Local Aquariums & Zoos

Guide To Aquariums, Zoos, & Wildlife Preserves Around Scottsdale

Get ready to embark on a wild adventure through the best zoos, aquariums, and wildlife preserves in the Scottsdale area! Whether you’re an animal lover or just looking for a fun day out, this guide has got you covered. From the colorful creatures of the ocean to the exotic animals of the savannah, there’s something for everyone in this wild wonderland. We’ve compiled a list of the best local zoos, mobile zoos, aquariums, and wildlife preserves, each with their own unique features and experiences. So, get ready to discover the amazing creatures that call Arizona their home and have a roaring good time!

Most Popular Local Zoos & Aquariums:

Most Popular Local Zoos & Aquariums:

OdySea Aquarium
Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary
Phoenix Zoo


  • OdySea Aquarium: Located in Scottsdale, OdySea Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the Southwest and features over 30,000 animals and 500 different species. With interactive exhibits, touch tanks, and even a sea-trek helmet diving experience, OdySea is a must-visit for any aquarium lover.
  • SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium: Situated in Tempe, SEA LIFE Arizona is home to over 5,000 marine creatures, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles. The aquarium offers interactive experiences like touch pools and behind-the-scenes tours, and is a great spot for families with young children.

Wildlife Preserves:

  • The Phoenix Herpetological Sanctuary: This unique wildlife preserve that specializes in the care of reptiles and amphibians. With over 1,500 animals and 200 species, it’s one of the largest non-profit reptile sanctuaries in the country. Visitors can explore the sanctuary’s education center and outdoor habitats, where they’ll see everything from snakes and lizards to tortoises and alligators. In addition to offering tours and educational programs, the sanctuary also provides rehabilitation services for sick and injured reptiles, and partners with other organizations to promote conservation efforts.
  • Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center:  This conservation center rescues and rehabilitates wildlife native to the southwest. Visitors can tour the facility and see animals like bobcats, coyotes, and black bears up close. This 30,000-acre wildlife preserve in the heart of Scottsdale offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and stunning desert vistas. Visitors can spot native wildlife like coyotes, javelina, and rattlesnakes.
  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park: This 323-acre wildlife preserve in Superior, AZ offers a stunning variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can hike trails that showcase the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
  • Tonto National Forest: This expansive national forest offers a wealth of wildlife viewing opportunities, including elk, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. Visitors can explore the forest by hiking, camping, or fishing in one of the many lakes and streams.
  • Hassayampa River Preserve: This 770-acre wildlife preserve in Wickenburg, AZ boasts lush riparian areas, soaring cliffs, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can hike the trails, enjoy a picnic, or participate in a guided nature walk.


  • Phoenix Zoo: This zoo is a popular attraction in Phoenix and is home to over 1,400 animals from around the world. The zoo has several animal encounters and offers a variety of experiences, such as giraffe feeding, camel rides, and a safari train tour.
  • Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park: This wildlife park offers visitors the opportunity to see over 600 species of animals from all around the world, including giraffes, lions, tigers, and zebras. The zoo also features an aquarium with over 75 indoor exhibits and a safari park where visitors can take a ride through the African savanna.
  • Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Located in Camp Verde, Out of Africa Wildlife Park is a unique animal sanctuary where visitors can interact with a variety of animals, including lions, tigers, and bears. The park also offers several experiences, such as a behind-the-scenes tour, a zip-line adventure, and a safari tour.
  • Reid Park Zoo: This zoo is located in Tucson and is home to over 500 animals from around the world, including elephants, lions, and rhinoceroses. The zoo also features several exhibits, such as the African savanna, the South American exhibit, and the Asian exhibit.
  • Bearizona Wildlife Park: Located in Williams, Bearizona is a drive-through wildlife park where visitors can see a variety of animals, including bears, wolves, and bison. The park also features a walking area where visitors can see smaller animals and a Birds of Prey show.

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