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Western North Carolina Nature Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 75 Gashes Creek Rd, Asheville, NC 28805-2529
Phone Number:
+1 828-259-8080
Today
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of...

Visit the Western North Carolina Nature Center - home to over 60 species of animals including river otters, black bear, red wolves and cougars. The Western North Carolina Nature Center connects people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachian Mountain region by inspiring appreciation, nurturing understanding, and advancing conservation of the region's rich biodiversity. The Nature Center is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. Less than 220 facilities in the United States have met the high accreditation standards set by AZA

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 534 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 283
    Excellent
  • 182
    Very good
  • 52
    Average
  • 8
    Poor
  • 5
    Terrible
Just the right amount of fun.....don't expect a very large operation / nature center

Went with my entire family during the first week of January. I figure that the first week of January may be a "low season experience" for the nature center. As a result, I felt it... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
FIUPANTHER
,
Miami Lakes, Florida

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534 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 530: English reviews
Miami Lakes, Florida
Level Contributor
135 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Went with my entire family during the first week of January. I figure that the first week of January may be a "low season experience" for the nature center. As a result, I felt it was understaffed and extra activities (or shows) available were minimal. I was hoping that the kids would see some of the bigger animals "in action."... More 

Helpful?
Thank FIUPANTHER
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
244 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Limited number of animals, but all are native to this area. Pens are of decent size that allow you a good view of the animals while giving them somewhat of a decent size area to wander. Has petting zoo with goats, donkeys, sheep, etc.

Helpful?
Thank bumpkin13
Texas
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A very good family outing. Grandsons burn off energy while seeing animals. They were adding an activity area and bathrooms in the middle. That was much needed. Also somewhat accessible for our son in a wheelchair. Tricky entrance but think that is a part of renovation too. That was also needed.

Helpful?
Thank dlswi
Level Contributor
61 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

This was a great spot for families. Our two year old son loved it. The animals were all rescued. Not expensive and enjoyable to any age.

Helpful?
Thank Ashowers08
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
35 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was our 2nd visit in 3 years to the WNC. Very easy to locate as there are several routes that have signage; easy to enter and park. Allow at least one hour, two is better for discovering all that is offered here. We loved seeing the fox, coyotes and wolves (red and white) up close and personal. The petting... More 

Helpful?
Thank MCKILLIS
Asheville, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This is such a sweet little place. Lots of stops between animals for the kids to play and the animals were up close and personal. Exhibits are great.

Helpful?
Thank msfinch2005
Long Island, NY
Level Contributor
49 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 December 2016

I am ashamed to say that after all the times I've visited family in Asheville, this is the first time I've been to the Nature Center....it was wonderful. Of course, the beautiful weather and first day free from smoke haze helped. The animals are all housed in huge fenced areas that closely resemble natural habitats. It was fun trying to... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Hydrokitty
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2016 via mobile

The Nature Center is a great place to visit with children. Well used space that sprawls over many acres of land. Lots of activity spaces!

Helpful?
Thank tostle
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Level Contributor
50 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2016

So, on the way to the CMA Awards in Nashville, TN, we wanted to have a stopping point where our young kids could get out and run around and have fun and the Western North Carolina Nature Center was perfect for this! The combination of animal exhibits combined with things like the gem mining made this a great time (although... More 

Helpful?
Thank MarshallTFoster
Lumberton, North Carolina
Level Contributor
205 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2016

I have mixed feelings about places like this. Seeing animals out of their element, confined in "natural" settings... it's weird and feels wrong. They had raccoons at this place... why? I see those all the time in rural parts of town for free and they're in their natural element. I'm not saying don't go. I'm just not saying go.

Helpful?
1 Thank TheBogotano

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?