Reference Points

August 10, 2008|By Chicago Tribune

America's Best Zoos: A Travel Guide for Fans and Families Intrepid Traveler, $15.95

It is an undisputed fact and yet it still seems surprising: Zoos in the United States attract more annual visitors than all spectator sports combined. Of course, some zoos are more famous than others, such as Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Fla., and the San Diego Zoo. But most zoos are not that celebrated and, although popular as the statistics attest, they are considered more a perfect choice for schoolchildren on a field trip and families on a Saturday afternoon rather than as a bona fide tourist attraction. But as authors Allen W. Nyhuis and Jon Wassner assert, all zoos are not alike. "Each zoo is different," they point out. America's Best Zoos features in-depth descriptions of 60 of them, from featured exhibits to attractions that appeal to children.

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