Sea Turtles frequent our shores and nest on our beaches from March through October, with the most active times starting May 1st. When you visit Florida beaches during this time, chances are you will see crawl marks from the Sea Turtles.
Sea Turtles are protected by Florida state statues and Floridians and activists along the beach towns are very protective of them. By law, you cannot touch, harass, disturb or harm Sea Turtles or their nests.
But if you are curious about these amazing animals, you can see them, watch them laying their eggs, witness the babies making their way back to the ocean by joining an organized Turtle Walk with organizations who know the locations and teach the proper ways to view.
The majority of Florida's Marine Science Centers and Aquariums also provide an opportunity to see sea turtles up close.
On the east coast, sea turtles start nesting as early as March. The main season of Sea Turtle nesting starts May 1st when the Loggerheads become more active. The majority of Sea Turtle nesting occurs on the East Coast of Florida, but sea turtle nests are reported all across the state.
The Turtle Walks in Florida are conducted by organizations that know the laws and the locations that will be best for viewing. Most turtle walks occur in June and July and start between 8-9pm and end around 1am. There is never a guarantee that you will see a nesting turtle and there are no refunds, but the experience is worth the opportunity to learn and catch a glimpse of these amazing animals. Be sure to plan ahead as the walks tend to fill up quickly and there is limited space.
Loggerheads are the largest population nesting on our beaches and because they are the only species that is threatened, rather than endangered, they are the only turtle species available to watch on the walks.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has a great downloadable map of places to see Sea Turtles that includes those at aquariums and captive to Turtle Walks to view them in their natural habitats.