Online voters named a 2-month-old otter pup at Brookfield Zoo near Chicago after a popular otter character in a video game. Pascal is being hand-reared and is still learning how to swim, but will soon be back in a habitat with his mom and dad. (March 16)
Note from 10Best: Someday, we’ll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures. In the meantime, we’ll keep supporting the places that inspire us. Contact individual attractions for the latest updates.
Zoos, aquariums, safari parks, aerial adventure parks, and botanical gardens create incredible opportunities to learn about and engage with the world around us. A panel of experts nominated their picks for the best, and now we need your help narrowing the nominee list down to the 10Best.
Vote once per day for your favorite in each category until voting ends on Monday, May 24 at noon ET. The 10 best winners, chosen by your vote, will be announced on Friday, June 4.
Click on each category below to vote:
Best Aerial Adventure Park
(Photo: Montana Whitewater )
While ziplines and canopy tours began as a tool for scientific field research, they’ve exploded in popularity as an attraction in their own right – a way to experience the forest canopy in a safe and thrilling environment. We asked a panel of family travel experts to nominate their favorite aerial adventure parks in North America, and now it’s your turn to choose a winner.
(Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
Aquariums put us face to fin with aquatic life from the world’s oceans, lakes and waterways in a fun and educational setting. The best aquariums also play a vital role in animal conservation by taking part in rescue efforts and advocating for the environmental health of our oceans.
These 20 aquariums, almost all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and nominated by a panel of 10Best experts, represent the best in North America for their high quality exhibits and visitor interactions.
Best Botanical Garden
(Photo: VisionsbyAtlee // Getty Images)
April showers might very well bring May flowers, but at these spectacular public and botanical gardens, there’s always something in bloom. The best gardens and arboretums on the continent, like these 20 nominated by our panel of experts, help to promote and conserve the plant diversity of our planet, all while showcasing their vast collections in stunning, visitor-friendly ways.
Best Wildlife/Safari Park
(Photo: Wild Animal Safari – Georgia)
At these 20 safari and wildlife parks, nominated as the best in the U.S., visitors get up close and personal with exotic and endangered animals from around the country and the world. Many of the facilities are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and have a focus on conservation as well as education.
(Photo: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS)
North America is home to hundreds of zoological parks, including more than 200 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Short of heading out into the world’s wild places, nothing beats a visit to the zoo to foster an appreciation for the striking animal diversity of our planet.
We asked a panel of travel experts to nominate their favorite North American AZA-accredited zoos – facilities that excel in the fields of animal care and enrichment, while also facilitating meaningful interactions between animals and human visitors.
Best Zoo Exhibit
(Photo: Zoo Miami)
A great zoo exhibit engages visitors with the animals they’re observing while keeping the welfare and enrichment of its animal residents front and center. We asked a panel of zoo and family travel experts to nominate their favorite animal exhibits in North America, and now we need you to choose a winner.
Remember, you can vote once per day in each category. The 10 nominees with the most votes in each category will be announced on 10Best.com on Friday, June 4.
10Best is a part of the USA TODAY Network — providing an authentically local point of view on destinations around the world — in addition to travel and lifestyle advice.
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