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PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - NOVEMBER 10: A gorilla feeds on vegetables at Prague Zoo on November 10, 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic. Prague's zoo has started a new fundraising program for micro donors to contribute to feeding its animals during the lockdown. The park offers vouchers for the value of the food for 50 different animals for one day, in some cases for one month. The zoo has been significantly affected by the restrictive measures imposed to restrain the coronavirus pandemic. The Czech Republic has registered 5,074 COVID-19 deaths and has reported over 6,000 new cases for yesterday. (Photo by Gabriel Kuchta/Getty Images)

An interesting fact that you may not know is that Charlotte is actually the largest city in the country that doesn’t have a zoo. And there is very little chance we will ever get a true one. But don’t let that get you down, there are plenty of places you can visit with all types of animals in the Charlotte area. The biggest reason we will most likely never get a true zoo is that we are just 1.5 hours from both the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro and Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

Both of those zoos make our list and while both are large zoos, they offer different animals. For instance, you can see polar bears in North Carolina and Koalas in South Carolina. Is marine life more of your interest? Don’t worry we’ve got a couple of options for you as well. Other animals include bison, alpacas, farm animals, all sorts of birds, goats are more.

All of the places on this list are a short drive from Charlotte. Most are very affordable to visit so a great family trip as the weather gets warmer. I love animals but I’m not a huge fan of encountering them unexpectedly, so this type of thing is right up my alley. I can’t wait to add several of these to my summer bucket list. Where is your favorite place to visit animals in the Charlotte area? Let us know on social media!