Where to See Live Animals in Myrtle Beach

Where to See Live Animals in Myrtle Beach

Add an exotic experience to your vacation to-do list with a visit to one of several live animal sanctuaries, zoos and aquariums in the Myrtle Beach area.

From a native species sanctuary to beautiful sea habitats to zoos featuring wild animals in all their glory, you'll delight at the wonder of nature's wild creatures at several animal attractions in the area.

At Waccatee Zoo, a beautiful landscape tended for generations and filled with wild animals awaits your curious eyes.

Waccattee is a privately owned zoo located on 500 acres of carefully preserved, wooded property.  “Along winding trails, beneath shady trees you'll find thousands of animals and over 100 species that are all treated like family,” say the zoo's owners. Located at the juncture of the Waccamaw River, Intracoastal Waterway and Socastee Creek, Waccatee Zoo is a natural wildlife sanctuary and breeding ground for many species of migratory birds, including egrets and herons. Buffalo and zebra roam the grassland, and you can get up close to big cats like the leopard, lion, cougar and tiger. Located just 15 minutes from Myrtle Beach, this is truly a spectacular visit.

Brookgreen Gardens is both a botanical garden and zoo. The nonprofit facility in Murrells Inlet is one of the few places in the United States to have accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It's also a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the Register of National Historic Places. Brookgreen offers tours, programs, and 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. An aviary will show you a number of birds native to the cypress swamp.

As for sea life, you can take your chances at sea, or visit Ripley's Aquarium to take in a spectacular display of denizens of the ocean.

Located in the heart of Myrtle Beach, Ripley's Aquarium is an 85,000-square-foot marvel devoted to environmental education, conservation, research and, of course, entertainment.

Ripley's most popular aquarium exhibit is the Dangerous Reef, but don't be alarmed. A spectacular acrylic tunnel will keep your family safe from the huge sharks that fill this amazing reef-like environment, along with thousands of fish and other creatures. 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.
The aquarium's other exhibits include a fascinating look at an Amazon river ecosystem, 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.

In Myrtle Beach, you're never very far away from a spectacular experience with wild animals.

(posted 8/2/14)