When you think of Miami, you may think of the party atmosphere and warm climate. Certainly this city is a destination for people looking to relax and get away from their jobs for a fun vacation, but what many people don’t know or appreciate is that Miami is known for its exotic animals. People travel all over the world to Miami to see animals that cannot be found anywhere else. The following are three places to see animals in the Miami area.

everglades alligator farmVisit the Alligator Farm

When people think of southern Florida, they think of the everglades, and when people hear the word everglades, they think of swamps and alligators. If you are like everyone else, you should consider a trip to The Everglades Alligator Farm. You will get a feel for what wildlife is like in the everglades, especially alligators. Up close and personal, you can experience an alligator show as well as see them consume their meals at their daily feedings. There is also a snake show, and the farm has a walking trail, so you can see everything they have to offer. Even if you have seen alligators up close before, the airboat tours are worth the trip. These airboats are used extensively in the everglades, and you can get a tour of a portion of the everglades from one of these boats by a professional airboat operator and tour guide. The Everglades Alligator Farm is located in Homestead just south of Miami.

miami seaquariumVisit Miami’s Seaquarium

Located in Miami, this aquarium contains many animals that are unique to the area. A perfect example is the manatee. These creatures are native to Florida, but are becoming endangered due to a loss of their natural environment as well as accidents involving motor boats. These gentle creatures can be seen up close as well as a variety of other marine animals like dolphins, killer whales and sea turtles. Along with the viewing area for animals in aquariums, there are also dolphin shows, where they perform a variety of tricks for an audience. One somewhat unique attraction to this aquarium is an interaction with dolphins. For a special price, you are allowed to touch and pet these intelligent creatures. A similar experience with sea lions is also available. There is plenty to do at Miami’s Seaquarium; most tourists make an entire day of this attraction.

miami monkey jungleVisit the Monkey Jungle

If you are intrigued by the interaction between man and dolphins or sea lions, then you are going to be absolutely thrilled with what awaits you at Monkey Jungle. This animal park revolves around a wide variety of primates, but what makes this place so interesting is how the primates live. They roam free in a wide open space, while people get to view them through cages that surround the people. The cages are essentially tunnels that permeate the living space of the primates, so the monkeys can look at people as if they are the ones in small cages. This is as close to observing monkeys in the wild as you will ever experience. There are several primates that have their own enclosures that enable tourists to feed them through specially designed feeding tubes. This is to protect both people and the monkeys.

There are many other places to visit while in the Miami area and even the list of places to see with animals include much more than the three mentioned above. You can get more information on various travel sites. Hipmunk’s guide to traveling to Miami Beach is one example.

This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, the most comprehensive travel search website allowing you to find the best deals on anything from flights and hotels to train rides and Homeaway rentals.