Discover creatures great and small at Emerald Coast Zoo in Crestview

September 12, 2018

A new aviary boasts 200 parakeets. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Off the beaten path just off of Highway 90 sits is a sweet little zoo with a variety of creatures great and small. Nestled along Deer Springs Drive in Crestview, Emerald Coast Zoo is a fun way to spend some family time learning about animals from across the world.

New owners Sara and Rick de Ridder have been working hard revitalizing the five-acre zoo. Purchased in 2017, the couple and their three children have been busy remodeling and making numerous enhancements. The zoo now boasts larger habitats and tender loving care has made it an inviting place to spend a few hours. You will enjoy seeing a variety of animals including a lion, Bengal tigers, a black bear, zebras, watusi, water buffalo, monkeys, donkeys, emus, ostriches, coyotes, birds, and more. A new aviary with 200 parakeets is the latest addition to the menagerie of animals.

“We want the zoo to be a place of peace and joy and we want the city of Crestview to be proud,” Sara said.

Future plans are to expand more habitats and fill the entire 10 acres of land available at their location. The zoo is available for a variety of activities including birthday parties, personal animal encounters, and volunteerism.

Emerald Coast Zoo is located at 5262 Deer Springs Drive, Crestview and is open Tuesday – Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For pricing and more information, go to