You won't have to strain your neck to see the giraffes! These guys stick out like a giraffe in North Carolina (that was funny in my head). They are in one of the best enclosures in the park in the Africa section called the Forest Edge. If I were an animal (don't say it . . . ), this is where I'd want to be; in a huge enclosure that really gives me some room to roam and right by the edge of stream.
All throughout the zoo, you'll find interesting statues of animals. Some are life-sized and might even startle you at first ("hey, what the heck is that elephant doing out of its cage!!??). Others are a little more artistically creative, like this cougar stalking visitors from its perch on top of this rock.
No, I'm not talking about Elvis Presley. The true King is the King of the Beasts, also known as the lion. In my opinion, big cats are the most awesome of all wild animals (sorry, my pet cat, Kirby made me write that- he held a claw to me!).
At the zoo, you can park in front of the North America section or the Africa part of the park. The lions, naturally, are located in the Africa section, although the day I was there, they were being awfully lazy.
One of the highlights of the North America area is the Rocky Coast, which features polar bears, sea lions, puffins (NOT dolphins with cigarettes in their mouths), arctic foxes and falcons. These animals, especially the sea lions and polar bears, seem to be really popular with the kids as there were huge crowds of little people surrounding the enclosures.
What is this? Miami???
Nope, it's not Miami, but the zoo does have some impressive pink flamingos. The flamingos are located right where the Africa and North America sections of the park meet near Junction Plaza and the R.J. Reynold's Forest Aviary (everything has a sponsorship in the USA!!).
North Carolina Aviation Museum
It was formerly known as the Peddycord FAC Air Museum (even though the sign still says that), but is now known as the NC Aviation Museum. It was started by a local Asheboro businessman named Jim Peddycord who was a collector of old airplanes. He founded the Foundation of Airplane Conservation in the mid 90s and the museum started in 1997. Unfortunately, Peddycord and his son were killed in a mid-air collision later in '97 while practicing for an air show.
You'll find an impressive collection of planes here.
The Grizzlies are located near the Prairie Outpost Tram Stop, the highest point in the park. As you can tell by the picture, the bears weren't overly active. Who could blame them? It was quite a hot day and those furry coats sure look hot!
The second parking area, which is directly adjacent to the Africa exhibit is about a mile past the first parking area for North America. Within you will see everything from Rhinos, Elephants and Antelope, to Lions, Gorillas and Baboons. The pavillion next to the Baboons is definitely worth the visit as there is a unique white egret inside, pictured below and eagles whose cage you can go inside.
Nearer the entrance you can see the Ostrich that run around the park in the same area as Zebras and Girafe.
Pisgah Covered Bridge
Pisgah Covered Bridge, located just outside of Asheboro, is one of only two covered bridges remaining in North Carolina. The 54-foot bridge was built in 1911 for a cost of $40 but soon became obsolete as it couldn't handle the traffic. A two-lane road was built in the 1950s and the covered bridge fell into a state of disrepair. Recognizing the cultural heritage of the bridge, the NC Zoo Society joined with the NC DOT and other organizations to raise funds to restore and refurbish the bridge, and to build parking and picnic tables for visitors to enjoy. In 2003, the bridge was washed away in a flood, but was rebuilt the next year, using mostly the original materials that were recovered by volunteers.
I had seen signs for the bridge several times while traveling to the Asheboro area, but only had the opportunity to stop recently. Crossing the West Fork Branch of the Little River, the old covered bridge is very scenic and definitely worth a stop. Besides walking across the bridge, there are some short trails to head downstream and check it out from different angles. Unfortunately, a lot of the inside of the bridge has been defaced by graffiti.
- Historical Travel
Go wild at the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's largest walk-through natural habitat zoo. This outstanding zoological park features more than 1,100 animals from Africa and North America. The latest addition is a new giraffe feeding station where you can get eye-to-eye with these long-legged giants, an experience you'll never forget. The Acacia Station Giraffe Deck opened on June 6, and visitors between now and the end of October are being invited to help the Zoo keepers train the young giraffes. Currently admission is free to Acacia Station but that is expected to change by next summer. The deck has a beautiful treetop view so it's a great place for group photos and for viewing our large herd of giraffes. Currently it is only open daily from 10 a.m. to noon and is expected to close for the year by the end of October. It is located at the Forest Edge exhibit in the African region.
If you have read many of my pages, you may have realized that I really enjoy fountains and the next big addition to the NC Zoo is a fountain. Called the Geyser, it is located near the Prairie Exhibit in North America and has five “spouts.” Four of these spouts are smaller and erupt continuously, reaching two to eight feet in height, while the main spout will burst 20 to 40 feet high about every five minutes. An accessible wooden deck brings the visitor closer to this unusual fountain (on breezy days, visitors may get some of the drifting spray). It opens this coming Saturday (26 Sept 09).
- Jungle and Rain Forest
NC Zoo things to see & tips to not ignore!!
There is no reason why you shouldn't visit the zoo! This is probably the cleanest zoo you will ever go to in your life! There are 3 sections in the zoo, N.America, Africa & NEW in 04 Australia! The polar bears, sea lions & otters will make you smile with delight! Check out the tunnel views from below they are better there then from the top!! The otter likes to hide, but when seen, he is so cute!!
Australia was added this year and it is a ball!! Complete with kangaroos & all! If you go into Africa make sure to check out the Giraffes, Zebras & the two brand new Lion Cubs that were just born end of this summer! They are sooooo cute and they love to play!! There is so much to do in the zoo it would take forever to explain!
Start in N. America not Africa!! IF you start in Africa the whole walk will be uphill!!!
Use the trams!! Check the times!!
Don't bring animals!!
BRING A CAMERA!!!
If possible pack a small bag with snacks, food in the zoo can be expensive!!!
Look for GREAT deals in the gift shops!
The African music you can listen to in Africa is beautiful!!!
If your from NC and you get to travel to the zoo or the Aquariums often ask about the NC Aquarium Pass!! One year for around $60 to go to all the places is alot cheaper then $40 dollar one time visit for family of four!! (Rates are expected to increase soon on general admission!!!) Also if you own a pass you save on the gift shop & food courts!!!
Sunscreen & a hat in the summer!
Wheelchair & stroller rentals available or bring your own!!
The zoo bags from the gift shop if you purchase something are really filled with cool facts!!
Try to attend the boo at the Zoo in Oct or the Festival of Lights in December!!
I've been here tons & there is not many questions you could ask me about this that I couldn't answer so feel free to ask!!
- Family Travel
If you're an aviation enthusiast, the NC Aviation Museum is a must see. There are plenty of immaculately maintained planes inside the hangars and some cool ones like this one outside.
In the Cypress Swamp in the North America part of the park, you'll find cougars, alligators, waterfowl and turtle. Incidentally, I've eaten 3 out 4 of these animals!!!