America's Most-Visited Zoos
Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo
No. 2 Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
Annual Visitors: 3 million
This Chicago zoo feels very much like a park within the city thanks to its location on the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. Visitors are free to stop in after a walk along Lake Shore Drive and wander around as they please—sans admission fee. Opened in June 2010, the stately new Nature Boardwalk offers opportunities to spot rare migratory birds, like black-crowned night herons, and take in unspoiled views of the Chicago skyline. You can see gorillas and chimpanzees up close at the $26 million Regenstein Center for African Apes, and pygmy hippos, dwarf crocodiles, and the zoo’s first red river hog at the 75,000-square-foot Regenstein African Journey.
Free admission; lpzoo.org.