Suddenly, the Honolulu Zoo is Worth Your Time!
For a lot of years now, the Honolulu Zoo has been considered by Hawaii residents as a nice little zoo well worth visiting. It’s not expensive by national standards. The average United States zoo charges $37 for a family of four, the Honolulu Zoo charges $18.
But things have been happening, and suddenly the Honolulu Zoo is rated by The Intrepid Traveler, a travel publishing company, as being among the best in the whole country.
Visitor numbers to the zoo are up, the operating budget has been increased, and dramatic additions and improvements have been made. The Keiki (Kids’) Zoo, a $5.1 million complex that opened in 2006, has been a regular hit among families with its interactive displays, including a koi pond with a tunnel that kids can climb through. A new veterinary hospital, an improved orangutan exhibit and a second tiger exhibit with space for a mother to raise cubs are among the zoo’s recent projects.
Zoo annual attendance has increased by more than 100,000 over the past five years, and about half of the zoo’s visitors now are tourists.
The tourist attendance is not surprising. The zoo is within easy walking distance from all the Waikiki hotels, the weather is almost always perfect for ambling through the zoo’s splendors, and neighboring Kapiolani Park, at the foot of Diamond Head, is always a great place to be. The Waikiki Aquarium, founded in 1904, is the third oldest public aquarium in the United States, and it’s in the same neighborhood.