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Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium
Vacation Travel Guide

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium showing marine life

Visit a red wolf habitat, watch polar bears swim and see elephants in a simulated forest environment at this unique zoo and aquarium.

The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is home to one of the Northwest's most comprehensive collections of regional and international animals. Learn how this unique facility has helped to save the country’s red wolf population. Explore exhibits that recreate environments in Southeast Asia, the Arctic tundra and the Andes Mountains. Touch stingrays and small sharks in the South Pacific Aquarium.

Stop at the zoo’s Arctic Tundra exhibit to see polar bears swimming in a saltwater pool. This exhibit simulates a coastal environment similar to Point Hope in Alaska. Look for Arctic foxes, large muskox and reindeer.

The Asian Forest Sanctuary is an incredible 5-acre (2-hectare) complex that recreates a southern Asian environment. Head to one of the many viewing points to look for clouded leopards, a type of wildcat naturally found in the Himalayan foothills. Spot white-cheeked gibbons, Malayan tapirs and Indian crested porcupines.

Watch brightly colored fish swimming in the facility’s massive South Pacific Aquarium and catch one of the daily shark-feeding sessions. Find the North Pacific Aquarium to see ratfish, salmon and jellyfish. Interact with more than 100 budgies in the open-air, walk-through Budgie Buddies exhibit and go for a fun camel ride.

Learn how the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium was instrumental in the recovery of the red wolf, which was facing extinction in the late 20th century. Due to ongoing efforts by this facility and other organizations, the red wolf population has grown from 14 to over 250.

Visit during the holiday season to see the zoo’s famous Zoolights event, during which over half a million lights illuminate the grounds. The decorations include 3-D animal light displays, such as a 22-foot (7-meter) wide rock crab.

The remarkable Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is located within Point Defiance Park, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the center of Tacoma, Washington. Ample parking is provided at the facility as well as next to the Point Defiance Park entrance.

Get up-close with more than 300 different animal species at this imaginative zoo and aquarium.

Top Hotels Close to Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

The INN at Gig Harbor
The INN at Gig Harbor
3 out of 5
3211 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor, WA
The price is NT$4,045 per night from May 23 to May 23
Situated near the airport, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grandview Forest Park, Skansie Brothers Park, and Harbor History Museum. Performance Golf Center ...
4.3/5Excellent! (977 reviews)
"It was quiet and close to the party location"

Reviewed on 2021/5/16

The INN at Gig Harbor
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
1702 Narrows Drive, Tacoma, WA
Free Cancellation
The price is NT$2,898 per night from May 30 to May 30
Located in West End, this bed & breakfast is within 1 mi (2 km) of Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Titlow Park and 6th Ave are also within ...
4.2/5Very Good! (116 reviews)
"The property was located away from any businesses so it was very quiet and a great neighborhood. The owners were super nice and very helpful;)"

Reviewed on 2021/5/7

Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Hotel Murano
Hotel Murano
4.5 out of 5
1320 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$4,019 per night from May 23 to May 23
Located in Downtown Tacoma, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Pantages Theater, and Tacoma Art Museum. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (1,016 reviews)
"Very modern hotel. The artwork throughout is very cool. $18/night for self parking is a bit steep for an unsecured lot. The restaurant was unreachable for breakfast which was also disappointing. My room also had some issues with cleanliness and I did advise the front desk. I didn’t receive the Expedia ..."

Reviewed on 2021/5/18

Hotel Murano
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

Best Lodging Options Near Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

The INN at Gig Harbor
The INN at Gig Harbor
3 out of 5
3211 56th St. NW, Gig Harbor, WA
The price is NT$4,045 per night from May 23 to May 23
The INN at Gig Harbor
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
3 out of 5
1702 Narrows Drive, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$2,898 per night from May 30 to May 30
Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast
Hotel Murano
Hotel Murano
4.5 out of 5
1320 Broadway Plaza, Tacoma, WA
The price is NT$4,019 per night from May 23 to May 23
Hotel Murano
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
2.5 out of 5
6575 Kimball Drive, Gig Harbor, WA
The price is NT$4,525 per night from Jun 1 to Jun 1
Best Western Wesley Inn & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.