bing pixel
Check out some of the exotic animals that call the Alabama Gulf Shores Zoo home.

Families will love the chance to visit the Alabama Gulf Shores Zoo, which features several unique exhibits as well as some opportunities to get hands-on with the animals. With many exotic creatures and fun experiences, this is one spot that vacationers won't want to miss.

Visit the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo for a world of wonder

One of the coolest parts about staying at a Gulf Shores vacation rental is that you never know what's going to be just around the corner. You could be just steps from a pristine beach, sprawling golf course, delicious restaurants or some other kind of attraction and not even know it until you explore the area for some hidden gems. That is certainly the case with the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, which is set just a few short blocks from the beach but offers a whole new world of wonder for families to enjoy during their Gulf Coast vacation. 

'The Little Zoo That Could'

Check out some of the exotic animals that call the Alabama Gulf Shores Zoo home.Affectionately called "The Little Zoo That Could" in a special Animal Planet series, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo originally opened in 1989. Back then it was referred to as Zooland Animal Park and was only a fraction of what it is today. Over the years, land was donated to the Zoo Foundation and the facility began expanding, eventually becoming a home to more than 250 animals. 

This zoo may not be like others you have visited in the past. While it does have traditional exhibits like lion, tiger and bear enclosures, you'll also a get a chance to tour a reptile house, petting zoo, aviary and much more. 

Whether you're looking for a place to visit during your vacation or the perfect spot for a birthday party or family reunion, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo could be the perfect choice. Thanks to its location right in the heart of Gulf Shores, it is easy to get to this park from most Gulf Shores beach houses

Interactive experiences

Perhaps the most exciting experience offered by the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals that call the facility home. The zoo provides visitors with the special chance to go into the habitat of reptiles, tigers, lemurs and kangaroos to interact with these creatures. Guests get to enter the enclosure and handle the animals, all under the supervision of a zoo staff member. 

Some of the encounters are only available on a seasonal basis, and all of the schedules are subject to change based on the development of the animals. For example, the lemur encounter is available Tuesdays, Friday, Saturdays and Sundays without a reservation in the fall, but there is a mid-day break so the creatures can eat and nap, while the reptile encounter is only available depending on the season. Before you make a trip to the zoo, call ahead and see what the options are for your family.

There is an additional charge for animal encounters, on top of the standard admission fee. All children need to be accompanied by a paying adult. Anyone who wants to handle the animals must be dressed appropriately: Socks, long pants and closed-toe shoes are required for visitors who want to interact with the creatures. 

Hours and admission

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is open each day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last guests entering the zoo at 3:30 p.m. It is closed on major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Anyone visiting the zoo with young children can take advantage of a wagon rental to shuttle the kids around. Each wagon is $4 to use. 

There is an admission fee charged for all visitors. Adults are $10 each, while seniors ages 55 and over are $8 and kids ages 3 to 12 are $7. Children under the age of 2 are given free admission. Military members can show their ID to get a $1 discount off each member of their party. 

Anyone traveling with a large group may be able to get a group rate. Parties of 13 or more paying guests can book experiences at least 48 hours in advance, ensuring they get discounted rates for each individual as well as admittance to a scheduled animal show and the use of the on-site picnic area.

You can contact the zoo office at 251-968-5732 for details on group events or animal encounters. 

search houses search condos

Related Articles

Gulf Coast Marine Life

Get up close to Gulf Coast marine life

Visiting Gulf Shores gives travelers ample opportunity to check out the natural landscape of the area. For a chance to see many local habitats in one place, vacationers should check out The Estuarium at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, which features informational and interactive exhibits.

gulf shores area museum

Gulf Shores Area Museums Offer Great Rainy Day Activity

The Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast is a treasure trove of museums and learning centers that not only tell the story of the area, but let you get up-close-and-personal with history.

trampoline park bowling laser tag in gulf shores

Jump, Bowl Or Play Laser Tag In Gulf Shores

Let the family blow off some steam during a rain shower at the beach at the local trampoline park or bowling alley.

gulf shores fall festivals

Fabulous Fall Festivals & Fun This October On The Gulf Coast

The month of October is full of opportunities enjoy fall activities in and around Gulf Shores. Enjoy festivals like the Shrimp Festival, German Sausage Festival, Alabama Coastal Birdfest and more. Then, head over to Wales West for a ride aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express.

