Share |
Print Article
Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
Florida: Sebastian, Family Vacation Fun Making a Turtle Quest. As the lavender hues caressed the Atlantic waves we anxiously awaited our turtle quest. We knew the night quest would be awesome but waiting for the stars to appear and the evening to begin was tedious. During the summer months sea turtles return to the beach of their birth to deposit eggs and complete the circle of life. For a lucky few, there is the possibility of seeing firsthand the ancient nesting ritual of a sea turtle.
Finally it was time. It began with an introduction that engaged everyone in the group. Questions were encouraged and we were all eager to know more about the night’s turtle quest. The rangers from Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge continued to respond with facts and anecdotes that only helped build the suspense. Knowing the plan reduced the amount of talking later when we were on the beach.
Be prepared to wait.  The night was still; the moonlight marked the ocean’s surface creating a shimmering silver pathway from the horizon to the beach. Our group included ages 10 to 78, each with a desire to witness the sea turtle nesting ritual. We waited at the end of the boardwalk, speaking only in whispers and listening to the erratic sounds of walkie-talkies somewhere in the distance. (I imagined we could be part of a sciece fiction thriller - except for the white sneakers.) We were not walking, not yet. We were waiting and straining to see any change in the horizon, a break in the water surface, a change in the wave pattern.
There was no guarantee. Our first reward came early in the evening as the words ‘loggerhead to the south’ interrupted the static of our guide’s two-way radio. Our turtle quest began. Heading south in silence along the beach, we could see red pin light signaling the location of our first turtle spotted on the quest.
Stopping short of the turtle’s tracks, we waited and watched as she selected a location at the edge of the dunes. The moonlight provided us with enough light to watch while remaining undetected. Slowly and methodically she began to dig her nest. Sand flailed. We waited. The smell of insect repellent and sea air enveloped our cadre of curious observers. No one spoke. The rhythmic sound of the waves seemed the perfect soundtrack for the event.
Seeing is believing. Once the loggerhead began dropping her eggs, our guide motioned us to form a semi circle. Her barnacle-clad shell reflected her age. Mature was the word used by our guide. As she began to release her eggs we were allowed to move closer for a better view. Our guide, a veteran of 16 seasons, used a red light to enhance the nesting area. Our ranger spoke in a steady documentary style voice the event was awesome. We steped back, and remained motionless and silent she covered and tamped her eggs then slowly retreated to the sea. I feel like Yanni should have been playing on my Ipod.
All night long. Our turtle-seeking night continued with two more sightings. As before we waited for the cue before approaching the nesting event and cautiously made our retreat allowing the turtle to return to the sea. I think my mom and I could have stayed all night. It was so very cool - the soft wind and continuous waves, shadows and moon light, the anticipaiton and the sightings - Mother Nature at her best.
Green turtle at midnight! However our quest concluded at midnight with a rare chance to observe a green turtle. Smaller than the earlier arrivals she moved even higher on the dunes and seemed to master her ritual with precision. Her arrival caused many of the sea turtle volunteers to join our group. Because green turtles are on the Endangered Species List, her presence on the beach seemed even more awesome - no one even whispered.
As we departed the beach volunteers were discussing the marking of nests and cataloging beach tracks by species. It was a special night and for the young children in our group it was a field trip extraordinaire. For everyone it was memory making. As we walked in silence my thoughts went to Dr. Suess - not becuase of Green Eggs and Ham but for one of his many memorable thoughts on conservation. "And the turtles of course...all the turtles are free. As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."

