In Sioux Falls, we are truly blessed to have a top-notch facility like the Great Plains Zoo giving us an up-close look at some of the most majestic creatures that roam the planet.

The Zoo, which features 1,000 animals, has undergone a series of major transformations over the years as it gets ready to celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2023.

But if looking to take your animal experience to the next level, you'll be happy to know that two of the biggest zoos in America are an easy road trip away from South Dakota's largest city.

On list of the 'Largest Zoos in America' are a pair of facilities that are less than 250 miles away.

Henry Doorly Zoo - Omaha
Google Maps Street View

Topping the list is the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.

The zoo sits on 160 acres and is home to more than 17,000 animals.

It opened as Riverview Park in 1894 as Riverview Park before being renamed after former newspaper publisher Henry Doorly in 1963.

It has since added several attractions like an aquarium, desert dome, and passenger trams.

Minnesota Zoo
Google Maps Street View

The third largest facility on the list is the Minnesota Zoo.

Located in the Twin Cities suburb of Apple Valley, this 485-acre zoo first opened its doors in 1978 and is now home to more than 4,500 animals.

The Minnesota Zoo also holds the distinction of being the first to arrange its animals based on their ideal environments, rather than the traditional method of displaying them by species.


  1. Henry Doorly Zoo - Omaha, Nebraska
  2. Columbus Zoo - Columbus, Ohio
  3. Minnesota Zoo - Apple Valley, Minnesota
  4. Bronx Zoo - Bronx, New York
  5. San Diego Zoo - San Diego, California
  6. Pittsburgh Zoo - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  7. Smithsonian's National Zoo - Washington D.C.
  8. Brookfield Zoo - Chicago, Illinois
  9. Dallas Zoo - Dallas, Texas
  10. Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park - Lake Buena Vista, Florida

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