Visiting zoos, botanical gardens, safari parks, man farms and national wildlife refuges are great ways to get out and explore with our friends and families. You can admire the beautiful flowers, observe animals that you don’t often see in your daily life, and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
In our search to find the best sites across six categories, we invited a panel of experts to nominate their picks for the best, and now we need your help to determine the winners.
You can vote for your favorites once per day, per category until voting closes on Monday, March 4 at noon ET.
Click on each category below to vote:
Best botanical garden
Botanical gardens help educate about plant life as well as species conservation — Photo courtesy of traveler1116 / E+
From desert climates to Japanese gardens, these 20 stunning places—nominated by a panel of experts as the best botanical gardens in the United States—display vast collections of plant life, helping to enhance and preserve our planet’s plant diversity.
What is your favorite botanical garden?
vote: Best botanical garden »
Best dude ranch
Reconnect with nature on a farm vacation – Image courtesy of Urbancow / E+
Dating back to the late 1800s, dude ranches offer a vacation experience unlike any other. Guests are invited to escape into the countryside, discover farm life and enjoy the landscape around them. At these 20 ranches, selected by a panel of experts as the best in the United States, visitors enjoy activities like horseback riding, fishing, cattle drives, and campfires, as well as comfortable accommodations and delicious meals.
What dude ranch would you like to ride saddlebag on?
vote: Best dude ranch »
Best National Wildlife Refuge
Observe all kinds of animals in their natural habitats at these 20 wildlife refuges – Image courtesy of Mandy Fuller Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The U.S. National Wildlife Refuge System protects about 150 million acres of land and aquatic habitat from coast to coast, with at least one refuge in every state. The system’s 570 refuges, as well as 38 other wetland management areas, protect more than 220 species of mammals, 700 species of birds, more than 1,000 species of fish, and 250 species of reptiles and amphibians. 380 endangered plants and animals find refuge in these special places.
Our panel of experts has nominated 20 protected areas for Best National Wildlife Refuge, and now it’s your turn to vote. Which one is your best choice?
vote: Best National Wildlife Refuge »
Best safari park
Meet the animals – and even interact with them – at the safari parks – Image courtesy of Shalamov / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The safari and wildlife parks allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the world’s rarest and most endangered animals. These 20 safari parks – nominated by a panel of experts as the best in the country – aim to educate visitors about the animals and the threats their natural populations face, as well as encourage conservation efforts.
Which safari park would you like to explore more?
vote: Best Safari Park »
A visit to the zoo is a fun and educational outing for children and adults alike – Image courtesy of Juhla / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The United States is home to hundreds of zoos, including more than 200 facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Short of heading to the wild places of the world, nothing like a visit to the zoo to enhance appreciation for our planet’s amazing animal diversity.
A panel of experts has nominated our top 20 picks for the best zoos in the United States – facilities that excel in the areas of animal care and enrichment, while facilitating meaningful interactions between animals and human visitors. Now it’s your turn to determine the winners.
Which zoo is your favorite?
vote: Best zoo »
Best zoo exhibit
This zoo’s exhibits get top marks for their innovation – Image courtesy of kali9/E+
The best zoo exhibits not only educate visitors, but also engage them by transporting them to another place, whether that’s the foothills of the Himalayas, a Florida swamp, or the Australian outback.
But what are the country’s most impressive, immersive and informative zoo exhibits? We asked a panel of experts to nominate their top picks, and now we want you to decide the winners.
Which zoo exhibit is your favorite?
vote: Best Zoo Exhibit »
Remember, you can vote once per day in each category. The ten nominees with the most votes in each category will be announced on Friday, March 15.