Experience the wild side of East Texas

Traveling to see exotic animals may seem expensive, though it doesn’t have to be! Here is a list of animal parks, aquariums, and zoos around East Texas where you can enjoy a great learning opportunity and get to experience the natural exhibits of these animals. The young and the young at heart will enjoy spending time checking out these wild adventures!

If you know of another wild adventure around East Texas, or see an inaccuracy below, please let us know here.

Busy B Ranch Wildlife Park

Jefferson | 1100 W Prospect Road

Encounter Exotic Wildlife Without Taking A Flight

There’s no need to search far and wide for a place to see exotic animals. Busy B Ranch Wildlife Park offers residents and visitors of the Jefferson area the chance to have up-close encounters with a wide variety of wildlife.

This drive-thru zoo & drive-thru safari allows you to remain in the comfort of your vehicle while viewing the animal enclosures. With more than 20 years of experience caring for wildlife, they have the skills needed to keep their animals comfortable and happy.

Caldwell Zoo

Tyler | 2203 Martin Luther King Blvd

For over 7 decades, the Caldwell has invited the community to witness the spectacular diversity of animals from all around the globe. With over 2,000 animals, you can see animals from all over the world and learn about their habitats.

Cherokee Trace Drive-Thru Safari

Jacksonville | 1200 CR 4405

From the comfort of your own vehicle, you can observe and photograph these beautiful creatures. This natural environment has 300 acres where you can see over two dozen exotic and endangered species that thrive in an open habitat similar to their native territory.

East Texas Zoo and Gator Park

Grand Saline | 9515 FM 1255

The zoo has dozens of alligators, from hatchlings all the way up to 14 feet long. Their enclosures are designed to get close views of them either basking on the banks in the sun, swimming in the pond, or eating a snack. During the warm months, you can watch as the gators are fed. There is also a baby room with free roaming animals where you can sit and play with the small animals.

There are also other animals, such as primates, reptiles, and a duck pond to enjoy while you visit!

Ellen Trout Zoo

Lufkin | 402 Zoo Circle

Make sure to check out the classes and special events that are consistently going on at the Ellen Trout Zoo!

Grapeland Safari

Grapeland | 13440 US Highway 287 North

A drive-thru safari & petting zoo with a wide variety of animals to see and touch as you enjoy this adventure in East Texas!

Kaleidoscope Ranch

Big Sandy | 1936 Silver Maple Road

A 60-acre ranch in East Texas where you can hike with the miniature donkeys, feed the camels, or even snuggle up with a miniature pig!

Lonesome Dove Drive-Thru Safari

Jefferson | 1782 Highway 59 North

A drive-thru safari & petting zoo with a narrow gauge train that has over 400 animals and 80 species located in the beautiful piney woods of East Texas.

Pawsitive Animal Encounters

Lufkin | Appointment Only

A unique experience where you can have close up experiences with a variety of exotic animals.

Rocky Ridge Drive-Thru Safari

Eustace | 3350 FM 1256

Journey into a 200-acre animal oasis to experience up-close and intimate encounters with over 25 species through the diverse terrain of Rocky Ridge.

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

Athens | 5550 FM-2495

Built as a joint venture between TPWD, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation and the community of Athens, TFFC combines a Visitor Center, educational programming and a production freshwater hatchery. Developed on a 107-acre site, the facility includes over 300,000 gallons of indoor and outdoor aquariums displaying dozens of species of native fish, waterfowl, alligators and amphibians in recreated habitats.

Bonus Section

Here is our extra section of animal parks in the nearby cities such as Dallas, Houston, and Shreveport!

Dallas & Fort Worth



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Jade Allen

Jade Allen

Jade Allen explores East Texas to bring the most exciting activities and locations to The East Texas Weekend. Jade came to Texas in 2018, where it has steadily become a home and a place to explore.