You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t love penguins. These cute, cuddly, and fun little (or big) birds have been featured in ads, commercials, logos, and even movies all around the world.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that one of the most popular animals to see at any zoo is the penguin exhibit. But, when it comes to penguins, not all zoo’s are created equal. In fact, if you’re desperate to get a great look at penguins, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to learn about the best zoos to see penguins.

Woodland Park Zoo


Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo is nationally known as one of the top zoo’s in the country to see penguins. Their penguin exhibit was awarded the Exhibit Achievement Award by the Association for Zoo’s & Aquariums a few years ago.

This zoo specifically focuses on Humboldt Penguins in their exhibit.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Penguin

A new 7 year old female blackfooted penguin (Spheniscus demersus) named Elizabeth, after Port Elizabeth in South Africa, on exhibit in the Splash Zone at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She is from the Knoxville Zoo. ©Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey Bay Aquarium, in Monterey, California is considered by many to be one of the best aquariums in the entire country. So, it should come as no surprise that they have an outstanding penguin exhibit.

Visit the Splash Zone and learn all about penguins, plus visitors can even feed them!

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Nothing like a quick swim to cool off on hot days like today!

A photo posted by Ripley’s Aquarium Gatlinburg (@ripleysaquarium) on

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Yup, it’s those Ripley’s of “Ripley’s Believe it or Not.” The good news is they have a really great penguin exhibit called the “Penguin Playhouse” in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee location. Not only you can get up close and personal with the penguins there, they also have a number of penguin activities.

If you have time, be sure to try out the “Painting with Penguins” experience.

St. Louis Zoo


The St. Louis Zoo has quite a bit of space devoted to their penguin exhibits. Dubbed the “Penguin and Puffin Coast” they have a total of six different species of penguins and puffins spread throughout the Penguin Cove and Puffin Bay.

You’ll see waterfall plunges, rocky coastlines, and cliffs that all simulate penguin habitats.

Indianapolis Zoo


The Indianapolis Zoo has a number of different penguins in their ocean exhibit including one of the largest species, the King penguin. The zoo allows visitors to really get a good look at penguins as they would live in their real life habitats with a special glass bottom area. This zoo has a ton of videos on YouTube featuring their penguins at play.

There you have it. These are out top five picks for the best zoos to see penguins.

So, the next time you’re out on the road on your vacation, be sure to swing by one of these penguin hot spots to get a glimpse of these creatures in action.

Have you been to any of these zoos or aquariums? What are some of your favorite zoos in your area for checking out penguins.