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“Exceptional” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden

Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden
Ranked #1 of 108 things to do in Columbia
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to nearly 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. A visit to the Zoo will play host to an array of wild adventures from a diving expedition on a Pacific coral reef to a safari through the plains of Africa to an interactive Outback encounter with a flock of sociable lorikeets. The Botanical Garden boasts 70-acres of unparalleled beauty and is considered one of the America's best public gardens. Dramatic and themed gardens showcase more than 4,300 species of native and exotic plants, providing a living classroom for gardeners and non-gardeners alike. The Garden also is the gateway to natural river views and spectacular valley overlooks. In addition, guests can view structural remains dating back to the early 1800s with South Carolina's textile industry and the Civil War.
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Exceptional”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 December 2013

We are fortunate enough to have been visiting Riverbanks for over 30 years, and we never tire of it. There is always a standout animal experience--bears playing, monkeys swinging, koalas awake, giraffes eating out of your hand, elephants grouping--and it is never the same visit twice. Our children and now our grandchildren love this zoo, and they also like the botanical garden. If you are a serious plant person, this is a wonderful place for you. If you are a kid, this is a great place to zig and zag and explore. We travel a lot and have visited other zoos and gardens using the reciprocal privileges. We appreciate the other experiences, but few come close to our exceptional Riverbanks. Wear comfortable shoes and plan to stay a while.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank nancyandbob_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Always a great day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

Riverbanks is Columbia's world class zoo and botanical gardens, composed of both sides of the Saluda River in the heart of Downtown. The coolest thing about Rivrbanks? Well, something new each time you go, of course. They are always updating and changing exhibits, and acquiring new animals. Riverbanks is a member of the AZA so a membership pass guarantees you admission to over 180 zoos and aquariums around rhe country. For my money, this is the best entertainment bargain in town! But buy the annual pass for the real value. While you are securing your admission for a full year, you are also helping to support one of Columbia's true jewels.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Valleysailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Riverbanks Zoo is great”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2013

Riverbanks Zoo has loads of animals and some very unusual species. They do a lot of breeding of endangered species. It's well kept and laid out. Thoroughly enjoyable for people of all ages.

Boo at the Zoo was very enjoyable too with all the neat lights.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
Thank Wanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“The LIGHTS are awesome...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2013

This place is a childhood favorite...if you need a nudge to get in the holiday mood, most definitely check out the lights!

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Perefier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wonderful zoo!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013

Columbia has an excellent zoo! There is a wide variety of species. It's well laid out, clean and very visitor friendly. They also do some fun things with lights around the holidays, as well as various other special events throughout the year.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank 1Pickydiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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