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“An unexpected find...(thanks to local maps)”

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Ranked #2 of 87 things to do in Boca Raton
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 20 acre coastal preserve is a destination you don’t want to miss! Gumbo Limbo Nature Center is surrounded by a rare remnant of tropical hardwood hammock, located on a barrier island in Boca Raton. Take a stroll through the butterfly garden, where many species of wild butterflies can be seen year-round. Walk the Ashley Trail and relax in the authentic Chiki overlooking the Intracoastal. A variety of native fish, sharks, and other marine animals reside in marine aquariums. Visit the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility to learn about our sea turtle patients. Indoor displays feature wildlife indigenous to South Florida and a series of stained glass windows depicting the coastal island as it may have appeared in the 1500s. Florida Atlantic University has an onsite marine biology laboratory with a gallery for viewing research projects conducted by university scientists. Purchase imaginative and environmentally friendly gifts from our nature-themed gift shop. Please note picnicking is not permitted.
Reviewed 22 February 2009

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
is “located in the city of Boca Raton’s Red Reef Park on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway”. Gumbo Limbo is the name of one of the dominant tree species found there. You can walk the well-marked paths to several seawater tanks to observe sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and native fish (feeding times are posted), or take the boardwalk trail which includes a 40-ft. observation tower. Visit the Nature Center for its exhibits, brochures, maps, and knowledgeable, friendly volunteers. There is a Butterfly Garden, authentic Seminole Chiki (hut) example, and a gallery view of the Florida Atlantic University Research Lab. “The Center has been home to the Boca Raton Sea Turtle Conservaton and Research Program since 1988”.
We were lucky to have beautiful weather for our visit, and if we had planned in advance, we would have taken a picnic lunch to enjoy in the Red Reef Park picnic area. I especially like the fact that a partnership with the county school system provides programs in coastal and marine ecology to local students. Admission is by optional donation; $3 is suggested. There is
a nice gift shop, too, which also includes educational displays.
(Quoted passages are from Nature Center literature; also visit www.gumbolimbo.org for more information)
Milton and Feebee, two loggerhead turtles released in November 2008, can be tracked via the “News” section on the website, and we were told to watch for “The Turtle’s Song” , a documentary that Feebee stars in!
Date of our visit: February 13, 2009

3  Thank ExplorerAP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (1,565)
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"sea turtles"
in 229 reviews
"butterfly garden"
in 206 reviews
"turtle rehab"
in 62 reviews
"marine life"
in 76 reviews
"injured turtles"
in 33 reviews
"large tanks"
in 25 reviews
"observation tower"
in 49 reviews
"answer questions"
in 22 reviews
"suggested donation"
in 50 reviews
"great place to learn"
in 19 reviews
"gift shop"
in 53 reviews
"intracoastal waterway"
in 19 reviews
"all ages"
in 90 reviews
"learn something"
in 16 reviews
"boardwalk trail"
in 15 reviews
"board walk"
in 17 reviews
"small donation"
in 19 reviews
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1,466 - 1,470 of 1,565 reviews

Reviewed 10 June 2008

We visited during Spring Break, March 2008. We arrived shortly after they open (9 maybe?) and were essentially the only visitors for some time. The volunteer staff is pleasant and knowledgeable. It is very low key and wholesome. There are a few large outdoor tanks with marine life. Again, the volunteers are happy to talk and answer questions for as long as you'd like. There is also a boardwalk through the native flora. Along the way there is a very high observation tower you can climb for great views of surrounding waterways. There are a few activities for kids in the visitors center. It's the type of place you can visit for 1 to 6 hours, depending upon your preference. My boys, ages 6 and 9, enjoyed it all. When we left about noon, it was starting to get crowded and warm. Impressive gift shop!

3  Thank JenninMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2007

I was very impressed by this Nature Centre, didnt know what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised. Wonderfull helpful and friendly volunteer staff. Four outdoor tanks with sealife, nurse sharks, logger head turtles and rays. It's free but I think you can make a donation. We bought a ton of stuff in the little gift store. Make sure you dont miss feeding time, at 2.30 pm. They let the kids get involved and let them throw food in the tank. Oh and you might get a change to pet a ray.

11  Thank DaPotcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2005

I live in Boca Raton for about 5 years(from New York).Gumbo Limbo is a wonderful place for locals and tourists.Its free, but of course you can leave a contribution which we always do.I take my grandchildren 5 and 22 months.They love it.I love it too.There are large pools with large turtles and other fish.Volunteers explain everything to you, and sometimes if you get there when they are feeding, you can get up close.Theres nature walks on the boardwalk through the canopy, and you can climb to the top (which we call the tree house) to see the city and intracoastal.Inside Gumbo Limbo-when you first come in , there are snakes,and fish, and a great gift shop.Its a great place to visit

14  Thank LM-2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 January 2005

We loved it! A great boardwalk through the coastal forest and turtles too. What more could you want. And if you have kids, they'd probably like it too.

10  Thank lookupatthesky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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