North Carolina Zoo, Asheboro, North Carolina

The 1st question you should ask yourself when you go to the Asheboro Zoo is: Africa or North America? If you choose Africa, then you will be delighted by elephants, rhinos, gorillas and soon to be lemurs, but if you prefer North America, get ready to be dazzled by black bears, polar bears and the great American bison.

What strikes you first about the Asheboro attraction is its shear size. One of the best attractions in North Carolina, you can walk over 5 miles and spend 5 hours on the zoo grounds (wear smart shoes, not high heeled boots like I saw on my recent visit). There is even a shuttle between the North America and Africa sections of the park to ferry hungry, tired souls from one expanse to the other.  No matter where you choose to start, one thing is for certain, you will see animals and plenty of them from tiny fuzzy ones, to large scaly ones to blue poisonous ones, to pink winged ones, to all the ones in between and for only $10. That’s right, $10. For the price of a day at the movies, you can walk around this expansive compound and see mother natures greatest beasts at one of North Carolina’s best attractions. Who knew the zoo was such a bargain!

Perhaps the Asheboro Zoo’s greatest attraction are its polar bears. The zoo currently has two, the spunky Wilhelm (or Willy) and the recluse Masha. Both bears were circus rescues and owing to that are little performers in their own right.

WARNING: Get to their padlocks early, because polar bears sleep 97% of the day away and all you may see is a polar bear mid-nap!!

Park positives: no pay for parking, only $10 for adults, shuttle for tired feet, wide variety of animals, new lemur exhibit this summer, cool honey bee exhibit

Park negatives: lots of walking, more popular exhibits are teeming with crowds, park food is either fried or fried

Asheboro Zoo is located about 1.5 hrs from Charlotte and 60 minutes South of Greensboro in Asheboro, NC.

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Megan Riley is a full fledged travel junkie with a day job in technology. When she gets to leave the cubicle, she writes a travel blog called www.thebigfatworld.com. Come join her on her around the world trip this Summer.