“Shell-ebrate” Sea Turtles with a Getaway in The Palm Beaches

April 23, 2018

Sea turtles have visited The Palm Beaches for millennia, and now you can meet them up close.

Along the 47 miles of coastline in The Palm Beaches, you’ll find more than just sunbathers: sea turtle nests line the beaches, making this location one of the most important nesting spots for certain species of these popular, yet endangered, marine creatures. Last year 39,715 sea turtle nests were created along the coastline in Palm Beach County, each of which holds approximately 80-120 eggs. Between March and October, sea turtles are most active on Palm Beach County beaches. Take your vacation to the next level and support conservation by visiting a marine center, or book an inspiring hotel package designed to help you connect with these precious local resources.
 

 
Travelers can enjoy up-close encounters with these extraordinary animals, as well as diving adventures that journey into their natural habitat. Whether you “shell-ebrate” World Turtle Day on May 23 or World Sea Turtle Day on June 16 – all year long, you can find sea turtles in The Palm Beaches.
 
HOTEL PACKAGES
 

 With the world’s third-largest barrier reef just offshore, this all-suite resort on Singer Island is an eco-adventure destination in itself. Besides energy-saving measures on property (like power- and water-conserving appliances in suites and a water- and energy-saving linens program), the resort has focused its attention on protecting Florida’s turtle population.
 
Three different resort initiatives benefit the nearby Loggerhead Marinelife Center. They include:

  • Plush turtles in each suite available for purchase, with a percentage of sales going to the center.
  • “For the Love of the Si Turtles” program at the award-winning SiSpa, donating 10 percent of sales from a 50-minute Signature Massage or Signature Facial.
  • A Meet a Sea Turtle overnight package (based on a two-night minimum) featuring one-day access for four to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, participation in its Adopt a Sea Turtle program, and a percentage of package proceeds donated to the center.

 This sea turtle nesting season, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is partnering with the nearby Loggerhead Marinelife Center to give guests a chance to get close to endangered loggerheads, leatherbacks and green sea turtles that lay their eggs during their annual summer nesting process. In honor of this natural phenomenon, the property is offering a “Stay & Save the Turtles” package that encourages guests to give back to the cause. The package includes:

  • $50 daily resort credit
  • Stuffed Loggie the sea turtle toy
  • Guests who book three nights or more will have a portion of proceeds from their stay donated to to LMC to adopt a sea turtle in their name

 Rates from $198/night. To book, visit JupiterBeachResort.com and use promo code TURTLE. Must book athree-night minimum to have proceeds donated to the LMC. 

 This season, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort offers the opportunity to witness the nesting process of leatherback, loggerhead and green sea turtles during nesting season along the beaches of the Boca Beach Club. Two sea turtle hatchling release events will occur at 7:30 p.m., and the first will be on Friday, Sept. 7, for club members only. The second will be on Friday, Sept. 14, for both resort guests and club members. During each release event, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center will hold a 30-minute presentation prior to the release inside the Boca Beach Club. Following the presentation, the group will be taken out to the beach to release the hatchlings.

In June, July and August, book a stay at participating Hilton hotels in The Palm Beaches and receive discounts and iconic experiences at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach. For information, visit www.travel.hilton.com/wpb-boca.

 

CONSERVATION CENTERS

 Loggerhead Marinelife Center is an ocean conservation organization and sea turtle rehabilitation hospital located in Juno Beach, which has one of the most densely nested loggerhead turtle nesting beaches in the world. The center features up-close interactions with threatened and endangered sea turtles, as well as aquariums, tours, exhibits, sea turtle tracking and learning programs.
Trained staff and volunteers lead 39 educational programs offered hundreds of times throughout the year, as well as specialty summer beach programs June through August to see these gentle giants coming to nest.
 
The center has embarked upon a $14 million “Waves of Progress” capital expansion, in which the center’s facilities will more than double in size. Groundbreaking for the expansion is planned for later this year. The proposed expansion will include:

  • Expanding the sea turtle hospital and sea turtle hospital tanks
  • Expanding the research laboratory
  • Providing additional classroom space
  • Providing presentation spaces for guest lecturers and visiting scientists
  • Expanding exhibit spaces

 

 Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is 20-acre coastal preserve, surrounded by a rare remnant of tropical hardwood hammock, located on a barrier island. Guests can enjoy a walk on the newly reconstructed boardwalk, which travels 1/3-mile through the coastal forest and connects to Red Reef Park West. A variety of native fish and other marine animals reside in large outdoor marine aquariums, and you can visit the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility to learn about the sea turtle patients. The facility monitors more than 800 sea turtle nests a year within a five-mile span of beaches, including satellite tracking. More than 9,000 stranded sea turtle hatchlings are released each nesting season. Florida Atlantic University has an onsite marine biology laboratory with a gallery for viewing research projects conducted by professors and students.
 

 Nestled on an Atlantic Ocean front barrier island,  John D. MacArthur Beach State Park  is the only state park in Palm Beach County. Three species of threatened or endangered sea turtles – the loggerhead (Caretta caretta), the green (Chelonia mydas), and the leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea) – nest regularly on this beach. Starting May 30, the public can register to participate in an evening “Sea Turtle Talk & Walk” for $12 per person. The event is available the following dates: June 4, June 6, June 11, June 13, June 15, June 18, June 20, June 25, June 27, June 29, July 2, July 6, July 9, July 11 and July 13.
 
 Staying in The Palm Beaches and having the whole family learn to understand and protect our ocean resources is a win-win for everyone. Knowledge is the key to protecting our wildlife, and a trip centered around these wonderful creatures will create respect that will last a lifetime.

If you encounter a sea turtle on your own, here are some important steps to make sure the turtle is protected and, if found injured, given proper aid.

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