If you have an extended stay in Norfolk, make sure you plan a trip to Virginia Zoo! It’s home to over 500 animals and occupies 53 acres bordering Lafayette River in beautiful Norfolk, Virginia.
Run by the City of Norfolk, Virginia Zoo has been around for over 100 years. The zoo started acquiring animals in 1900, building structures and dwellings for its animal residents throughout the years. In 1974 the park was named Lafayette Zoological Park and then renamed Virginia Zoological Park in 1985. Since then it has become an official accredited zoo by the American Zoo and Aquarium Administration and has helped in saving many animals. The zoo is also actively working on an oyster bed and wetland restoration!
There are 5 main animal exhibits throughout the Virginia Zoo. They include: World of Reptiles (the zoo’s newest exhibit), ZooFarm, Asia-Trail of the Tigers, Australia Walkabout, and Africa-Okavango Delta. You can also visit 12 beautiful gardens at this zoo like, Apiary Bee Hives, Children’s Garden, Rain Garden, and African Village Garden –just to name a few.
But, it’s not all monkeying around at this zoo, the Animal Wellness Campus features a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, a ZooLive! Stage, which will showcase daily presentations about different animals at the zoo, and an enrichment playground for kids. Here you’ll also learn about animal nutrition, hygiene and all around animal wellness.
Virginia Zoo has multiple dining options from sweets, to snacks, and lunch! Have a seat outside the African Village Cafe for a full service dining experience or grab a quick bite at The Beastro.
You and the family can even climb aboard the Norfolk Southern Express and enjoy a train ride throughout the park. Don’t forget to stop at the gift shop for some great “zoo-venirs” before you leave!
This historic park is located in Lafayette Park and is just a short 4 miles from Intown Suites Norfolk. Visit the website for hours of operation and ticket information.