read morePublished on December 28, 2010 by EB
I was really excited about getting my hands on this book but ended up sorely disappointed. I was hoping for more information about the zoos. Read morePublished on March 14, 2010
Where was this book when I was a kid? Now that I am a parent though, I am just as thankful for it. This book reviews zoos big and small, far and wide, and provides pretty much... Read morePublished on November 10, 2009 by Mike Shoule
What a terrific book!!!
"America's Best Zoos" is an amazingly detailed book that contains a wealth of information on the 60 best zoos in the United States. Read more
Exotic animals on display is a form of entertainment that is as modern as the freak show. This book provides some information on some of the worst zoos in the country but makes... Read morePublished on September 25, 2009 by M. Bessey