What happened next? I learned from our guide that incubation period varies but in about 60 days the hatchings emerge and head for the sea. Some in our group made plans to return to see the outcome of our turtle quest. Others discussed adopting a sea turtle and staying connected with the natural wonders of the evening. I am looking forard to my next turtle quest hopefully I can convince my grandmother to stay up late just one.
Make plans to share the have fun. Indian River County on Florida’s Central East Coast is loaded with delightfully affordable family vacation ideas. The area includes Vero Beach, Sebastian and Fellsmer. (772) 567-3491, ext.110 or go to
Planning Details. Sea turtles have existed since the time of the dinosaurs and the timeless nesting ritual is an awesome event to view. Florida’s Central East Coast has the greatest concentration of nesting turtles in the USA, so opportunities for viewing exist. Public turtle walks are conducted from May through August but turtle watch programs are popular and the number of people allowed to participate is limited. An advance reservation is essential. Advice: Attire for the adventure includes a head covering, long pants, a long sleeve shirt, shoes and socks as well as insect repellent and patience. Turtle walks do not come with guarantees. Children as young as six may enjoy the experience but it is essential that they are able to stay up late without complaining and follow specific directions which include not speaking above a whisper.
Sea Turtle Connections
Melbourne Beach: Sebastian Inlet State Recreation Area. (561)589-2147, (321)984-4852 or
Melbourne Beach: The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. . The Archie Carr Refuge is the nation's most important loggerhead sea turtle nesting site. The refuge is a 20-mile stretch of beach and coastal dune habitat along Florida's east coast. In June and July 3-hour sea turtle walks are conducted. At Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, the program for public viewing is conducted with stealth like skill. The process allows for both education and encounters. Each evening is unique and there are no turtle guarantees. But from June through August the likelihood is great and the experience awesome. Reservations are required by calling Sebastian Inlet State Park at (321) 984-4852. Accessible via A1A from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso, Exit 69 or 70 off I-95. Hwy A1A Melbourne Beach, FL 32951 (772) 562-3909 or

Melbourne Beach: Sea Turtle Preservation Society. (321) 984-3599, (321) 676-1701 or

New Smyrna Beach: Canaveral National Seashore Information Center. 7611 South Atlantic Avenue, (904)428-3384.

Titusville: Canaveral National Seashore & Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. (407)267-1110 or 308 Julia Street, 32796.

Indianatlantic: Brevard County Sea Turtle Watch. (321) 676-1701 or

Hobe Sound: Hobe Sound Nature Center. (772) 546-2067 or
Hobe Sound: Jonathan Dickinson State Park. (772) 546-2771 or
Jupiter: Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. (772) 546-6141 or
Stuart: Florida Oceanographic Coastal Science Center. (772) 225-0505 or
Hutchinson Island: Florida Power & Light (FPL) Energy Encounter & Marine Education Center. Toll-free 1-800-334-5483 (Florida only) after
May 15. 1-877-FPL-4FUN (1-877-375-4386), (772) 468-4111 or
Juno Beach: Marinelife Center of Juno Beach. (407)627-8280 or
North Palm Beach: John D. MacArthur Beach State Park. 10900 State Road 703. (407)624-6952 or
Dania: John U. Lloyd State Recreation Area. North Ocean Drive, Dania 33004. (954)923-2833 or
Fort Lauderdale: Museum of Discovery and Science. Within the museum a visible nest of live, incubating eggs is on display. 401 SW Second Street, 33312. (954)467-6637, ext. 3511 or
General Information. For a list of the statewide locations with permits to conduct turtle walks as well as a map of the walk locations go to
Caribbean Conservation Corporation. "Through the Sea Turtle Survival League's education program, thousands of people around the U.S. and the world, especially school children, can follow the migrations of sea turtles and learn about them, the threats they face and how to take part in helping to ensure their survival, " explained David Godfrey, executive director for the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. The satellite tracking research will help provide a factual basis for policy decisions that may have a huge impact on the loggerheads, the greens and the other magnificent threatened and endangered sea turtles.
Adopt a sea turtle. The Caribbean Conservation Corporation has several named turtles with satellite transmitters attached to the back of their shells. This allows us to use space age technology to learn more about their migratory behavior. When you adopt a satellite-tagged turtle, you can track the turtle's movements through the website! 4424 NW 13th St. Suite #A1 Gainesville, 32609. (352) 373-6441,toll-free 1-800-678-7853 or
Sea Turtle Hot Line. If you find a dead or injured sea turtle toll-free 1-888-404-FWCC (3922). 
Information and images provided by FTF staff. Original trip experience completed by Jule Nelson-Duac and her mom. Featue updated 2014.
Share |
Steinhatchee Landing Resort in Florida Offers a Terrific Family Vacation Adventure - Bay Scalloping with Kids.
Summertime means scalloping season in Florida’s Gulf waters and it also means family vacations. Scalloping is the perfect activity for a family vacation because scallops are found in shallow, grassy areas, providing easy targets for children.
Crescent Beach, Florida - A Secret Family Vacation Beach for Surfing, Biking, and Fishing with No Crowds.
Miles of lovely hard-packed sand make beach hiking, bike riding, and sand volleyball almost too good to pass up. When the tide is out residents and visitors drive along the ocean’s edge, sometimes parking against the sand dunes that frame the land.
Space Coast Earth-Friendly Family Vacation Fun Includes Airboat Rides, Giraffe Encounters, and Beach Time.
From the earth-friendly atmosphere of Brevard Zoo and the natural beauty of Merritt Island to miles of uncrowded beaches and awesome surf, the Space Coast offers very green family vacation options.
Anna Maria Island Is a Florida Secret Vacation Spot.
The Island of Anna Maria Island and the town by the same name offer authentic Florida with the charm of 30 years ago complete with spectacular ocean sunsets, secluded beaches with sea turtle egg nests, easy bike riding, friendly people, and a free local trolley.
Indian Rocks Beach, A Secret Family Vacation Spot on the Gulf.
Indian Rocks Beach offers family vacations with an easy pace. Watch dolphins at play and count pelicans or ride the beach trolley for a day adventure. Relax on a white sandy stretch of beach and wait for the next awesome sunset.

