SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world, has been voted as America’s Best New Attraction. Individuals across the country made their voices heard by voting in the national contest, propelling Wonders of Wildlife to the top of the list and bringing national recognition to the Ozarks.
Nearly 10 years in the making and unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife is the most important natural history museum to open in America in more than a century. Larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the not-for-profit conservation attraction serves as an inspirational tribute to the adventurers, explorers, outdoorsmen and conservationists who helped discover, develop and preserve the nation we love. The Museum is located in the heartland of America where half of the nation’s population lives within a day’s drive.
“We are honored that Wonders of Wildlife has been voted America’s Number One Best New Attraction,” said Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and visionary behind Wonders of Wildlife. “This recognition is a tribute to hunters, anglers and conservationists everywhere whose significant contributions have been protecting our nation’s fish and wildlife for generations. We are deeply grateful to all of the remarkably talented artists, craftsmen and women, leading conservation organizations, biologists and other supporters who contributed to the creation of this facility, and to each and every person that voted – thank you!”
Wonders of Wildlife was nominated for USA TODAY’s 2017 Best New Attraction contest by a panel of nationally respected travel experts as part of the Reader’s Choice Awards. Americans were invited to cast their vote every day to determine a winner. According to contest officials, Wonders of Wildlife received more votes than any other nominee in any category the publication held in 2017.
The Museum celebrated its historic grand opening in September 2017 by hosting the most significant gathering of prominent North American conservation leaders ever assembled along with dignitaries and celebrities including President George W. Bush, President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Costner, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart, Martin Truex Jr., Richard Childress, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chris Janson, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley, Tracy Byrd, Craig Morgan, Easton Corbin, John Anderson and many others with special appearances by President George H.W. Bush and Kid Rock.