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Western North Carolina Nature Center

#13 of 188 things to do in Asheville Features Animals
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
Review Highlights
Love this place!

We visit the nature center every time we're in Asheville. Though small, the ticket price is... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Nashville, Tennessee
Nice little afternoon adventure

loved watching the otters play here. My children ages 6 and 8 had a blast here seeing all the... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Katie L
Greer, South Carolina
Read all 577 reviews
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Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region's rich biodiversity. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Less than 220 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA
  • Excellent56%
  • Very good33%
  • Average9%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“petting zoo” (62 reviews)
“small zoo” (19 reviews)
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 10:00 - 17:00
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
+1 828-259-8080
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Reviews (577)
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1 - 10 of 577 reviews

Reviewed 4 days ago

We visit the nature center every time we're in Asheville. Though small, the ticket price is extremely affordable, and it's a great place to walk around. I'll keep visiting just for the otters (though a heads-up that they aren't always on display/active in cooler temps.)

Thank Aligrew
Reviewed 5 days ago

loved watching the otters play here. My children ages 6 and 8 had a blast here seeing all the beautiful animals. Not too long to walk and well maintained area.

Thank Katie L
Reviewed 5 days ago

A great place to spend a few hours enjoying the walking and seeing the animals. There are things inside and out. Entertaining for all ages. Will be back

Thank Rockystheman
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

So glad to find this place. Not exactly a zoo, but more than a petting zoo, good for little ones, and was perfect for my know it all 13 year old. 2 hours was enough time for us to see it all and enjoy ourselves....More

Thank wendip165
Reviewed 5 days ago

Great place to enjoy nature and watch the animals! Really wonderful for kids. The animals seem happy and well taken care of.

Thank julu74
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

We visited on a Tuesday afternoon and were amazed by the variety of animals in a smaller nature center. We received free tickets due to being members of an aquarium at home, but would pay to go back for sure! We saw turtles, frogs, snakes,...More

Thank Ryan C
Reviewed 1 week ago

I'm an adult that loves animals, so I go to see them. The nature center was small and had a handful of animals. Luckily, it was not expensive. About $11, we were there for an hour. Most animals are small. I enjoyed seeing the bears...More

Thank jcsmithica
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It had a lot of things for kids and was really fun. They had lots of animals to see and it was very shaded so no one was too hot.

Thank Jailynn B
Reviewed 1 week ago

Loved seeing the otters. They are so much fun. This place is in the middle of expansion and renovation. Sort of expensive but we had fun. Kids can pan for "gold" which was also fun.

Thank lesleyc64
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

A group of 9 of us ranging in age from 3-70 visited most of the morning. Everyone enjoyed the scenery, exercise and animals. In addition, the youngest participated in special play areas giving older ones a chance to rest. The "Otter Falls" was excellent. The...More

Thank Elaine H
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
We're planning a summer trip to Asheville, and we want to take our son to the nature center. About how much time should I plan for it to take, going through at a leisurely pace with a toddler?
1 March 2017|
Response from FriendsofWNCNC | Property representative |
Hi! I would plan for about 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the interest of your toddler. There are quite a few Nature Play areas where your little one can explore and play in addition to the animals, so plan to stop on your way... More
Crystal M
We are members of FL Aquarium and I see you are on their reciprocal list, What's the discount for admission?
18 July 2016|
Answer Show all 5 answers
Response from Jnnfrguy99 | Reviewed this property |
We got in free with our pass from our local museum.