Plan Your Visit
We offer a variety of tours throughout the year, including special events and seasonal offerings. When you visit the Center, you’ll explore the park with one of our experienced and knowledgeable tour guides who love to share fun facts and silly stories about all the animals who call the Center home. All tours are by reservation only, so be sure to sign up before you arrive to ensure you have a spot!
To make the most of your visit to the Conservators Center, please take a moment to read about our different tours and select the best one for you.
Get Directions Finding directions to the Center is easy, just type “Conservators Center, Burlington, NC” into Google Maps or any up-to-date GPS navigation device or use our Directions page. You can also use our street address to find directions, 676 East Hughes Mill Road Burlington, NC 27217.
Come Prepared Make sure you’ve booked your reservation before you arrive. And save time at checkin by filling out our Tour Waiver and Photo Release form ahead of time!
Open Sunday - Saturday
- Reservations Required!
Frequently Asked Tour Questions
- Scheduling a Tour
- Do you have handicapped access?
- What Is Your Tour Path Like?
- Calendar of Events
- What Should I Wear?
- Can I Take Pictures or Video?
- Will I Get To Touch An Animal?
- Can I Walk Around On My Own?
- What Do You Do For Bad Weather?
- Are tickets refundable if I missed my tour?
- Do You Have Public Restrooms?
- Discounts and Raffle Tickets
Visiting the Conservators Center is easy, and scheduling is done entirely online. You will be scheduling your tour through our reservation partner. If you’re unsure what tour type is right for you, visit our tour page and browse the descriptions. We have lots of options! We can’t wait to meet you!
YOU MUST RESERVE YOUR TOUR BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Please do not arrive without making a reservation, or it is likely you will be unable to visit our residents. Additionally, we are only open to the public on Saturday and Sundays (and some extended holiday weekends).
We at Conservators Center welcome all guests, and while our guest relations building is ADA compliant, unfortunately our tour paths are not wheelchair-friendly. The following is provided to assist you in planning your tour and visit.
- The guest relations area including patio, gift shop, and restrooms are ADA accessible.
- A cement parking area is provided for the first two guest vehicles with handicap plates or placards.
- Our outdoor tour paths are gravel and dirt, and are not safe for wheelchair use. Instead, we offer use of golf carts as an accommodation for mobility impaired guests.
- Guests with mobility impairments may reserve in advance a complimentary seat on our standard electric golf carts.
- We ask that reservations be made at least 5 days in advance so we may ensure both cart and driver are available.
- Please note the weight limit of our carts is 350 pounds for all guests and driver.
- Guests joining the tour via our golf cart will have the option of using the rear-facing bariatric-sized bench seat, or single-person forward-facing seat.
- Guests are asked to specify seating requirements when making the golf cart reservation – again at least 5 days before your scheduled tour.
- Golf cart seating reservations may be made by contacting our gift shop staff at 336-421-0883.
- We are not able to guarantee golf cart availability unless reserved in advance.
- Guests may not operate Conservators Center golf carts.
- Only Conservators Center golf carts are permitted to operate on the premises. (No other personal motorized vehicles are permitted.)
Service animals are not permitted on tours, but may wait with an adult at the picnic shelter during your tour.
- Companion and emotional support animals are not permitted on tour, nor on the property. Please note that under North Carolina statutes we do not permit any animal to be left in a vehicle on Conservators Center, Inc. property while the guest is on a tour.
Our tour path is about 3/4 of a mile and surfaced with crushed rock and gravel. We also do not allow strollers in the park as they would be unsafe.
Subscribe to the Center's Google Calendar of Events with the following address with your favorite calendar application:
The Conservators Center is an outdoor facility that was built, first and foremost, with the care and well-being of our animal residents in mind. We have an unpaved, gravel tour path that is about 3/4 of a mile, and you may be walking in muddy areas. Open-toed shoes or heels are not recommended. Please check the weather before your visit, and dress appropriately for the temperature.
