Zoos and Animal Attractions in the Georgia Mountains
The Georgia mountains are home to many different animal species that you may be able to spot while enjoying the natural beauty of North Georgia mountains. However, if you don’t want to leave your wild animal sightings up to chance, there are also many animal-themed attractions in the North Georgia mountains! Enjoy these zoos, parks, animal sanctuaries, and even some vineyards for a chance to see the animals up close!
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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 in Dahlonega
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 in Blairsville
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 (& Paradise Valley Farm) in Cleveland
At the North Georgia Zoo & Farm, you’ll enjoy visiting with a 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:
- Camel encounter
- Cougar & Friends
- Gator Swim
- Monkeys & Friends
- Owl & Friends
- Reptile encounter[/left] [right]
- Sloth experience
- Tropical Birds
- VIP Otter Splash
- Wolf experience
- Wolf puppy
- Young Fennec Fox
- Zebra & Friends
- HOURS (Seasonal): Friday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Saturday 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 $1.00 off
- Groups of 15+ (10% discount / paid in advance)
- Teachers (10% discount)
- Church bulletin discount ($ off discounts for visits on the same day of bulletin)
- Local resident discount (10% off for residents of White, Lumpkin, and Habersham counties)
- Military and First Responder (10% discount)
- Donation days
If you are interested in purchasing an animal, the Paradise Valley Farm is North Georgia’s home of miniature, unique livestock, exotic pets, and pocket pets!
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!
Animal Meet-and-Greet Events at Amicalola Falls Lodge
Although these events do not happen each weekend, check with the park to attend one of their Ambassador Animal meet-and-greets.
- On select Saturdays, visitors can meet a bird of prey from 10:00 am – 10:30 am in the lodge’s main lobby
- On select Sundays, visitors can meet a reptile from 10:00 am – 10:30 am in the Visitor’s Center
No reservations are required. Donations made at the events benefit and help care for these animals. For more information about the program, call +1 (706) 265-1969.
Build An Ark Animal Rescue in Ellijay
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.
- 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
Dahlonega Buttery Farm in Dawsonville
Experience a variety of butterflies up close in the tropical conservatory while learning about their lifecycle. Talk with one of the guides or walk through the outdoor caterpillar habitat! Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in the outdoor garden. Discounts available for groups of 12 or more people. Take a class to learn more about designing landscapes and gardening.
- Phone: +1 (706) 867-9473
- Address: 427 Castleberry Bridge Road, Dawsonville, GA
Dillard House Petting Farm Zoo in Dillard
Enjoy this petting farm zoo or take a pony ride at the Dillard House stables.
- Phone: +1 (800) 541-0671
- Address: 768 Franklin Street, Dillard, GA
Georgia Mountain Falconry in Dahlonega
Explore the fascinating world of falconry at Georgia Mountain Falconry in Dahlonega. Whether you want an educational program, workshop, apprentice academy, or a raptor experience, this service provides all of the above!
Browse services online which include a Raptor Encounter at Montaluce Vineyards with hawks, falcons, and owls! Watch the Facebook page for free falconry events at local parks.
- Phone: +1 (404) 538-4355
Goats on the Roof in Tiger
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 on Tuesdays
- Address: 3026 Hwy. 441 S., Tiger GA
Project Chimps in Morganton
Project Chimps is a sanctuary for chimpanzees that have been retired from medical research. The sanctuary is not open with regular hours, but they do offer special events throughout the year.
- Phone: +1 (706) 374-3675
- Visit during a special event including
Wet Pets in Dahlonega
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 an appointment in Winter
- ADDRESS: 1085 Mountain Cove Rd, Dahlonega, GA
BONUS – other places to find 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 animal mascots from their wine labels (dogs, chickens, & donkeys) roam around the vineyard
- Crane Creek Vineyards colorful guinea hens and beautiful free-range chickens
- Fainting Goat Vineyards & Winery has fainting goats (of course!)
- Frogtown Cellars has a beautiful koi pond on the way into the tasting room
- Paradise Hills has goats on-site — often in a yard next to the tasting room
Be prepared for a full day of fun with the animals by carrying along these products:
What are your favorite places to enjoy time with animals in the North Georgia mountains?