I have only seen a real live bear (translation: bear not in a zoo) only once in my life. My family was on vacation, I was ten, and the bear was so far away it looked like a moving speck of black mud. But it was a bear, and I was so excited I couldn't stop talking about it for weeks…months!
On a recent trip to Arizona, I'd heard of a place called, Bearizona. Really? It had to be a joke? Bearizona…in Arizona? Were there even bears in Arizona?
Now there are! Newly built in 2010, Bearizona, a drive through Wildlife Park, has to be one of the 'coolest' places I have ever been.
I took the family to Bearizona, in Williams Arizona, and saw so many 'real live' bears (this time up close - way up close) my kids were so wide-eyed and interested they didn't argue or fight with each other for over five hours!
Remember the film, Jurassic Park? Bearizona will give you the same excitement as you cross over through electric wood bridges and powerful metal gates to get into the secure animal areas. And please make sure you don't do anything stupid like open a window or try to feed a bear a French Fry from your teeth out of your window! The rules say "windows closed" for a reason.
There aren't just Bears in Bearizona! Check out the Arctic Wolf, Alaskan Tundra Wolf, American Burro, Bighorn Sheep, Black Bear, Bobcat, Brown Bison, Canadian Lynx, Sheep, Mountain Goats, Raccoons, Red Fox, Skunk, and White Bison.
After you do the drive, they even have a 'walking' area with more animals, shows and snack stands. And don't forget to wander through the farm with goats, pigs, horses, rabbits and sometimes, if you're lucky; brand new tiny baby animals. Kids can run around with the animals while Mom and Dad get to engage as well or just watch all the action happening around them!
And please don't miss the Raptor Show. There are three shows daily and will sure to be the 'other' highlight of your visit to Bearizona.
Located about an hour from the Grand Canyon and Sedona in the town of Williams. If you are anywhere near that area, or even anywhere in the state of Arizona, do not miss visiting this unique attraction, Bearizona!
Standup comedian, Laurie McDermott, is an award-winning columnist, travel writer and television host. Credits include; "The Bookie Mom," "Living With Jackie," Lifetime's "Mom Comics," the acclaimed radio show at Classic Hits 97FM, "For Lovers Only," and the new hilarious series "Road Mamas." To have Laurie host/perform at your next event, benefit or conference email her at email@example.com.