The Oregon Zoo (4001 SW Canyon Rd., 503/226-1561, www.oregonzoo.org, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily Apr. 15–Memorial Day and Labor Day–Sept. 15, 8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily Memorial Day–Labor Day, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily Sept. 16–Apr. 14, $10 ages 12–64, $9 seniors, $7.50 children 3–11) has nine major exhibits representing various geographic areas of the world, including African rain forests and savannahs, Amazon flooded forests, and Pacific Northwest woodlands.
The Oregon Zoo collection contains over 1,000 individual animals representing 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. The zoo is especially noted for its elephant program, which has one of the most successful breeding programs in the world.
The Oregon Zoo features two year-round eating establishments, a series of educational events for children, and summer-only zoo concerts (503/280-2493, www.oregonzoo.org/Concerts/, late June–late Aug., $11–22). The zoo is easily reached from the Blue and Red MAX light rail lines, or via the number 63 bus from downtown.
If you’re planning on visiting both the Oregon Zoo and the International Rose Test Gardens, consider linking these two family-favorite sites along the 30-inch narrow-gauge Washington Park and Zoo Railway, a two-mile rail service through Washington Park’s dense forests. Riders aged 4 and up pay $5 for the ride; as the train’s upper station is within the zoo precincts, riders who board the train at the rose gardens must also purchase admission to the zoo. The train operates daily Memorial Day–late September, weather permitting; call 503/226-1561 for more information.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel