The award-winning zoo is home to more than 2,000 animals that represent more than 350 species from around the world. The gardens were hailed by "Horticulture" magazine as one of "10 Gardens That Inspire" and by HGTV channel as one of "20 Great Public Gardens Across America." Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is open daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
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You will definitely want to visit the West Columbia entrance of the Botanical Gardens! There are many local restaurants near this entrance. The parking lot at this entrance features a covered picnic area, where you can enjoy your local food purchase! Note: Outside food cannot be taken into the Botanical Gardens.
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The trail that you can access from the Botanical Gardens will take you through the historical ruins of the Saluda Factory along the Saluda River. Butterflies and birds will follow you along a shaded, rustic path to a grand bridge over the river with great views! You can access the Zoo from this bridge as well. Note: Some parts of this trail are not ADA accessible due to steps.