Sunrise Beach Walks: Science & Sea Turtles

Sunrise Sea Turtle Science Beach Walks header image

Join our educators for a guided sunrise beach walk infused with an extra dose of sea turtle biology and conservation. Guests will greet the sun as they learn about the sea turtles that nest on Florida’s beaches, the shifting dune system that protects our shorelines, and the many plants and animals deposited on the beach by ocean waves. You’ll see what sea turtle tracks look like in the sand, get an overview of the nesting process (which occurs under the cover of darkness), and find out how researchers around Florida monitor sea turtle nesting on a daily basis.

The beach abounds with wildlife in these early morning hours, and observant guests may get to see dolphins, sharks, and other predatory fish as they feed in the waves, shorebirds foraging in the surf, or even an elusive bobcat preparing to nap the day away. Be sure to bring your camera for some great sunrise shots!

Although these walks are not designed to show guests a living sea turtle, they will take place during peak sea turtle hatching season. If the opportunity presents itself, lucky guests may get to observe sea turtles from a safe distance. 

Reminder: Conducting guided nighttime sea turtle walks on your own or disturbing sea turtles is against the law. Please keep all lights off while on the beach during sea turtle nesting season, including flashlights, red lights, cell phones and cameras. Don't forget to keep a respectful distance from nesting females or hatchlings.

Program Details
  • Program location will be shared via email the week of your walk. We will NOT be meeting at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.
  • Programs are scheduled to start approximately 20 minutes before sunrise. Exact program times vary by date based on sunrise time.
  • All access points will be within ten minutes of the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center by car.
  • Please arrive at the designated beach access parking lot at least 5 minutes before the posted program start time to check in. We will not wait in the parking lot for late arrivals.
  • Beach conditions can get rainy, muggy, and buggy, so please come prepared.
  • We will typically not cancel the program in the event of rain, so bring a raincoat if rain is in the forecast. Lightning may result in delay of program or cancellation.
  • Participants must be at least 10 years of age. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult guardian.
  • Participants must be able to walk at least 1 mile in soft, wet sand. Boardwalks and stairs will be used to access the beach from the parking lot.
  • Flash photography is prohibited.
Cancellation Policy
  • No refunds or date swaps will be granted if cancelled within seven days of your reserved date. Due to the popularity and off-hour timing of this program, last-minute cancellations will be considered a donation to support education at Florida Oceanographic Society.
  • If Florida Oceanographic Society must cancel a program, refunds will be issued, but date changes cannot be guaranteed.
  • If less than two guests register for a given date, that walk will be cancelled. Impacted participants will be rescheduled or can request a refund.
Registration Help
  • Registration is limited to 15 spots per date. Please do not bring extra, unregistered guests to your walk.
  • During registration, your maximum group size will be limited by the number of available spots remaining for your selected date (all remaining spots will appear in the pull-down menu).
  • Please include the same email address for all participants in your party when registering.
Program Fees
  • $20 per guest (includes free admission to the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, valid day of your beach walk only)
  • FREE for current Florida Oceanographic Society members