What you can do at Gulf State Park

What you can do at Gulf State Park

Gulf State Park is a stunning oasis where seashells and white-sand beaches greet you the moment you arrive. With more than 6,000 acres, you can easily spend more than a day exploring this spectacular reserve. From bird watching to fishing, there's so much to do!

The Low Country Boil each February offers delicious food for a great cause.

Support the zoo at the Annual Low Country Boil in Gulf Shores

Looking to enjoy the best seafood in Gulf Shores while supporting a good cause? Head to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in February and take part in the Annual Low Country Boil! Munch on shrimp, sausage, beans, potatoes and corn while helping the zoo continue to thrive.

The zoos in the Perdido Key area offer plenty of fun activities for families.

Bring the kids on an animal adventure in Perdido Key

Looking for something to do off the beach during your vacation in Perdido Key? Kids are sure to love a trip to the local zoos. Whether you're looking to see Florida's indigenous species or play with some of the big cats of Africa, the Perdido Key area has plenty to offer.

See the alligators or play a round of mini-golf at the many family-friendly attractions near Gulf Sh

Spend quality time with the kids in Gulf Shores

There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Gulf Shores, whether you feel like playing a round of mini golf, racing a go-kart or heading out on a family bike ride. Just minutes from Gulf Shores rentals, there are activities that will take parents and kids from morning to night!

Families who embark on dolphin cruises can easily spot many of these creatures off the Gulf Coast.

Spot dolphins off the Gulf Coast

A Gulf Shores vacation is not complete without a trip out onto the water, and cruising the open seas is the perfect opportunity to spot dolphins. There are a number of tours that bring travelers right to the center of these dolphin pods, where you can view dozens of the delightful creatures.

Go wild at Gulf Shores zoo

Go wild at Gulf Shores zoo

If you're the kind of person who'd rather watch Animal Planet than just about anything else on TV, a visit to the Gulf Shores zoo is a must during your stay at the gulf. This zoo offers you and your family the rare opportunity to bond with some of nature's most majestic creatures.

Newest Articles

Top 10 Things To Do In Gulf Shores, According To The Locals

Be sure to do these ten things when you visit the Gulf Shores area. These 10 activities will keep you busy your entire vacation!

December 05, 2018 - Attractions

Enjoy Beer, Food & Football At The 2018 Festival Of Flavor

Hit the quaint streets of downtown Foley, near Gulf Shores, for the 2018 Festival of Flavor for food, wine, beer and SEC football.

August 14, 2018 - Attractions

Food, Music & Fun Take Center Stage At 2018 BBQ And Blues Cook-Off

Just north of Gulf Shores beaches, the BBQ & Blues Cook-Off will be held March 18, 2018, at Foley's Heritage Park. Support schools and enjoy great barbecue and blues music.

March 12, 2018 - Attractions

Feed Your Soul At The 2018 Zydeco & Crawfish Festival In Gulf Shores

Come to Gulf Shores for the 2018 Zydeco and Crawfish Festival. Celebrate the music, food, entertainment and more!

January 16, 2018 - Attractions


Gulf Shores Map

Upcoming Events

  • Dec 16
    Live Music: Crackerjack Diamonds
  • Dec 21
    Live Music: Sugarcane Jane
  • Dec 22
    Christmas at Oakleigh
  • Dec 22
    Live Music: The Chillbillies
  • Dec 24
    Live Music: Jim Burt
  • Dec 25
    Flora-Bama Christmas Potluck
  • Dec 29
    2018 Make it to the Line 4 Mile Run/Walk & 1 Mile Fun Run
  • Dec 30
    Live Music: The Alabama Blues Crusade

Local Weather

weather icon 54ยบ Conditions: Overcast
Humidity: 84%
Wind: WSW 12 mph

Weather information provided by

Last Updated on December 15, 3:15 PM CST

Latest Video