Cincinnati Zoo Is the Best Zoo in America, 'USA Today' Readers Say

The zoo climbed a spot since its No. 2 ranking last year.

Jun 7, 2021 at 2:12 pm
The whole country knows that the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the best. - Photo: Mark Dumont
Photo: Mark Dumont
The whole country knows that the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the best.

You did your part, Cincinnatians. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, the sixth oldest zoo in the United States, is back on top.

According to USA Today’s "10Best" travel information hub, the Cincinnati Zoo has been named the Best Zoo in America for 2021. Readers voted for the Cincinnati Zoo and other nominees after a panel of judges had culled the initial "Best Zoo" nominee list.

"The Cincinnati Zoo (one of the oldest zoos in the nation) brings visitors nose-to-nose with a range of exciting animals. Guests can view hippos underwater (including world-famous hippo Fiona), pop up in a bubble amid meerkats or watch cheetahs racing at top speeds. The multi-sensory Night Hunters exhibit hosts cats and other nocturnal predators, while Manatee Springs seeks the long-term conservation of the Florida manatee by encouraging guests to observe these gentle giants," USA Today writes.

The ranking comes after the Cincinnati Zoo finished second in the same contest in 2020. The bump in ranking may be in part due to new additions such as the Dornette Kanga’ Klimb Aerial Adventure Course, which opened earlier this month. The Ameritas Bird Experience at the zoo’s Wings of Wonder Theater also has returned after a yearlong absence.

The Cincinnati Zoo beat out the Nashville Zoo and the 2020 winner, Fort Worth Zoo, for the top spot this year.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opened its doors in Avondale in 1873 and has since earned National Historic Landmark status and is home to 258 species of animals.

Cincinnati has received a number of honors from USA Today’s “10 Best” recently, as Skyline Chili is among the nation’s best regional fast-food chains, while Cincinnati’s street art is ranked second in the United States.

See USA Today’s full rankings of the best zoos in the country.