send to printer

National Zoo, Cleveland Park/Tenleytown

District of Columbia, United States, North America: panda Tai Shan poses at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Fujifilm Giant Panda Habitat in Washington,
3001 Connecticut Avenue N.W.
Washington , D.C.
Tel: 202 633 4800's insider take:

Always a hit with kids, the National Zoo was founded in 1889 and absorbed into the Smithsonian Institution one year later. The leafy, 163-acre Frederick Law Olmsted–designed grounds in northwest Washington are home to over 400 species—from tiny leaf-cutter ants to four-ton Asian elephants. Late spring, when there are adorable baby animals to coo at (and before the swampy humidity sets in), is the best time to visit. Each April, the zoo celebrates all things panda with films, costumed characters, and keeper talks, but watching bamboo-eating Mei Xiang, Tian Tian, and their cub, Tai Shan, is a big draw year-round. In the Invertebrate Exhibit's touch tank, you can tickle the backs of sea stars, horseshoe crabs, and sometimes shoulder up to giant tarantulas (if you're gutsy enough). Parking is limited, but the Woodley Park–Zoo stop is just a 20-minute metro ride from downtown on the red line.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.