There are so many sanctuaries and refuges now that your options to see animals are not just limited to going to an overpriced zoo. Many of these spots exist to educate and inform the public on the endangered creatures that could have gone extinct if it wasn't for the havens. Believe it or not, llama wineries in North Carolina are not the only fun animal experiences this spring.
Lazy 5 Ranch
Address: 15100 Mooresville Rd., Mooresville, NC
Why You Need To Go: You'll ride on an open-air wagon ride that last up to an hour and hand-feed many exotic animals while you're on it. You can even take your own car and animals will come up to your window.
Red Wolf Howling Safari
Address: Milltail Rd., East Lake, NC
Why You Need To Go: You'll get taken right into the Red Wolf refuge and your tour guide will attempt to get these wolves howling for you.
Sylvan Heights Bird Park
Address: 500 Sylvan Heights Park Way, Scotland Neck, NC
Why You Need To Go: This little spot is home to many exotic birds and to the largest waterfowl species in the world. You can get up close and pet and feed a flamingo
Duke's Lemur Center
Address: 3705 Erwin Rd., Durham, NC
Why You Need To Go: You'll be able to learn about these highly endangered animals and see them playing and living in their natural habitat.
Address: 4400 Cook Rd., Rockwell, NC
Why You Need To Go: This spot's mission is to protect these endangered creatures and their habitats mimic what it would be like out in the wild. You can watch them get fed on a guided tour, or you can take a self-guided tour and spend as much time as you want here.
North Carolina Estuarium
Address: 223 E Water St., Washington, NC
Why You Need To Go: This is the world's first estuarium (where freshwater and saltwater mix together) and has more than 200 exhibits that include interactive and hands-on programs.