New Orleans,
31
March
2017
|
09:37 PM
America/Chicago

USA Today names Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium among the 10 best in the U.S.

USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards awarded today

The votes are in and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Audubon Zoo are winners of the USA TODAY 10Best Readers' Choice travel award contest. You can see the full list of winners at http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-aquarium-2017/ and http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-zoo-2017/.

The Aquarium ranked 4th and the Zoo secured the 9th place among 20 nominees, all accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), that were "hand-picked by a panel of zoo and family travel experts."

"It's an honor to be recognized as one of the top zoos and aquariums in the country," said Audubon President and CEO Ron Forman. "We are thankful to our local community and visitors who voted to include us as one of top 10 zoos and aquariums to visit."

What makes a Zoo and Aquarium “America’s Favorite?” USA Today says:

“The nation’s best zoological facilities ensure animal care, welfare and enrichment come first, while still facilitating meaningful animal encounters with the public to help support wildlife and the wild places of the world.”

"There's something undeniably captivating about the world beneath the surface of the water, where colorful and sometimes bizarre life forms survive in seascapes vastly unfamiliar to our terrestrial senses. Aquariums make these marine worlds more accessible by showcasing aquatic plants and animals, educating visitors on the vital importance of these unique habitats and helping to conserve and protect our planet's waters."

The 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest launches new categories every other Monday at noon, revealing each category's 20 nominees. After 4 weeks of voting, the contest closes on the 28th day at noon. On the Friday after voting ends, winners are revealed. Rules allow the public the right to vote online for one nominee per category, per day.

Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from 10Best.com; relevant expert contributors; and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the 10Best.com website.

While the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest lives on 10Best.com - a standalone travel media site - it is promoted across USA TODAY Travel Media Group’s digital and mobile products, as well as via social media. Nominees are also announced and/or promoted across relevant USA TODAY departments, and through Gannett media outlets.

10Best.com provides users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world. The core of the site's uniqueness is its team of local travel experts: a well-traveled and well-educated group who are not only experts in their fields - and their cities - but discriminating in their tastes. These local experts live in the city they write about so the content is constantly updated. 10Best.com averages 5 million visitors per month. It was acquired by USA TODAY in January of 2013.

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation. Through its unique visual storytelling, USA TODAY delivers high-quality and engaging content across print, digital, social and video platforms. An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation – today, tomorrow and for decades to follow. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of more than 1.6 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than 16 million downloads on mobile devices. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

Audubon Nature Institute

Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Special Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute