During our long weekend in Jonesborough, TN we found ourselves with a free half day and went searching for a way to fill it. While browsing online we came across the Brights Zoo, located about 20 minutes outside of Jonesborough in Limestone, TN. After a bit of research and checking out some limited yet very positive reviews on Yelp, we decided it may be something we would want to share with all of you and decided to visit. And boy, are we glad we did.
QUICK INFO ABOUT BRIGHTS ZOO
About: Brights Zoo is privately owned and is dedicated to the long-term conversation of animals by way of education and propagation. The zoo has had success breeding species of protected animals and is committed to spreading information about the animals through their entertaining programs and beautiful habitats.
Location: Limestone, Tennessee about 7 miles outside of Jonesborough and 15 miles outside of Johnson City.
How to get there: Visit the website for specific directions. Using GPS/Google Maps is not recommended.
Notable highlights: Lorikeet encounter, giraffe feeding, goat petting and feeding, beautiful landscaping and wide sidewalks with plenty of shade, friendly staff
OUR EXPERIENCE AT BRIGHTS ZOO
We arrived as soon as the gates opened on a sunny September weekend.
It's fantastic for bringing the kiddos!
Much of the zoo consists of open expanses of green farmland. The sidewalks are wide with plenty of shade for warmer days.
We were able to get right up close to many of the animals. Pretty much all of the animals were out and about on the day that we visited, it was wonderful. Here's a list of all of the animals available at Brights Zoo.
I enjoyed the walk through the beautiful landscape just as much as seeing the animals. It felt like strolling through a community park. Brights Zoo is a hidden treasure and we're so glad we found this place to share with you all so others can enjoy it, too.
The reticulated giraffe exhibit is one of the major highlights of the zoo. There are several time slots each day for feeding the giraffes (extra charge, purchase voucher at the ticket desk). The sweet animals aren't skittish around humans and came right up to the fence to greet us.
The property and the condition and demeanor of the animals emits the vibe that they lead a safe and well cared for existence at Brights Zoo.
We witnessed some of the zoo workers tending to their chores while we took a nursing break for our baby on a shaded bench. They didn't see us sitting there, so I guess you could say we eavesdropped a little bit. The workers spoke with the animals with genuine love and affection and an obvious passion for their job. It was a nice thing to see.
Mister Man had a great time. There weren't any crowds during our visit, though we did see a couple of classes of younger children visiting during a field trip. Brights Zoo really is a wonderful destination with kids.
His expression says it all!
I didn't take pictures of everything we saw - I'll leave some surprises.
Oh, what a sweetie this little guy (girl?) was. As we walked along the enclosure he/she pranced along beside us, keeping up with us step for step.
Since last summer, Jasper has had 3 goat encounters. Because of these experiences, goats are among his favorite animals. So you can imagine his excitement to see that Brights Zoo has a goat feeding and petting area. Make sure to buy a bag of goat feed (~$1 for a generous size bag) in the main office when you arrive if you plan to feed the goats.
The goat enclosure is quite large and runs up the side of a hill just off of the main pathway. There are lots of goats of all sizes and shapes, all eager for some nibbles. Speaking of, watch your clothes, because they're not picky about what it is that they are nibbling on!
Your fingers will be nice and slobbery when you're finished, but there are sanitizing stations nearby to clean up a bit before hitting a bathroom for a proper hand wash.
Beautiful Eurasian Lynx.
The Zoo had an impressive population of birds that includes an interactive lorikeet exhibit that is open during certain times of the day.
If you're exploring Jonesborough or other nearby areas, I recommend making a stop at Brights Zoo. You won't regret visiting this beautiful place!
See our other Jonesborough posts: click here