Naples, FL | Zoos & Gardens

Go beyond the beach and get acquainted with animals, sea life and native plants at these outdoor, family-friendly attractions.

Daily Meet the Keeper events allow Naples Zoo visitors to learn more about the many animals, include these rare Indonesian tigers.

Daily Meet the Keeper events allow Naples Zoo visitors to learn more about the many animals, include these rare Indonesian tigers.

Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens

This conservation-focused attraction is not a large zoo but is packed with animal exhibits, interactive educational programs and botanical exhibits to make it well worth the admission price for the whole family.

Check the schedule when you arrive for the Safari Canyon Feature Show, where you’ll see live animals like exotic cats, common snakes, birds of prey, a two-toed sloth and more. Stadium-style seating looks down into the open-air theater, while large screens provide information such as facts about the animals and maps highlighting their native regions. It’s informative, entertaining and full of great photo opportunities.

Next, follow the map through the exhibits, with many varieties of birds, reptiles and mammals. Many of the animals came to the zoo as rescues, such as Uno, the Florida panther that survived two gunshot wounds, and the two black bears that roam between two habitats: a natural, wild habitat and an area that simulates a Florida back yard with a picnic table and small swimming pool.

Part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Naples Zoo has a number of ongoing conservation projects and is one of the top zoos in the nation contributing to field conservation, as a percentage of their total annual budget. From programs that help preserve and rehabilitate animals and plants native to Florida, to projects that reach as far as Madagascar and Africa, the Naples Zoo is strongly committed to its conservation efforts and to educating guests.

Interested in more conservation of exotic animals in Naples? Check out the Bird Garden of Naples, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild parrots and the welfare of parrots in captivity. Two hour tours of the sanctuary, located in Corkscrew Swamp, are available by appointment. See more than 300 birds from around the world along with a variety of flora, fauna, bees and butterflies.

Corkscrew Boardwalk CrowdsNaples Botanical Garden & Corkscrew Swamp

Since its establishment in 1993, the Naples Botanical Garden has expanded to include gorgeous gardens inspired by the plants, culture and landscaping of Brazil, the Caribbean and Asia. Visitors can also enjoy a children’s garden, water garden, orchid garden a 30-acre nature preserve and more.  Guided tours are seasonally available, or choose to meander through the gardens and trails at your own pace.

Children’s programs included with admission are scheduled on weekends and fall under a monthly theme. A variety of adult educational programs and activities are available, from art to gardening to health and wellness to birding.

The Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary covers more than 13,000 acres of marsh, wetland and forest in southwestern Florida. A 2.25 mile boardwalk meanders through part of the sanctuary so visitors can experience the native wildlife and plants that are being preserved, including the largest old growth Bald Cypress forest in North America. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, white-tailed deer, otters, turtles, wading birds and raptors.

Many visitors enjoy exploring the boardwalk and reading the interpretive signs along the way. There are plenty of benches and rain shelters along the boardwalk, and a picnic area near the store and café at the entrance. There are also guided tours and events like swamp walks, early bird walks, photography workshops, bird counts, after hours events and more.

Nature lovers and anyone who wants to explore the outdoors with an educational and conservation-based twist will love the Naples Botanical Garden as well as the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

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