Read More Articles

Days Inn - Neptune Beach, FL

Family Vacation in the Sunshine State. [Read More]

St. Augustine Beach Vacations - Florida

A secret spot for families on Crescent Beach, Florida. [Read More]

Related Article Related Article

Florida - Coupons for Fun!

Save on attractions museums and adventures at! [Read More]

Hyatt Place Lakeland Center - Lakeland, FL

We are an entirely smoke free hotel. [Read More]

Bay Area Renaissance Festival at MOSI - Tampa, FL

Check out our themed weekends to plan your adventure. Help build bigger and better Fairy Houses! [Read More]

Related Article Related Article

Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place - Jupiter, FL

Nestled in the heart of Jupiter’s newest waterfront destination. [Read More]

CityPASS Tampa Bay, Florida

Save up to 38% off Tampa Bay's 5 best attractions. [Read More]

Magnuson Hotel - St. Petersburg, FL

Stay and play with us on Tampa Bay and along nearby Gulf beaches. [Read More]

Holiday Inn Express Oceanfront - Jacksonville Beach, FL

Oceanfront Surf a wave. Walk the beach. Hit the tennis courts. [Read More]

Residence Inn - Amelia Island, FL

Family fun at the beach on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Perfect for family reunions. [Read More]

Daddy O Hotel Miami Bay Harbor Islands, Florida

Hotel is located with convenient access to South Beach. [Read More]

Hyatt Place Oceanfront - Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

Offering a perfect place to stay for families travelling to the Daytona Beach area. [Read More]

Travelodge Inn and Suites Jacksonville - Jacksonville, FL

Our hotel is close to downtown and the airport. [Read More]

Tommy's on the Beach - Indian Rocks Beach, FL

Create your own beach party, stay with us. Family and pet friendly. [Read More]

Doubletree by Hilton Hotel - Tallahassee, FL

Located in the heart of downtown Tallahassee, Florida. [Read More]

Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort - Deerfield Beach, FL

Stay with us, an oceanfront location along the South Florida beaches. [Read More]

Experience Kissimmee - Reunions Made Easy - Florida

Planning the next family reunion is easy when you let Experience Kissimmee assist. [Read More]

Related Article Related Article

Steinhatchee Landing Resort - Steinhatchee, FL

Located on a serene river where green is part of our nature. [Read More]

Related Article Related Article

See More Family Vacation Ideas

Use of Travel Communications, Inc., websites constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
Site designed and hosted by Tempest Technologies, LLC