Yes. We encourage you to bring your camera! If you want to get shots at a close range without fencing, consider scheduling a Photo Safari with an experienced escort who will take you to places you cannot go on other types of tours.
Guests are not permitted to touch or handle our animals at any point on their tour. We are serious about safety; any visitor who touches or makes an attempt to touch any of our animals will be asked to leave without a refund.
The Conservators Center is not a zoo. It was created, first and foremost, to meet the needs of the residents. You will see wild animals up close (as little as 5 feet). That means we always require guides or docents to ensure the safety of our residents and our guests. Also, our tours are fun! You will learn a lot from your guide, who has been specially trained to lead this tour so they can tell you great stories and answer all kinds of questions.
We periodically offer what we call “walkabout events” that allow you to wander our facility and talk to docents stationed throughout the park to ensure safety and answer questions. The best way to learn about these events is to subscribe to our e-newsletter or “like” us on Facebook .
We offer a variety of ways to learn about and enjoy the unique personalities of our residents. Most who visit want to return for other experiences.
Our tours are rain or shine; we do not generally cancel for light rain. However, in the event of dangerous weather, we will do our best to determine whether tours will be cancelled 24 hours prior to the start time. If tours are cancelled, you will receive an email, text, and/or a phone call/voicemail via the contact information you provide during reservation. In the event of cancellation, you will receive a refund for the entire amount of your ticket, or you may opt to transfer your reservation to an alternate day.
Due to the timing of evening tours, it can be difficult for our staff to make adjustments when the weather forecast shifts as the day goes on. To more accurately gauge the weather, our policy is to cancel tours by 11am on the morning of your tour if conditions look unfavorable. We appreciate your understanding that you will need to keep an eye on the forecast and dress for unpredictable weather when you reserve space on any of our tours.
We do NOT refund ticket purchases. We would be happy to transfer your reservation to another date and time.
Restrooms are available at our Visitors’ Center. We do not have any scheduled bathroom stops along the tour, but if you need to step out in the middle of your tour, we can accommodate you.
The Conservators Center is a nonprofit organization. In order to provide high-quality care for our residents, we depend on every dollar we earn through our award-winning tours and programs. We appreciate your understanding that we are therefore unable to provide free tour tickets.
AdventuresAdventures are the most popular tours at the Center. Spend an hour and a half learning about animals from around the globe while you explore the park with your tour guide. If it's your first time visiting, an adventure is a great place to start!
TwilightsTwilight tours are our longest tour and offer the best chance to see the residents of the Conservators Center at their most active. You'll also see demonstrations of target training and enrichment we offer our animals and learn even more about each species and individual.
Whiskers & TailsHave a little one? Whiskers & Tails tours are perfect for children of all ages, but are tailored to those with shorter attention spans!
Treat SafariCurious about the special care we give to each animal? Treat Safari tours are all about the enrichment, training, and unique focus of each animal who calls the Center home.
The Conservators Center also offers many speciality seasonal tours throughout the year with unique themes and focuses, private tours tailored specifically to your interests, and a wide range of events. Perfect for first timers and returning visitors alike, the Center's complete lineup of tours and events is sure to offer the perfect match for all tastes!
Accessibility, Safety, and Pets
The Conservators Center's park is not wheelchair accessible; however, accessibility accommodations are available for visitors with mobility issues. Please note that we do not allow unauthorized vehicles, including scooters or motorized wheelchairs, in the park. You can find more information about disability accommodations and handicapped access in the Tour FAQ on our Plan Your Visit page. Please note that strollers are also not permitted in the park.
If you are planning to visit the Center, please take a moment to review and complete our tour waiver. Waivers will also be available in the gift shop for visitors to complete during the check-in process.
For safety reasons, the Conservators Center does not allow visitors to bring pets on site. Any visitor who brings an animal to the Center will be asked to leave immediately. We do not allow visitors to leave animals unattended in a vehicle at any time of year.