The best zoos and aquariums in Michigan, according to visitors

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Whether you’re looking to occupy the kids for a day or take that special someone out on a date, zoos and aquariums can serve as great outings for all ages.
As of September 2023, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums reports that there are 213 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums in the United States, which see about 183 million visitors each year. Though zoos and aquariums have often been maligned for keeping animals in captivity, AZA-accredited facilities provide much more than a chance to ogle caged lions or fish in a tank. Visiting one may afford you a valuable opportunity to help your favorite wild animals.
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AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are committed to promoting species conservation and animal welfare, prioritizing caring for endangered animals and funding initiatives to preserve natural habitats like savannas and rainforests. Buying an entrance ticket (and maybe a souvenir or two) can help support ecological conservation efforts both inside and outside the zoo or aquarium, so you can enjoy your visit knowing that your purchases are going to good use.
Besides showcasing exotic species from faraway locations, zoos and aquariums also often feature restaurants and concession stands, educational programs, and unique activities, making them a great choice for a fun day out.
Of course, certain zoos and aquariums are better than others, standing out among the ranks thanks to their exhibits, high-quality dining options, increased accessibility, and more. To help you plan your next trip, Stacker compiled a list of the best zoos and aquariums in Michigan, according to Tripadvisor. Tripadvisor ranks businesses using a combination of metrics, including overall rating, reviews, and number of page views. As a result, a business with a 5/5 overall rating might rank lower than one with a 4/5. Data is as of February 2024. Zoos and aquariums that are AZA-accredited are noted accordingly.
Note: The photos in this article are stock images and do not depict the zoos or aquariums listed.
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#24. Pendills Creek National Fish Hatchery
– Rating: 4/5 (1 review) – Address: 21990 West Trout Lane Brimley, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#23. Belle Isle Nature Center
– Rating: 5/5 (1 review) – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#22. The Bear Store
– Rating: 5/5 (1 review) – Address: 6787 M 65 Hale, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#21. LeCronier’s Baby Acres
– Rating: 5/5 (2 reviews) – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#20. Ogemaw Nature Park
– Rating: 4.5/5 (2 reviews) – Address: 5626 West Rose City Road West Branch, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#19. Rooftop Landing Reindeer Farm
– Rating: 5/5 (5 reviews) – Address: 2706 East Stevenson Lake Road Clare, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#18. The Reptarium
– Rating: 5/5 (13 reviews) – Address: 45559 Van Dyke Ave. Utica, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#17. Roscommon Zoo
– Rating: 5/5 (21 reviews) – Address: 6327 M-18 Roscommon, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#16. GT Butterfly House and Bug Zoo
– Rating: 5/5 (58 reviews) – Address: 8840 M 72 East Williamsburg, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#15. Critchlow Alligator Sanctuary
– Rating: 5/5 (45 reviews) – Address: 1698 M 66 Athens, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#14. Indian Creek Zoo
– Rating: 4.5/5 (102 reviews) – Address: 2744 Consear Road Lambertville, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#13. The Creature Conservancy
– Rating: 5/5 (51 reviews) – Address: 4950 Ann Arbor Saline Road Ann Arbor, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#12. Wilderness Trails Zoo
– Rating: 4/5 (152 reviews) – Address: 11721 Gera Road Birch Run, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#11. Children’s Zoo at Celebration Square
– Rating: 4.5/5 (161 reviews) – Address: 1730 South Washington Ave. Saginaw, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#10. Belle Isle Aquarium
– Rating: 4/5 (127 reviews) – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#9. DeYoung Family Zoo
– Rating: 4.5/5 (194 reviews) – Address: N5406 County Road 577 Wallace, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#8. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park
– Rating: 4.5/5 (164 reviews) – Address: 8313 Pratt Lake Ave. Southeast Alto, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#7. GarLyn Zoo Wildlife Park
– Rating: 4.5/5 (191 reviews) – Address: W9104 US2 Naubinway, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#6. SEA LIFE Michigan Aquarium
– Rating: 3.5/5 (635 reviews) – AZA accredited – Address: 4316 Baldwin Road Auburn Hills, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#5. Potter Park Zoo
– Rating: 4/5 (431 reviews) – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#4. Binder Park Zoo
– Rating: 4.5/5 (552 reviews) – AZA accredited – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#3. Museum Ship Valley Camp
– Rating: 4.5/5 (426 reviews) – Address: 501 East Water St. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#2. John Ball Zoo
– Rating: 4/5 (775 reviews) – Read more on Tripadvisor
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#1. Detroit Zoo
– Rating: 4.5/5 (1,364 reviews) – Address: 8450 West 10 Mile Road Royal Oak, Michigan – Read more on Tripadvisor
This story features data reporting by Karim Noorani, writing by Cu Fleshman, and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 48 states.

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