What Are Some Tips for Visiting the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C.?


Quick Answer

Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Zoo are advised to arrive by public transportation, as parking is limited on-site. However, if driving, visitors should aim to arrive before 10 a.m. to park on-site, particularly during warmer months, or else book a parking reservation elsewhere with Parking Panda. For those arriving by public transportation, the closest Metro stops to the zoo are Cleveland Park and Woodley Park.

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Full Answer

Visitors are advised to wear sensible footwear for walking around the zoo, which is built on a slope. If necessary, mobility aids such as strollers, wheelchairs and electronic vehicles can be rented by asking at an information kiosk.

It is not permitted to visit the zoo with pets and there are no facilities on-site to temporarily accommodate pets that are brought. The only animals that visitors are permitted to bring are assistance animals.

There are also no facilities at the zoo for storing personal belongings such as bags and coats. The only ATMs at the zoo are located at the Visitor Center and Mane Restaurant.

It is advisable to check weather forecasts for inclement weather before visiting the zoo, as many of the attractions are outdoors. During hot weather, however, the zoo is well-equipped to provide protection with shade structures throughout the site and mist stations along Olmsted Walk.

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