Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

Gulf Shores-Orange Beach, Alabama

Let's find your adventure!
Jul 18 ~ Jul 24
The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is one of the top places for family fun in beautiful Gulf Shores, Alabama! This spectacular zoo is home to over 300 animals, offers awesome animal encounters, and is consistently ranked among the best zoos in Alabama.

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo Visitors Guide

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is not your typical zoo, and has an incredible story to tell! The park was created in 1989 as a private facility named Zooland Animal Park by Gulf Shores entrepreneur, Joey Ward. In 1991, the Ward family created The Zoo Foundation, Inc., to operate the park as a non-profit, and in 2000, it was renamed the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo!

In 2004, when Hurricane Ivan struck Alabama’s Gulf Coast, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo gained national recognition, as it became the first zoo in the country to evacuate its animals during a natural disaster. The zoo’s incredible story was turned into a hit television series that aired on Animal Planet in 2006 and 2007 entitled, “The Little Zoo That Could.” This documentary contributed to the success of this once tiny zoo, as it has since skyrocketed!

The zoo was able to construct a new facility for its animals, just four miles away from the original park, which encompasses 25 acres of land! Now, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is home to nearly 200 species of animals, 31 subspecies, and eight endangered species. This amazing zoo not only creates unforgettable memories and family-fun for its visitors, but also works to educate, conserve, and build a community that strives to protect nature, and the wonderful wildlife that inhabits it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the zoo handicap accessible?

Yes, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo is fully wheelchair accessible, with wide pathways, rest areas with benches, and plenty of spacious picnic areas. Complimentary manual wheelchair rentals are also available on a first come first served basis. Mobility scooters are available to rent for $20.00 a day, as well.

2. Can we bring food and drinks?

Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the park. However, the Safari Club Restaurant on-site is open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch available on Sundays. There are other locations within the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo to purchase food and drinks, as well.

3. Are pets allowed?

For the safety of your pet, as well as the safety of all of the animals at the zoo, pets are prohibited from entering the park. Service dogs, on the other hand, are allowed at the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo. There are certain precautions that must be taken in a zoo environment, as service dogs can be seen by zoo animals as prey, or a predator. If you are bringing your service animal to the park, please be sure to review their guidelines.

4. How long does it take to go through the zoo?

The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo encompasses over 20 acres, meaning there is a lot of ground to cover! It’s easy to spend a half day to a whole day there, as some visitors like to take their time, catch all of the shows, and enjoy a delicious lunch. With that being said, most travelers will typically spend about two hours at the park.


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