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Visit Local Institutions

Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, Washington, DC
Approximately 1 hour from Baltimore

Always free of charge, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of Washington DC’s, and the Smithsonian’s, most popular tourist destinations, with nearly 2 million visitors from all over the world each year. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Today, the Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and is home to nearly 1,800 animals representing more than 360 species.

The Zoo’s commitment to conservation, research and education extends to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, located in nearby Front Royal, Virginia on a sprawling 3,200-acre campus. SCBI scientists and animal care experts conduct veterinary and reproductive research to save wildlife and habitats for some of the world’s most endangered animals — more than 270 animals representing 20 species. 

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute leads the Smithsonian’s global effort to save species, better understand ecosystems and train future generations of conservationists. Its scientists also work in field stations around the world. More than 200 scientists and their partners in more than 30 countries create and share knowledge to aid in the survival and recovery of species and their habitats. Findings from these studies provide critical data for the management of captive populations and valuable insights for the conservation and management of wild populations. Collectively, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute care for more than 2,000 animals representing more than 380 species.


ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park, Hershey, PA
Approximately 1.5 hours from Baltimore

ZooAmerica® North American Wildlife Park is a home for more than 200 animals native to the continent of North America. We are located on 11 acres of landscape featuring native plants and landscaping in Hershey, PA – situated in-between the thrills of Hersheypark® and the chocolate-making business of The Hershey Company. Visit us for an adventure into the wild of North America today!

ZooAmerica® is offering free admission to all Conference attendees. Just show your conference badge for entry!


Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA & Adventure Aquarium, Camden, NJ
Approximately 2 hours from Baltimore

Animals are on the move like never before at Philadelphia Zoo with Zoo360, a first-in-the-world system of see-through trails passing through treetops, crossing over pathways and connecting habitats, giving animals like amazing big cats and majestic primates the opportunities to travel and explore. Visit western lowland gorillas, giraffes, white rhino, red pandas, Amur tigers and more at America’s first Zoo. Explore a 42-acre garden and enjoy award-winning exhibits Philadelphia Zoo is one of the region's foremost conservation organizations and home to nearly 1,700 animals, many rare and endangered. Philadelphia Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Adventure Aquarium is home to more than 15,000 aquatic animals exhibited throughout two million gallons of water and offers unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experiences like up-close animal encounters, the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, and the longest shark bridge in the world. Some of the Aquarium’s most unique residents include a great hammerhead shark, a colony of endangered African penguins, and our Nile beauties Button and Genny – the only hippos in the world to be exhibited at an aquarium. As a three-decade-long accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) for more than 30 years, Adventure Aquarium is held to the highest standards in animal care and exhibition.

The Philadelphia Zoo and Adventure Aquarium are hosting a joint Pre-Conference Tour on Saturday, August 27. Additional $75 fee is required. Fee includes transportation and meals.

National Aquarium Animal Care and Rescue Center, Baltimore, MD

Explore the National Aquarium's Animal Care and Rescue Center on a guided tour that allows you to travel behind the scenes at this state-of-the-art facility that opened in May 2018. Learn about the dedication our staff provides to our animals to ensure they receive the best care possible, discover how National Aquarium Animal Rescue cares for sick and injured marine animals before returning them to their ocean home and peek into our exhibit fabrication shop. This tour will allow you to experience the National Aquarium in a new way and shed light on the most important work we do—caring for the world's aquatic treasures and inspiring others to do the same.

The National Aquarium is hosting a morning and afternoon joint Post-Conference Tour on Friday, September 2. Additional $20 fee is required. Fee includes transportation.


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