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“Zip Line with the Animals!” 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.
Chapin, South Carolina
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Zip Line with the Animals!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2013

Not only does the zoo have exotic animals and a petting zoo for the kids, they also have
Columbiia's only zip line and rock climbing!! Great family fun!!

Visited September 2013
1 Thank Kathie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,095 reviews from our community

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Fort Mill, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Poor setting for elephants & penguins”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

Even though I found the park overall to be very clean . The area of concern was the elephant exhibit was very poor. These animals should be grazing in a large grassy area. This exhibit was extremely small for 4-5 elephants. They were just swaying back & forth with a large amount of feces around their closed in area. For that many elephants they should be in an area that resembles the zebra & giraffe exhibit. Also, I thought I was watching the happy feet movie when we saw the penguin display. How sad to see them just sitting and staring at a wall that is painted with their natural habitat. Again, too small of an exhibit and the foul smell was horrible inside. We were on a field trip to the zoo and the children were covering their mouths & noses. When you visit a zoo you expect to see the animals to be taken care of & placed in the best surroundings that mimic their natural habitats. Unfortunately we did not see that here instead we think that exhibits were too small for some of the larger animals. When you see the animals pacing back & forth or swaying in place that's the characteristic of boredom. I'm all for educational purposes of zoos I do not agree with the layout at all. There are definitely areas of improvement for this zoo.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Mary12342013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Granite Falls, North Carolina
Level Contributor
73 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great fun!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 December 2013

Riverbanks zoo was a treat for my family in every way! We had all ages and interests in our group! GREAT fun was had by all! The minute we arrived, good parking, animals to touch, volunteers to share personal info about animals, beautiful natural setting, perfect picnic areas, food options, shopping options, and even ways to keep cool on a very HOT day! We were pooped but rewarded in every way at the end of the day. I recommend this experience to all!

I hope they add a rhino! The only animal I missed!

Visited July 2013
Thank RMSW54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
65 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
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
Thank nancyandbob_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, South Carolina
Level Contributor
31 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
Thank Valleysailor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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