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!


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 & Zoo in the North Georgia Mountains

Chestatee Wildlife Preserve & Zoo in the North Georgia Mountains

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

Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm in the North Georgia Mountains

Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm in the North Georgia Mountains

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:

North Georgia Zoo Cleveland in the Georgia Mountains

North Georgia Zoo Cleveland in the Georgia Mountains

Plus, the North Georgia Zoo also offers options like Zoo to You, pony rides, Zoo Overnight, and many special events. The North Georgia Zoo is a rare treat that you will not want to miss!

  • 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

Goats on the Roof in Tiger, GA

Goats on the Roof in Tiger, GA

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.


Wet Pets in Dahlonega

Wet Pets Koi in the North Georgia Mountains

Wet Pets Koi in the North Georgia Mountains

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 Vineyards & Winery - GaMountainsGuide.com

Cavender Creek Vineyards & Winery – Sicilian Donkey


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?

26 Responses

  1. Smart English With Mizanur says:

    Hi, Alyce. 

    I am glad and very much desirous to walk through Georgia if there may happen any chance to visit there. The picture that you have drawn really grabs the attention of the visitors. 

    Georgia is home to a variety of natural animal species, but it’s nice to see the zoos with animals that don’t live in the area naturally. The North Georgia Zoos, Parks, Animals Sanctuaries, and Vineyards have a lot more to offer than I expected. So, overall it’s an awesome place to visit!

    • Alyce says:

      Hello Mizanur, It’s really nice to change pace for a bit and interact with animals. If you get the chance, definitely check out The North Georgia Zoo and their unique events that allow you to get up close with the animals. Enjoy!

  2. Joyce Easton says:

    How I wish I had visited the North Georgia Zoo more than once! It’s so amazing to know that almost similar climates are all over the place. I believe I’m going to have so many things to do on the mountain of North Georgia whenever I have the opportunity to pay a visit.

    It could be so funny that there are still countless people living in Georgia as we speak that haven’t visited the zoo, while many people from other states and foreign countries would have visited a couple of times in the past. I’ll surely come along with my 3-year-old Alsatian female dog. She’s been my companion all along. Thanks.


    • Alyce says:

      Hi Joyce, the North Georgia Zoo is definitely a special place, and they have come up with some really creative events that incorporate their amazing animals.

      I would caution against taking your dog to other exhibits involving animals though, as this interaction could upset the other animals (at least that is what I’ve been told when asking about local pet policies). Make sure to call ahead and ask about the pet policy to make sure that your sweet dog will be welcomed. 


  3. DorcasW says:

    Hello; I will definitely call for reservation before I venture out to any of the Georgia Mountain attractions. I enjoyed looking at the baby sheep and Goats. I am sure that a personal contact with them, as well as some other domestic animals, would revive every dead vibe in me.

     However, the cat and her young scares me. Touring the mountain path, for me would have to be heavily guarded, those Cats make me afraid!!!


    • Alyce says:

      Hi Dorcas, It’s great to have a healthy respect for the power of the wild animals, but in my experience cats usually seem to shy away… still, you definitely want to be prepared and smart about visiting their habitats!!

  4. Colleen says:

    I love the concept of your website! I had no idea that there was so much to do in the mountains of North Georgia! As I am reading over your description, I can not help but notice that we have similar climates. I am from Temecula, California, and wouldn’t you know that I live across the street from several Alpaca farms as well as several miles for countless wineries. I see that your wineries boast that animals walk freely around. Well, here, the most you will see are dogs roaming.

    I am particularly interested in visiting the North Georgia Zoo Cleveland and going on a Wolf Experience tour! As a native Southern Californian, I have been to the San Diego Zoo and The Wild Animal Park countless times, but they do not offer a wolf encounter. Thank you for the information! If I am ever to get to Alabama to see relatives, I am going to mention the mountains of North Georgia! How far away from Montgomery would this zoo be?  

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Colleen, I’d guess that Montgomery is about a 4 hour drive from the area, but you may want to give yourself extra time to stop and see things along the way. There are so many wonderful animal encounters at the North Georgia Zoo that look really unique and innovative. 

