We are big fans of the Austin Zoo, but when we are in the mood for adventure, it can be fun to check out a drive-thru zoo. At some, you can feed the animals, which is a really cool experience, and you don’t have to worry about pushing a stroller or carrying kids who are too tired to walk any further. It also gives grandparents who aren’t as mobile a way to experience a zoo with you. Here are some drive-thru zoos close to Austin:
Cherokee Trace Wild Animal Park – near Jacksonville
See over a two dozen exotic and endangered species in this self-guided drive through the hills and open savannahs of this 300-acre preserve. Entry fee per person. Drop food pellets on the ground for the animals to eat.
Exotic Resort Zoo – Johnson City
See over 80 different species of animals on 137 acres, including some species which were at one time endangered. Guides drive you in an open-air vehicle and you have the opportunity to feed the animals. There is also a petting area and a place to have a picnic. Entry fee per person. Accommodations are available on-site.
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center – Glen RoseFossil Rim works to promote the preservation and procreation of threatened/endangered species, environmental awareness and a recreational and educational experience for people of all ages. You can choose to either drive your own car through the 9 1/2 mile Scenic Drive or take a guided tour on one of the Center’s buses or vans. Entry fee per person. Animal feed is available for purchase at the front gate. Guided tours must be reserved in advance. Cabins are available, if you’d like to stay overnight.
Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch – between San Antonio and New Braunfels
See over 500 animals as you drive through 400 acres of rolling hills, creek bed and live oak trees. With your per person entry fee comes one free bag of food and you can purchase additional bags. There is also a petting barnyard and walk-a-bout which you can experience outside of your vehicle. Drop food on the ground for the animals to eat. There can be a wait during peak times of year. Read about our trip here.
Topsey Exotic Ranch & Drive Thru Safari - Copperas Cove
See more than 50 species of wildlife and hand feed them from your car. Entry fee per person, plus charge for feed. Military discount available.
Y.O. Ranch – outside of Kerrville
See up to 55 species of exotic wildlife, including giraffe, wildebeests and more. A guide will drive you through the Ranch. Reservations required. Entry fee, per person. Accommodations are available on-site.