The Salisbury Zoo – Free Admission & Parking
Part of the 100 Things to Do Between the Bridge and the Beach series
The Salisbury Zoo on the Eastern Shore of Maryland is one of five year-round zoos in North America that has free admission and free parking. A true gem on Delmarva, the zoo primarily features animals from North and Central America. All of the animals live in a natural setting and are well attended by a full time staff.
The Zoo is actually a part of a larger City Park. It got its start back in 1954 when some animals were placed on permanent exhibition in the park. Since then the zoo has been expanded with wide, paved, shaded paths and enclosures that mirror the species’ natural habitat.
This 1.5 minute video gives a good overview of the zoo’s layout and animal family.
Bears, wallabies, jaguars, otter, bison, prairie dogs, llamas, wolves, monkeys, flamingos and many other different bird species are part of the animal clan that calls the Salisbury Zoo home. The most popular seem to be the otters, bears and cougars. New additions this year are the Wallabies from Australia and 9 new Alpacas. The Andean Bear is also supposed to get a new female mate this year.
All the animals in the zoo were born into a managed care environment with the exception of the Bald Eagle. He was wounded. Visitors can see that his wing is broken. He was rescued and given a shelter in the zoo where he can live and thrive in a protected environment.
This summer the zoo opened The Beastro, a concessions stand with food, drinks and snacks including hot dogs, pizza and soft ice cream. The Ocelot Spot Gift Shop is located near the zoo entrance and it carries a good variety of gift type items including stuffed animals that resemble zoo celebrities like the jaguar and flamingos. Public bathrooms are also available
I’ve been taking my grandchildren to this zoo since they were babies. Mothers, babies, strollers, wagons and toddler riding toys are at home here. Today my kids and their kids love it just as much as ever, and I do too. I never get tired of being in this special part of Delmarva that’s been carved out for these furry and feathered creatures. There’s a welcoming, happy karma in this place. If you want to cheer yourself up …. head on out to this zoo and just take a walk. You can’t be sad here.
It’s easy to spend a few hours. Download a zoo map from the Salisbury Zoo website and get familiar with the pathways, so you don’t miss anything.
The interpretive signage that appears near the animals’ zoo habitat is helpful, interesting and full of information. The jaguar, for example is the largest feline in the world after the lion and tiger. The Andean Bear paces back and forth and there’s signage that tells why. There’s signage that describes the eating habits of prairie dogs and the sleeping habits of the ocelot.
The Salisbury Zoo is part of the Salisbury City Park – a large contiguous stretch of land (113 acres) along the Beaver Dam Creek with many amenities. It’s owned and operated by the City of Salisbury. The park includes the zoo, ball fields, lighted tennis courts, picnic areas and pavilions, hiking and biking trails, paddle boat rentals and a lighted horseshoe court.
BEN’S RED SWINGS PLAYGROUND
The second best thing in the City Park (the Zoo being the best) is the Ben’s Red Swings playground. This is large, fenced playground with slides, swings, forts, games, sand boxes, benches and even a misting station for when it gets hot. The playground equipment is modern and serves a wide range of ages. Toddlers through elementary school.
Ben’s Red Swings is located just outside the zoo, so it’s easy to make visiting this great playground part of the zoo outing.
The Salisbury Zoo is located about 30 minutes from Ocean City, MD. It’s an easy day trip for those visiting the beach.
SALISBURY ZOOLOGICAL PARK
755 South Park Drive
PO Box 2979
Salisbury, MD 21802
Wicomico County -38° 21.667 N and 075° 35.037 W
HOURS: Every day 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Christmas and Thanksging
100 Things to Do Between the Bridge and the Beach
Every year millions of people cross a bridge to travel to the Atlantic Beaches on Delmarva. It may be the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel or a bridge over the Delaware Canal. They may be headed to Ocean City, Chincoteague, Rehoboth, Bethany, Dewey or Assateague, but most don’t know about the fabulous sites and attractions they are passing by. This series offers 100 fun things you can do between the Bridge and the Beach encouraging visitors to pull off the highway, take a day trip, and widen your vacation scope of activities – or make the Eastern Shore a destination when you’re not headed for the beach.