The mountains are home to many different species of animals that you may be able to spot while enjoying the natural beauty of North Georgia mountains.
However, if you don’t want to leave the wild animal sightings up to chance, there are also many animal-themed attractions in the mountains! Enjoy these zoos, parks, sanctuaries, and even some vineyards for a chance to see the animals up close!
Zoos in North Georgia
Whether you decide to visit a North Georgia zoo or one of the other unique attractions, these adorable and unforgettable animal experiences will provide lots of smiles for you and your family.
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve is home to over 100 exotic and native rescued animals. Self-guided tours on the bark chip paths take about an hour and a half. You are welcome to feed the animals (with approved food), but you do so at your own risk.
For a closer visit with the animals, try the animal encounter with tigers, zebra, bears, elk, and more!
There are picnic tables available to use at no extra charge, and you may bring your own packed lunch. Coke and Pepsi products are sold, but there is no human food for sale. Bathroom facilities are porta-potties.
Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo also offers a private animal encounter experience to have Breakfast with the Big Cats. You’ll be able to feed tigers, zebra, elk, emu, wolves, and more. This is $250 / person with a minimum of 2 people.
- HOURS: Open daily year round from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (last entry at 3:00 p.m.)
- COST: $10 Adults (ages 12+), $5 children (ages 1 – 11), infants under 1 are FREE
- ADDRESS: 469 Old Dahlonega Highway, Dahlonega, GA
Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm
This unique attraction allows visitors to meet the gentle alpaca up close. Educational tours introduce guests to alpaca origins and care and teach how their delightfully soft fiber is processed and used in wearables and art.
The tour also includes a visit to Lardworks Glass & Fiber studio gallery / store (appointments are required for either the farm visit and / or to shop in the store). There are also a handful of open house events throughout the year when no appointment is necessary.
- HOURS: By appointment only TEXT Holly at 706-897-2379 or use online form
- COST: No fees are charged but donations are appreciated
- ADDRESS: 106 Agape Dr, Blairsville, GA
North Georgia Zoo Cleveland GA & Paradise Valley Farm
At the North Georgia Zoo & Farm, you’ll enjoy visiting with large variety of animals including rare, mini, and unique farm animals. Wildlife Walks allow you to learn about exotic animals including lemurs, kangaroos, wildcats, and more. Kids always enjoy pony rides and bottle feeding opportunities!
In addition to visiting the zoo and the petting zoo, there are a wide variety of animal encounters and specialty experiences available from $45 (+ zoo admission) and up! Just some of the fantastic options include:
Plus, the North Georgia Zoo also offers options like “Zoo to You”, Zoo Overnight programs, pony rides, and many special events. The North Georgia Zoo is definitely a rare treat that you will not want to miss!
- HOURS (Seasonal): Friday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- COST (zoo): $23 adult (ages 12+), $21 children (ages 2-11), infants are FREE
- COST (petting farm only): $8 adult (ages 12+), $6 children (ages 2-11), infants are FREE
- ADDRESS: 2912 Paradise Valley Rd, Cleveland, GA
Discounts are also available for:
- Using this coupon for $1.00 off
- Groups of 15+ (10% discount / paid in advance)
- Church bulletin discount ($ off discounts for visits on same day of bulletin)
- Resident discount (10% off for residents of White, Lumpkin, and Habersham counties)
- Military and 1st Responder (10% discount)
- Donation days
Other Animal Groups in the Georgia Mountains
For a fun animal experience on a smaller scale, check out these attractions in the North Georgia mountains!
Build An Ark Animal Rescue
Build an Ark is a farm animal rescue and hospice sanctuary. The group provides a foster home to baby sheep, goats, rams, alpaca, ponies, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, baby chicks, dogs and cats, and many more animal species. Build an Ark allows them to roam and have a peaceful existence in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains at Coosawattee River Resort in Ellijay. Most baby animals are available to be adopted out though some are sponsored to live here by their owners.
Visitors and volunteers are welcome, but you must call to schedule your visit. There are photos and more information on their facebook page, but note that the page is not monitored frequently, so do not try to contact them via facebook.
- HOURS: Call in advance (706) 276-3313 to confirm hours, as they occasionally take a short break for farm maintenance
- ADDRESS: 27 Eagle Mountain Dr, Ellijay, GA
Goats on the Roof
This roadside attraction is more of a gift shop and cafe than a zoo, but you can still stop by to pet the goats. There is also a small playground for kids.
- HOURS: 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (CLOSED Tuesdays)
- ADDRESS: 3026 Hwy. 441 S., Tiger GA
In business since 1984, Wet Pets is a premier facility for koi and water gardening. Stop in for a unique opportunity to learn more about koi and have the fish eat directly from your hand!
- HOURS (Seasonal): THU – MON from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (March 15 – November 1)
- Closed TUE – WED
- Call 706-865-7190 for appointment in Winter
- ADDRESS: 1085 Mountain Cove Rd, Dahlonega, GA
BONUS – other animals in the Georgia Mountains
Finally, although the animals at these vineyards aren’t the main attraction, there are some beautiful animals that live on site!
- Cavender Creek includes their animal mascots on their labels (dogs, chickens, & donkeys)
- Crane Creek Vineyards has guinea hens and beautiful free range chickens
- Fainting Goat Vineyards & Winery has fainting goats (of course!)
- Frogtown Cellars has a beautiful koi pond
- Paradise Hills has goats in a yard next to their tasting room
What are your favorite places to enjoy time with animals in the North Georgia mountains?