Where to See Live Animals in Myrtle Beach

Where to See Live Animals in Myrtle Beach


An exotic animal experience in Myrtle Beach is just the adventure you need, whether you’re looking for a rainy-day activity, you need to escape the heat, or you want to add a little excitement to your vacation. And with several animal attractions to choose from, including Myrtle Beach aquariums, nature preserves, and zoos, seeing live animals up close deserves a prime spot on your vacation itinerary. 

Ripley’s Myrtle Beach Aquarium

After you’ve had your fill of the beach, you can see things from a whole new perspective thanks to the awe-inspiring attractions at Ripley’s Aquarium. This 85,000-square-foot marvel is devoted to environmental education, conservation, research, and entertainment, and it’s conveniently located in the heart of Myrtle Beach at Broadway at the Beach

The most noteworthy exhibit at this aquarium is called the Dangerous Reef, but don’t be alarmed: A spectacular acrylic tunnel keeps your family safe from the huge sharks, along with thousands of fish and other creatures, that fill this amazing reef-like environment. You’ll glide along a 340-foot-long moving path and come face to face with not just the sharks, but also snappers, tarpons, grunts, squirrelfish, a green sea turtle, and giant stingrays.

This popular Myrtle Beach aquarium’s other exhibits include a fascinating look at an Amazon river ecosystem, a colony of adorable penguins, a living gallery of octopi, jellyfish, and other delicate animals, and Friendship Flats, a shallow lagoon environment where you can touch rays as they glide through the water.

Brookgreen Gardens & Lowcountry Zoo

Brookgreen Gardens is both a botanical garden and a popular Myrtle Beach zoo. This nonprofit facility in Murrells Inlet is one of the few places in the United States to receive accreditation from both the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It’s also a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Brookgreen offers tours, programs, and live animal exhibits for all ages. Join a guided tour or explore the gardens on your own. Its Lowcountry Zoo and Domestic Animal exhibits feature a variety of native species, including alligators, foxes, eagles, hawks, otters, and deer. A domestic animal exhibit features creatures linked to plantation use, including several historic breeds. The aviary at Brookgreen houses a number of birds native to the cypress swamp.

Alligator Adventure Animal Attraction

If you want to see live animals in Myrtle Beach, you can get up close and personal with more than 200 species, including reptiles, tropical birds, primates, and—of course—alligators, at Alligator Adventure. Conveniently located in Barefoot Landing, this wildlife adventure features ample opportunities for visitors to witness alligators and crocodiles in their natural environment. Take a tour of the Reptile Center, where trained staff offer opportunities for guests to touch and even hold certain creatures; then visit the tropical bird aviary to observe an array of brightly colored flamingos, macaws, and more. Don’t forget to check out the Primate Exhibit to visit various monkeys, lemurs, and other hilarious creatures. 

Myrtle Beach Safari

This Myrtle Beach animal attraction offers a variety of encounters and tours. The day and night tours are available by reservation and offer a fully interactive experience to guests. Meet, pet, and hold a variety of wild animals, from tiger cubs to monkeys. Other residents of this 50-acre wildlife preserve include an African elephant, a cheetah, apes, and a liger. Get your photo taken with these amazing wild animals for a souvenir of your day on safari. The preserve is located in Myrtle Beach, just miles from the airport.

Voyager Dolphin Cruises

This Marine adventure is a great way to observe sea life and animals in the wild while in Myrtle Beach. The cruise takes you along the Intracoastal Waterway and out to the inlet area to see dolphins in their natural habitat. This 2.5-hour voyage is fun for all ages, and if you’re lucky, the fishing net will reveal a plentiful catch of shrimp, crabs, sea urchins, seahorses, and even baby sharks to see up close. Voyager Deep Sea Fishing and Dolphin Cruises has one of the largest fleets in the Grand Strand, and offers many day trips and fishing adventures to experience.

Waccamaw Cooter Airboat Tours

Have fun seeing wild animals in Myrtle Beach in their own habitat during an airboat tour. The Wacca Wache Marina in Murrells Inlet offers river tours rich with sightseeing possibilities. The hour-long cooter/gator airboat tour meanders along the Waccamaw, Black, and Pee Dee River backwaters teeming with alligators, ospreys, and other creatures.

Beach & Trail Horseback Rides

Though this interactive experience features less exotic animals, horseback riding in Myrtle Beach is an activity any animal lover will enjoy. Several local stables offer lessons and rides on groomed trails or along the beach. The off-season is the best time to meander the shore as there are fewer tourists at the oceanfront hotels, but you can stick to trails or choose other waterways in any season. 

In Myrtle Beach, spectacular experiences with wild animals are all around. Visit our highly rated aquariums, zoos, and nature preserves to see for yourself. Whether you’re looking for new things to do, you need a break from the heat, or you’re looking for one-of-a-kind activities near kid-friendly hotels, these Myrtle Beach animal attractions are just the ticket.

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