RIVERBANKS ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDENS
When you want a fun place to go filled with a variety of things to see and do, visit the wonderful zoo and gardens near downtown Columbia. Our zoo is not your typical zoo. In addition to animals and plants, you will also find things to challenge your mind and body as well as a nature trail that will challenge your stamina while providing you with some history of the area.
First, you will be astounded by the variety of animals the zoo has, with animals from the outback, the artic, and even the sea. You can feed a lorikeet or a giraffe or even pet a Nubian goat. A favorite of the children is a ride on the pony and a trip on the train. And of course, no visit it complete without a ride on the carousel. A favorite of everyone is the aquarium, where you can take a break and enjoy the air conditioning in the summer and be mesmerized by watching the beautiful saltwater fish.
For garden enthusiasts, the zoo and botanical gardens are both filled with a variety of plants that will just amaze you. If you want ideas for plants to place in your own gardens, this is the place to get your ideas. The botanical gardens itself is absolutely gorgeous spring through fall and includes a wonderful collection of old roses. Take the time to sit in a swing and enjoy the view.
For those who like history, take a walk from the zoo to the botanical gardens by way of the woodland trail that begins at the edge of the bridge. You will find a little information about the history of the area, to include a bit about Sherman’s army. Along your journey, you will also find a small Interpretive Center that houses some artifacts from the area.
The most recent addition to the zoo is the first public Challenge Course in the area. You will find a 4 story vertical ropes course, a Rock Wall, and two different zip line canopy tours! Be sure to create some family memories by participating in one or all of these unique opportunities the zoo has to offer.
As you can see, our local zoo is not just a zoo. Located on the beautiful Saluda River, the scenery is amazing, the animals are just awesome, and the Challenge Course will leave you with an experience to share for months to come. This is certainly a place in Columbia that you will want to visit regularly.