      I’m hoping to visit the San Diego Zoo some day, as they seem to be one of the best zoos in the country!

  5. Genia Ashley says:

    I love taking my kiddos to the zoo & animal sanctuary…We just have so much fun, watching them & how they live in captivity..

    There’s just so much you could learn when visiting either place…

    Plus wild animals end up living longer living in captivity than in the wild..

    But even though I’m from Georgia, I have never visited there attractions..So these will be on my list next time we hit out of state for our next vacation.

    Really good stuff to read..I very much enjoyed!!

    keep up the great work!

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Genia, I’m glad you’ve learned about some fun new places that you can explore in North Georgia. There are some really fun opportunities and family memories to make at these special animal exhibits!

  6. Tom says:

    Hi Alyce,

    It is always cool to see different animals on when travelling. I love zoos when it is obvious that the animals are happy and well looked after.The Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo looks like one I would like to visit with my family. My wife has had a thing for big cats since she went on safari in Kenya.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Tom, I agree with you wife and find cats to be absolutely fascinating and beautiful creatures. Even with the little one in my house, the energy is a fun thing to be around. 

  7. Jessie says:

    Thank you for the awesome post!  I love going to zoos around the Eastern part of America.  I take my kids to one at least once every six months!  My kids ages are two and one.  Speaking of that, which one of these attractions do you think would be good for a family of four?

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Jessie, The North Georgia Zoo is probably the biggest space so if your family is up for it, this would be a great way to spend the day. If you just want a shorter excursion then you may enjoy one of the faster / smaller attractions that won’t require too much focus from the little ones. I hope you all enjoy your trip!!

  8. Kara says:

    I have been researching and dreaming of places to go to see Tigers for YEARS now! It is number one on my dream vacation spots. I didn’t know there was a spot like this is Georgia, I am going to be adding this to one of my must-visit places for sure! Getting to feed them too!? AMAZING!!

    I am so glad you included the prices here as well as that is a huge deciding factor for me.

    I was just discussing with a co-worker the other day how lucky we are here in St. Louis to still have a completely FREE zoo.

    • Alyce says:

      Hi Kara, I am a huge fan of zoos and animal attractions as well — I love that you have a FREE zoo in the St Louis area!!

  9. Chloe says:

    The presence of animals in any vacation have been a very lovely means of fun for everyone especially kids. Who doesn’t want to see a big cat? So far information gathered by me about spending a vacation at the Georgia mountains have been really thrilling. With all honesty I’ll love to visit and have these experience of a lifetime. Thanks for sharing

    • Alyce says:

      I definitely enjoy time spent with animals, and as a cat person myself, having the chance to interact with the biggest ones is a very exciting option!

  10. John says:

    The lasso farm looks really cool like need need to go there. They do have some nice attractions there. Zooing has never been my thing but my sister has reainh made me like animals and I have affection for them. I will be visiting with my sister definitely. Thank you for the detailed information. Cheers!

  11. Henderson says:

    Who wouldn’t love to visits the lovely animals at the zoo. Its very nice that you can share this here. I really do love the zoo and I like seeing the animals. There is so much to choose from but I see one of them offers discounts so maybe that’s the one I’ll be going to with my famy. Nice one!

    • Alyce says:

      I agree — spending time with animals is lovely! Plus, there is a lot of great work being done by these zoos and rescue groups — your visit will help them continue their work with the animals. 

  12. Kevin says:

    I love the zoo! Unfortunately, I haven’t been to one for a while now. The last time was when I traveled to Washington D.C. which was a few months ago. The Chestatee Wildlife Preserve and Zoo looks very interesting, especially feeding the tigers. I’m assuming there are some precautions taken, but are you really up close to the tigers? Like to the point that you can touch them?

    • Alyce says:

      The “breakfast with the big cats” does require getting up close — you are basically there for their daily feeding in the morning. Whether or not you can touch them will “depend on their mood” (and yours).

  13. Furkan says:

    It is good that you listed these zoos. My little cousin wants to go to a zoo and I want to do that for his birthday. Chestate Wildlife Preserve is open every day and it is quite close where my cousin lives. I can take him and just go there in 20 minutes. Seriously thanks for suggestions.

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