Cincinnati Zoo named nation’s best in new poll

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the best zoo in the country, according to a new poll.

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WHIO-TV and WCPO-TV reported that the Ohio facility topped the nation’s other zoos in USA Today’s 2022 10 Best Readers’ Choice poll. The newspaper said its readers voted on their favorite attractions after travel experts picked 20 nominees in each of several categories.

“The Cincinnati Zoo (one of the oldest zoos in the nation) brings visitors nose-to-nose with a range of exciting animals,” USA Today wrote. “Guests can view hippos underwater (including world-famous hippo Fiona), pop up in a bubble amid meerkats or watch cheetahs racing at top speeds. The multi-sensory Night Hunters exhibit hosts cats and other nocturnal predators, while Manatee Springs seeks the long-term conservation of the Florida manatee by encouraging guests to observe these gentle giants.”

The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, took second place in the category, while the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs was ranked third, USA Today reported. The Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida; Memphis Zoo in Memphis, Tennessee; Audubon Zoo in New Orleans; Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia; Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio; Houston Zoo in Houston; and St. Louis Zoo in St. Louis rounded out the top 10.

The Cincinnati attraction also placed second among botanical gardens in North America, behind Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida, WHIO reported. In that category, Vallarta Botanical Gardens in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Huntsville Botanical Garden in Huntsville, Alabama; the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert, California; Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix; Mount Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware; Biltmore Garden & Grounds in Asheville, North Carolina; and Portland Japanese Garden in Portland, Oregon, took the remaining spots in the top 10, according to USA Today.

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