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Back in 1948, Crandon Park Zoo, as it was then known, had three monkeys, two black bears and a goat on show to visitors. Roll on 65 years and now the zoo, counted as one of the States' best, has more than 2000 animals and 1200 plants spread over a 299 hectare site. This extensive collection of animals can be spotted from the zoo's above-ground walkways which stretch for 5 kilometres: look out for white tigers, black rhinos and red kangaroos, just for starters. Because of the size of the zoo, the animals enjoy large habitats and have plenty of room to roam.
Bird lovers should flock to the Wings of Asia aviary, which has live shows as well as fossil displays that link the dinosaurs of 75 million years ago with today's birds. The aviary is the largest of its kind in the western hemisphere and has over 70 species of exotic birds. Dinosaur lovers will think that the ancient beasts are roaming the earth once more as the show brings them to life, and there is even the chance for visitors to search for the skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur in a recreation of a fossil excavation pit.
Though it’s possible to get around the zoo under your own steam, the sheer scale of the zoo means that its worth hiring a safari bike for your family – then you can hop on and off to take pictures at your own pace. There is also a monorail and tram tour if you feel like taking a load off.
Zoo Miami's commitment to conservation is shown by the zoo's programme of housing and breeding 40 endangered species. Education is key at the zoo and there are educational sessions for all ages, from toddlers to teens. And in 2014, Zoo Miami is turning its attention to the local environment and conservation by opening a dedicated Florida Everglades display.
Zoo Miami is located in the south end of Crandon Park, about 30 kilometres southwest of downtown Miami. Drive a car here or catch the bus at Metrorail's Dadeland South Station. The zoo is open every day of the year.
Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Zoo Miami, The Gold Coast Railroad Museum and Arcade Odyssey. Kendall Breeze Shopping Center and Southland Mall are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) from Wings Over Miami Museum and 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Zoo Miami. Kendall Breeze Shopping Center and The Gold Coast Railroad Museum are also within 3 miles (5 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.6 mi (4.3 km) from Zoo Miami, and within 9 mi (15 km) of The Falls and Baptist Hospital of Miami. Florida International University and Pinecrest Gardens are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from The Gold Coast Railroad Museum and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Zoo Miami. The Falls and Frost Art Museum are also within 12 mi (20 km).
Situated in the suburbs, this bed & breakfast is 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from The Gold Coast Railroad Museum and 1.8 mi (3 km) from Zoo Miami. Monkey Jungle and Wings Over Miami Museum are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Situated in Miami, this guesthouse is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Arcade Odyssey and within 6 miles (10 km) of Zoo Miami and The Gold Coast Railroad Museum. The Falls and Miccosukee Golf and Country Club are also within 6 miles (10 km).
Located in the heart of Miami, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from The Falls, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Zoo Miami and Dadeland Mall. Matheson Hammock Park and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden are also within 9 mi (15 km).
Situated in the suburbs, this hotel is 0.5 mi (0.9 km) from Southland Mall and within 6 miles (10 km) of Zoo Miami and Monkey Jungle. Biscayne Bay and Jackson South Community Hospital are also within 6 miles (10 km).