The Lion's Share

Wild San Antonio institution among the world's hottest attractions

Wild San Antonio institution among the world's hottest attractions

San Antonio Zoo baby lion cubs Tony Parker names Axelle Josh TP November 2015
It's not just baby lions that have world travelers flocking to San Antonio. San Antonio Zoo/Facebook

Before we go any further, it's not the Alamo. Online vacation planning giant TripAdvisor tallied the hottest experiences in the world in 2017, and nestled among Paris' Eiffel Tower, Rome's ancient ruins, and Amsterdam's Anne Frank House is one of Alamo City's favorite attractions: the San Antonio Zoo.

The San Antonio Zoo landed at No. 10 on the most popular new experiences added in 2017 for global travelers. What makes the zoo so special, says TripAdvisor, is that it gives visitors the opportunity to "explore the diverse exhibits that feature animals from around the world." It also points to the zoo's "Africa Live," "Cranes of the World," and "Amazonia" exhibits as especially worth the trip.

According to TripAdvisor, San Antonio's ranking is based on year-over-year growth in bookings between 2016 and 2017, meaning more people searched for and booked general admission tickets to the zoo than virtually any other experience on earth. And with the city's tricentennial celebration in full swing, it's a safe bet that the lauded zoo will see even higher attendance in 2018.

In its year-end trend report, the company said that iconic tourist sites remain popular, but travelers are increasingly interested in immersive experiences such as zoos over traditional tourist sites. Other trends include skip-the-line passes; restaurant and culinary experiences; and aquatic activities such as snorkeling, sailing, and canoeing trips. 

The San Antonio Zoo was joined on the list by other sought-after experiences like priority access to the Eiffel Tower (No. 1); Ancient Monuments of Rome Tour (No. 2), and skip-the-line passes for the Florence Accademia Gallery and Michelangelo's David (No. 5).