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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Tacoma

4.3
#1 of 7 in Parks in Tacoma
Zoo / Aquarium Nature / Park
Covering nearly 12 hectare (29 acres) on the shores of the Puget Sound, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium houses more than 9,000 animals. Explore the park's wide variety of exhibits divided into themed areas, such as the Asian forest sanctuary, Arctic tundra, red wolf woods, and rocky shores. The 367 different species of zoo residents, many of which originate in the regions surrounding the Pacific Ocean, have lush living areas designed to replicate their natural habitats. Don't miss the multi-level aquarium exhibits, devoted to creatures of the North and South Pacific, including sharks, tropical fish, and a giant octopus. Check the zoo's website for information on special talks and events. Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Tacoma Edition.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
779 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This probably the BEST zoo in Washington State. The main reason for this is they've embraced the fact it's a Pacific Northwest zoo and that animals that a live in this and similar climates are the bes...  more »
  • This zoo provided beautiful habitats and paths from one exhibit to the next. Not a lot of animals but great views of the ones we saw. My wife actually liked this zoo better than its neighbor, the Wood...  more »
  • This is a smaller zoo, and looks to need some improvements. The parking was free once we found the overflow parking it was a bit of a walk. Free is good. That was a plus. But admission was expensive f...  more »
Google
  • Not many animals, way overpriced refreshments and a lot of the animals they were supposed to have weren't even available to see. On the positive side.. They had a very cute "production" with actors and animal interaction. And neat art statues made of trash found in oceans! Also a pretty nice kids zone.
  • The Zoo was great. The Elephants once again break my heart. They look so sad. But I give the food a zero star. My daughter's grilled cheese was served on moldy bread and our brisket sandwich tasted like fish. I usually love the food there. We go every other weak and always have lunch. Now I am going to have to start packing one.
  • Love this Zoo & Aquarium. We live close by and can spend the day here... My son loves the sharks... Can't wait for the new aquarium exhibit opening next year..... I am sure it will be a hit... Great zoo but there is a lot of hills also...
  • Perhaps I've lost the amazement and wonder of my childhood mind now that I'm an adult. I came here with some friends and my wife and baby in hopes of seeing some cool things again and seeing the reaction of my daughter seeing zoo animals for the first time. It's been well over a decade since I've been to any zoo, my expectations were pretty high coming into Point Defiance. Pricing is relatively cheap at $18/adult. And free parking is a plus. The zoo itself is decently sized but to my dismay sightings of animals were difficult to see. Nothing exotic aside from the tiger cage - which we only saw one extremely skinny tiger pacing back and forth. Like it hasn't eaten in many days kind of skinny. We saw two monkeys swinging around, a few porcupines, and a walrus and an anteater. Outside of that - just empty displays of nothing. The most you can really see is in the aquarium portion of the zoo - but we payed to see animals and not fish so that was a disappointment. We cruised around for an hour and a half and didn't see much at all. The highlight of it was was paying the extra $3 to see the budgie's with a food stick and they flew right up to us. Outside of that - the zoo was lackluster - a box of water cost $4 and they were out of a lot of food items so we skipped out on lunch as well.
  • I love this place! Totally the best zoo for me and my family! It's not big and it's not small, just right size. Zoo is modern, convenient and cozy. Aquarium is Amazing, must see. Also they have pretty good cafeteria, kids zones, carousel. I visited zoo on summer and winter also. Now there's reconstruction of the Rocky shores area. This weekend we saw polar bear Blizzard he is near 25 year old. There is also polar bear Boris , he is 31, and we were told he is an age record-holder among polar bears in the zoos. We were really impressed by this guys. Updated my visit June 18th 2017, added fresh fotos, amazing exhibition of sea creatures from recycle materials.

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